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tv   Newsmakers  CSPAN  December 25, 2016 6:00pm-6:31pm EST

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allow union and a do you have any reaction to that? all, the first contract for quite a while, and donald trump and his managers in las vegas have been blocking them from even sitting at the table. but they won a major victory. they stood strong and we hope that spreads. clearly, i think it was because of the will of the employees. they were vigilant about
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andthey were vigilant about standing up and making their in voices heard. we have at our convention in las vegas in july of 2016. a vegas in july of 2016. we were at the convention center which was not too far from the site of the hotel where the workers were trying to get their and in first contract. we had approximately 5500 delegates and guests at the convention. we broke off the convention one afternoon and had a march and a rally at the trump hotel showing support and solidarity for those workers. it is a big deal for them and a big deal because they stuck it through. they made their voices heard. they fought for that contract. it is a good sign for them. that is what it is going to take. it is going to take across the country working people and families standing together and making their voices heard so there is a level playing field. they have the ability to achieve the american dream. susan: let me turn it over to ted. ted: i would like to ask you about president-elect trump's pick for labor secretary, andrew. he is the ceo of ckc restaurants, the parent company of carl's jr. and hardee's. he talked about the fact that
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the minimum wage could limit job growth or hurt job growth. he talked about automating his restaurants and the idea of your replacing workers altogether. i know when his pick was announced you said he would be an insult to the fight for 15 movement, the fight for $15 minimum wage. i am wondering, is there any place for you can see working together with a labor secretary like this? mr. sauders: we will see. his past record as far as we are concerned is not a good record for working families. the department of labor should be standing up not only for union members but working families across the country. he does not support the increase in the minimum wage. he did not support the overtime rule. he has had numerous violations, labor law violations. he has made the statement that he would prefer having robots because of a not to take sick leave and vacation time. that is not have you grow the
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american dream among working families. workers are suffering in this country. clearly the economy is improved under president obama. but there is still a large section of this country, especially in certain pockets across this country where people in communities are suffering. and because of that i believe that's why trump is the president-elect. people were so angry and so frustrated and with a considered to be business as usual. they wanted to make a statement. they wanted to try something new and try something different because of that anger and frustration. but talking about not supporting the minimum wage for the overtime provision or having a questionable record as far as labor law violations, that concerns all of us. we are going to have to hold them accountable. we will have to hold the
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president-elect accountable. all of you will recall he talked about supporting working families. he talked about bringing jobs back to this country and helping folks who are struggling every single day. that was his message, especially in the rust belt. especially in local communities where the manufacturing jobs have almost disappeared or plants have closed. he said he would help working families. i believe we have to hold him accountable to that. i am not optimistic based on the selections he has made so far in his cabinet, but i think we will have to hold his seat to the fire. if he does things in a positive way to help working families through -- to move forward and have that level playing field, then we will be supportive. we will also be vocal if he does not do that. we will be very vocal with the people he is selecting delete government if in fact they don't carry the same message he was carrying when he was campaigning for president. ted: that raises interesting
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questions. the follow-up on anthony, what kind of traction do you think you can get in the incoming congress, which is majority republican who don't necessarily support a higher minimum wage or support the overtime rule. are there any other issues or footholds you can find to affect his nomination? mr. sauders: we have got to get back to the basics. i think the unions in this country have got to get back to the basics. what do i mean by that? i think we have got to start organizing again one-on-one. talking with not only our members but nonmembers. talking with our community partners. listening to them, hearing what they have to say. i do believe there is a major disconnect. you can see it as a result of this election we had. the people said we are tired of
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this. we are willing to make change. what i think we have got to do is organize our communities and educate and mobilize individuals within our unions about basic economic interests. this is what this is all about. it's about economic status and economic justice for everyone, not just the 1%. but for everyone, and so, if, in fact, the new administration will stand up and support those issues that impact working families, that is a good thing and we will want to work with them. but if they don't, we will organize like never before and make our voices heard to the fight the policies they put in place. ted: you mentioned the rust belt and the support for donald trump. why didn't some of the thing hillary clinton talked about in your union talked about, higher minimum wage and the overtime rule which would've made millions of more people eligible
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for time and a half when they were working more than 40 hours a week, why didn't those resonate more in areas like the rust belt and win more support for hillary clinton rather than donald trump? mr. sauders: she did talk about that. donald trump was very basic into -- and to the point about what his position was or is or should be. i don't know what his position is sometimes. it is all over the map. i think one of the mistakes that was made, and this is my personal opinion, especially in the last couple of weeks of the campaign was that hillary clinton is a good friend and i think she would've been a great president. we supported her 100% within my union. i believe she should have stayed on the economic message rather than the personal message against trump. that is what people wanted to hear. they wanted to know how they would be helped and supported in achieving the american dream.
