Washington, D.C., December 10, 2015 – The president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today added the voice of the U.S. labor movement to the chorus of outrage over Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
“This nation was founded on freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “Too many Americans died protecting those rights to allow someone like Donald Trump to wage a mad dog campaign that pits race against race, religion against religion, and ultimately, U.S. citizen against U.S. citizen.”
Trump’s recent call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States had drawn worldwide condemnation, but it is only the latest volley in a fusillade of contempt that has defined Trump’s campaign from the onset.
“It’s time we recognize this is not just part of a bombastic campaign pandering to fear, prejudice and anger,” said Buffenbarger. “It is the latest incarnation of racial and ethnic demagoguery that stretches from the religious radio haters of the 1930’s, to the red scare mongers of the 1950’s and the murderous segregationists of the 60’s. We have a duty now, on behalf of union members across the U.S., to speak out forcefully at every opportunity.”
Buffenbarger added that the Machinists Union, which counts many Muslims among its members, will continue to support Democratic, Republican and Independent candidates based on how their positions affect members’ collective bargaining rights. “We’re a non-partisan union, but we’re also a common sense union and we know it’s only a matter of time before Donald Trump pours gas over his next target. We are all Muslims and we cannot afford to wait.”
The IAM is one of the largest industrial trade unions in North America, representing more than 600,000 active and retired members in dozens of industries.