As former Vice President Joe Biden was addressing the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) on Friday, Trump tweeted to try to bring attention back to himself.
“I’ve employed thousands of Electrical Workers. They will be voting for me!” he wrote.
There’s just one problem with Trump’s belief that electrical workers will vote for him based on his record as an employer: He has stiffed electrical workers for millions over dollars over the years.
“According to thousands of lawsuits filed against him and his companies, when union contractors were hired, Trump developed a reputation for stiffing some, delaying payment to others and shorting workers on overtime and even minimum wage,” the IBEW report said.
The union also noted that the lawsuits “included 60 for not paying his bills, 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and four corporate bankruptcies that left hundreds of contractors with dimes, nickels, even pennies on the dollar.”
Trump’s poor treatment of contractors, particularly those who do electrical work, continued right until he won the election.
Days after he was inaugurated, Trump was sued by AES Electrical for $2,075,731.61 worth of work on his hotel in Washington, D.C. The company alleged that Trump had only offered to pay one-third of the money that was owed.
AES noted the “repeated practice of the Trump organizations on various projects” of trying to nickel-and-dime contractors to avoid paying bills in full. The company later dropped its suit.
Trump has made a habit for years of simply refusing to pay contractors the money he promises them, a practice he reportedly picked up from his father.
That’s one reason why, in 2016, IBEW endorsed Hillary Clinton over Trump for the presidency. Union president Lonnie Stephenson wrote at the time: “As a president of the largest union in the electrical industry, I want someone in the White House who will make it easier, not harder, for working families to come together and speak up for themselves.”
Electrical workers saw through Trump’s campaign rhetoric during the last election, and opposed him both because of his anti-worker policy ideas and his history of scamming electricians in particular.
None of that is likely to convince electrical workers — or anyone else, really — to support him.
Published with permission of The American Independent.
IMAGE: Donald Trump on the site of his Washington, D.C. hotel, in 2016. After his inauguration, an electric contractor sued him for over $2 million in unpaid work there.