FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2020
Contact: Philip Shulman ([email protected])
Union Leaders Blast Trump Administration for Betraying Working Wisconsinites
(WISCONSIN) — Today, ahead of Mike Pence’s visit to La Crosse, AFT Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas, Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden, and AFSCME Council 32 Representative Valerie Landowski blasted Trump and his administration’s betrayal of working Wisconsinites. Whether it’s teachers, students and their families, farmers, manufacturers, or essential workers, Trump has systematically put these people in harm’s way with his chaotic and dangerous policies.
See, in part, what the speakers said below or watch the full event here.
AFT Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas: “Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos are trying to pretend that all is right in the world when we see everyday how far we are from gaining any sense of normalcy because Trump failed to contain the virus. It is because of this failure that so many students are either learning virtually or only attending school a few days a week…It didn’t have to be this bad, but Trump and DeVos have forced states to fend for themselves, and now teachers, students and parents are paying the price. Trump had over seven months to get things under control, including getting us a back to school plan, a national testing and tracing program to flatten the curve, but was simply too ineffective to do so. We can’t afford another four years with this failed leadership…Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a plan to get us back to school safely. They respect the science, they respect students and families, and they respect the values teachers bring to our communities.”
Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden: “To date we have lost 2255 dairy farms here in the state of Wisconsin. That’s in the upper 24% of all dairy farms in states since Trump took office…Trump’s been bragging about how great the USMCA and phase one of the China trade deal has been for agriculture in the U.S., [but] we still have one and a half dairy farms a day in the state of Wisconsin…He calls our war heroes and war veterans losers and suckers. Are the Wisconsin farmers — the 2255 of us who have gone out of business that he’s called patriots for the last four years — are we losers and suckers too?…Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are workers. They want to help us get through these tough times. Through their leadership we’re going to be much better off in four years than we are today.”
AFSCME Council 32 Representative Valerie Landowski: “Our members are on the frontlines fighting COVID every single day…Every move the Trump administration has made has been a failure. It’s put working families underwater and it’s risked the lives of hard working Wisconsinites…In Trump’s 2017 tax-scam bill he encouraged companies to outsource jobs, and rewarded executives with even bigger bonuses while our front line workers and companies haven’t gotten wage increases, hazard pay, or the benefits they were promised. We aren’t getting the PPE we need in our facilities, while we’ve seen thousands of layoffs and furloughed employees, which has created an economic downturn that will destroy Wisconsins and the country’s economy for years to come. Mike Pence came here to pretend that everything is great…but if you talk to any of our essential frontline employees they’d tell you a very different story; Wisconsinites are suffering greatly under Trump and his administration.”