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she kind of lost track of that the last couple of weeks by attacking him. and not sticking to the strong economic message she had. i believe she lost voters during that period, along with other factors that came to play. people want to hear about how their lives are going to be improved, how their family's lives are going to be improved and what kind of programs will be put in place to help them. that is what we have got to continue to do in mobilizing and educating our communities. talk about economic fairness, talk about economic justice so people believe they have a chance and a shot. ted: you mentioned your union was 100% behind hillary clinton. in states like michigan she did not turn up the supported union households that barack obama turned out or any democratic candidate has turned out for decades. in one report i read in politico it says they did not make any
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get out the vote commitments in the weeks leading up to the election and michigan. within your union, if there was an undercurrent of discontent with clinton as a candidate. mr. sauders: that is erroneous. because we were on the ground in michigan, just as we were on the ground in every battleground state. i traveled to almost every one of those states and spent a lot of time as far as not only talking with members and mobilizing them, but watching volunteers in action, watching our community partners in action. we were on the ground and we were very supportive. but, clearly, we are a microcosm -- our union is a microcosm -- of the overall society. we had members who believed they needed a change. even though, and i have seen the statistics and data shows that 62% supported hillary clinton,
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that was lower than the percentage who supported barack obama. number one, i think we lost the vote in the rust belt. the vote was not as high as it should have been in some of the urban centers across the country. it was not as high as it was when barack obama was running for president. but we can't write off any segment of the population. we believe the argument we have got to make is a very strong economic argument. if we do that, and if we do not write off anyone, and we knock on those doors and have this one-on-one conversations, we can bring this back. we can turn this country around where people are concerned about not only having the top 1% being very successful, but the 99% having the ability to achieve that dream. >> your group is dealt with some of the governors in places like
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wisconsin, scott walker and others who try to weaken government union protections, eliminating collective bargaining in wisconsin. there was talk about people around donald trump he might -- he should try things like that for the federal employees, making it easier to fire them and so forth. are they likely to become a target in your view? mr. sauders: i think there is a possibility. there are a number of people he has appointed or wants to appoint a high positions that want to take on the federal unions. that is something we are going to have to develop a plan, a smart plan and strategy around. the action not only is an washington, d.c. the action is at the state level. that is really our neighborhoods. that is where our members live and work.
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we have got to make some drastic changes in what is happening at the state and local level. if you look at the number of state legislatures and governors who got the trifecta, 75% -- 25 states not have a trifecta where you have a conservative republican governor and a conservative legislature. they can attack our members and the rights we have enjoyed for many years. wisconsin is just an example of that where collective-bargaining was essentially taken away from us by the legislature, by the governor. we lost our voices. leave it up bargain or represent workers. we literally lost 70% of our membership in the state of wisconsin because of the actions of that legislature and the governor. we face those kinds of problems in other states across the country. missouri, in kentucky, possibly new hampshire, iowa where they have the trifecta. again i think it is about us getting back to basics of
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organizing and making our forces heard and talking about the importance of the union movement. there are studies, and no one can argue this, that when you have a stronger labor movement in this country you have a healthier and stronger middle-class. when workers have the ability to sit at the table and bargain over wages and working conditions, it is beneficial for the economy in this country. you have those that believe we have too much power. we would say they have too much power. they have too much wealth and are trying to gain more at the expense of the average workers across the country. collective bargaining is the way in which workers can achieve a sense of dignity, respect, and put food on the table. susan: we have 10 minutes left. >> the democratic national committee. there are several candidates that have come out and declare they are going to run for it. you have already endorsed representative keith ellison and labor secretary tom perez recently threw his hat in as
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well. do you see this race as answering the question of the bigger existential direction of the democratic party? which way would you like see it go? mr. sauders: i believe we have to get back to basics. the democratic party has got to get back to basics. i have known all the candidates running. tom perez was one of the secretaries of labor this country has ever had. he is a friend and he supported programs that helped working families and help union members. and working families. keith ellison has been a congressman out of minnesota. he is originally from detroit. he talks the talk and walks the walk. he understands economic fairness for all working families. he understands that you have got to have a 50-state strategy. he understands we have to have a strong economic message. he has walked picket lines. he has supported working
