Today’s News & Commentary — November 16, 2016

According to the New York Times, the election of Donald Trump has mired Mexico “in a state of anguish and paralysis.”  Trump’s campaign rhetoric (referring to Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and criminals), calls to build a wall, and threats of mass deportations have left many in Mexico worried about what a Trump presidency will mean.  They also worry about what it signals for the future of democracy.  As Juan Pardinas, a Mexican academic who works on anti-corruption legislation, explained, “A lot of people see the U.S. as a beacon of freedom, as something to aspire to.  But what happens when you lose a role model, the role model of a nation? Now all of us who admired the U.S. are having second thoughts.”

The Guardian reports that the labor movement is gearing up for a “three-front battle” with Trump, Congress, and the courts.  The labor movement fears that all three branches of government will be hostile to labor and take steps — ranging from appointing pro-business board members to the NLRB to overturning worker-friendly Obama administration regulations to enacting a national right-to-work law — that harm workers and unions.  As Lee Saunders, president of AFSCME, put it, “These are going to be some challenging times.  We’re just going to have to hunker down.”

On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio received the backing of two labor unions: the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, a municipal union; and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, one of New York City’s largest and most powerful private sector unions.  The New York Times notes that neither union initially backed Mayor de Blasio in 2013, and the two endorsements could prompt other unions — none of which have yet made endorsements for next year’s election — to back de Blasio as well.