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families, sometimes even taking on the president to support working families. i made the choice because i'm a member of the democratic national committee that keith ellison was a breath of fresh air. we needed that. he has the ability to bring in large segments of our population, not forgetting anyone, whether it is the millennials, whether it is working families or people in rural areas. he has the ability to speak to those kinds of economic issues, and that is why i believe he deserves our support and we are going to be working towards getting him elected to be the next chair of the democratic national committee. this is going to be an extremely important position, simply because we are out of power right now. we are not in the white house. we don't have the majority in either the senate or the congress. whoever assumes that position really is going to be the spokesperson and the strategist
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for the democratic party. and i think keith has what it takes to get the job done. >> can i ask a quick follow up? is this ever jackson of the obama administration policies and trying to take the party in a new direction? mr. sauders: if you look at the president's record and what he has done, i think he will be viewed in the future as a president able to do some unbelievable kinds of things under very difficult circumstances. when you had people that were concerned about moving progressive legislation but stopping him anywhere he wanted to go. he was still able to bring us out of the great recession. he bailed out the auto industry. when he did not pass legislation, he thought creatively about helping workers as far as the overtime rule. as far as other rules, he
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supports the minimum wage. we have got the gold upon the legacy he has. i do think we have got to take a fresh look at who we are and where we are going. if we don't do that, we will continue to make may be the same kinds of mistakes we made in the last election. we have got to be smart, strategic about developing a plan and program that in my mind is about economic fairness for working families. >> you talked about working more in the states as well and getting outside of washington. are you concerned from the government employees being an easy target for folks like scott walker or donald trump? they can be perhaps stereotyped as not working hard or they have more benefits than the average private-sector worker now does. some of that has been taken advantage of by people like chris christie or other governors. are you worried getting the grassroots support you might
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need should donald trump also put a target on you? mr. sauders: it is up to the unions that represent public service workers across the country to promote the work they do. the very essential and critical work they do every single day. we are at union of 1.6 million members. we represent every occupation you can imagine and public service ranging from sanitation workers to folks that make sure your water is clean, to law enforcement, the health care, the child care, home care, corrections officers. we are the everyday heroes and our members are everyday heroes in our society. it is up to us to talk about the important work they do and share those stories and share those experiences in community after community across the country. if we do that, there will be a level of satisfaction and the public will understand the important work our members
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perform every single day. i was in new york running our counsel, our affiliate in new york city when we had the disaster of 9/11. as a matter of fact, our building was two blocks away from the world trade center. i saw in action what public service members do. they didn't run from the problem, they ran into it, risking their lives. i saw in action what public that is what public-service workers do every single day. we have just got to tell that story and talk about the importance of public services and not let people batter us and bang and rail against the importance of public services. if we do that, we will have allies, and we will have support. susan: four minutes left. >> a follow-up on the dnc race. write, -- right, you talked about going in a new direction, yet you also praised many of president obama's policies and talked about thomas
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perez and what a good job he said he did. where -- i mean, can you be more precise about what this new direction is? mr. sauders: it is getting back to basics. keith is an organizer. keith grew up being an organizer. he understands how congress works but he also understands the problems that exist in our neighborhoods and communities across the country. they have to get back to basics as far as communicating and talking with people. not only talking with people, but listening to what they have to say. we cannot ignore any state. i think we have got to develop another 50-state strategy where we are talking to people in our you communities. i think economic justice, the i think economic justice, the economic fairness argument, i believe we can pull people in and folks are willing to listen and participate in a movement that will guarantee there is fairness for all. >> it was clear to have high him -- from your statement that you have high regard for labor
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secretary tom perez. i am wondering that he has supported the trans-pacific partnership and free trade deals. i'm am wondering if his support for that and free trade makes him an untenable candidate for the dnc right now. mr. sauders: i think it is an issue. i mean, i think it is an issue, and everybody understands and knows we have major disagreements with the administration on fast track and on tpp. tom was a part of that administration. we were very vocal with the administration on disagreeing with the track they were walking down. that they were going down. if you look at the elections that occurred in november, one of the things that really spark ed interest was the fact that donald trump talked about how he would not support tpp. he does not support nafta.
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he would renegotiate nafta. and he was to bring jobs back to this country. that caught on with a lot of people who have been hurt by bad trade policies. and so i think we have got to be very careful in going back in that direction, when so many people objected to that kind of movement. keith was against that, he was against tpp. he wants to empower workers. i think we have got to hold the president-elect accountable for the things he said regarding his objections to nafta and objections to tpp, objections to fast-track. we will have to hold him accountable because i'm not convinced people within his own party believe the rhetoric he is espousing. people ended up saying, hey, we are going to support him.
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with all the flaws that exist and the kinds of negative things he says and the divisiveness of the campaign, we will support him because he says he will change something that affects our lives directly. susan: we have just one minute left. let me ask you a final question about health care. the affordable care act. mr. trump campaigned about resending the affordable care act. we've republicans who have been trying to do that for a while. what do you see happening? mr. sauders: i think the affordable care act should stay. i think should be changed in some ways. the cadillac tax, as an example. but i don't think you throughout the baby with the bathwater. the question i have to those who want to dump it, what is your plan? what are you going to put in its place? how are you going to guarantee millions of americans will not
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be hurt and not having a plan in its place? is a bigger picture than that. we supported aca. we believe there should be changes to aca to make it stronger and we would support that but it is a bigger picture than just aca. if you look at what is been said by many of his advisers and many people he has nominated for important positions, they are attacking medicare. they want to privatize medicare. they are attacking medicaid. those are health programs of the majority of americans in this country support. especially medicare. i think it will be a huge, huge mistake for them to try to privatize medicare because we will fight that tooth and nail. similar to the way we fought social security, when they were talking about cutting benefits of privatizing social security. we can and will put a coalition together across this country to
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fight that and we will win. susan: thank you for being with us on this holiday weekend and happy holidays to you. mr. sauders: happy holidays to you. thank you. susan: "newsmakers" is back after our conversation with lee saunders. gentlemen, let's start with the coming confirmation hearings of president-elect trump's labor secretary. patty murray is the democratic lead on the senate health committee, which will be having a confirmation hearing. she put out a statement critical of his choice. you all will be on a conference call with her later this afternoon. i want to read for the audience some of the members of that committee, including elizabeth warren, bernie sanders, al franken and tammy baldwin. what does the labor secretary -- designate for that panel? >> clearly a tough audience and
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a lot of grilling on these issues like his opposition to the minimum wage increases and overtime rule. i don't know. one thing interesting is how the democrats, what targets they pick overall is still relatively unusual for the senate to reject a presidential nominee for and a position. there are plenty other targets in the incoming trump administration. his treasury nominee and others that have targets on their i don't know. backs. so we will see, but he is certainly a high high-value , target or high priority. >> i think another point to make is in some ways he's an easier target than other folks who have been picture cabinet positions. i mean, his comments about the minimum wage directly fly in the face of democrats support for raising minimum wage. he said it will lead to job losses and more automation in stores like his own fast food restaurants. even the suggesting he would automate his facet restaurants could get under the skin of
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democrats and some of their supporters, and then, on the flipside are some of the personal comments he has made. carl's jr. has some commercials that have kind of explicit sexual content. he has spoken out and said they might even reflect his own mindset at times. so i think not only is he saying these are ok, but that he kind of personally endorses them. i think all the things give fodder to making of the sort of character that democrats can take on during the confirmation. susan: we asked questions about the campaign and how mr. trump's message resonated. as lee saunders said with a lot of his membership, working-class americans. how are labor union members, not just the leadership, feeling about the science coming out of the trump administration as he gets organized. >> everyone is looking for the buyer's remorse or the questions
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about what side mr. trump is on. that is something to look for. i don't think there is widespread sense yet from any of those folks. certainly they are making noise about trade and immigration and so forth which were some of the things the rank-and-file members liked. i think this labor secretary nomination hearing will be probably one of the first times you may see whether or not any grassroots or opposition comes up and whether or not there is a sense that not every think mr. trump said is reflected in some of his nominations. susan: one final question. we have a minute left. you both are interested in the direction of the democratic national committee. lee saunders is a member. the question you used was, is this an existential decision about the direction of the democratic party after the election? what are you thinking about, or what are you learning when you talk to people? >> when he talked about his support for representative
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ellison, and the other hand tom perez who he sung the praises of for his time in office was a big supporter of. i think one essential thing is the free trade issue. you had tom perez standing in as a representative of the obama administration. they supported tpp. i think that is a major issue for a union members and for folks in the rust belt talking -- who we were talking about earlier, who might be effected this time around. they need someone who is going to take a boulder stand. that is why you see he is out supporting ellison. that said, from what i am hearing, it will be a competitive race between the two. susan: we have got 10 days' break, and then washington will , be back out with these confirmation hearings. thanks so much for being with us this week on "newsmakers." >> thank you. >> thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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"watching this week, to journal" will look at issues facing the trump administration. we will take a look at different including challenges for the security team, and a closer look at the secretary of defense nominee. i tuesday morning, it is trade and job issues, looking how they could change current trade law in an effort to either create or save jobs. then, environmental policy. having a might be impacted by the new congress and the incoming administration is thursday, we will talk about immigration and how the president-elect and the new congress might change immigration policy, and then friday morning, click look at the affordable care act and about repealing and replacing the aca and keep players to watch. be sure toat


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