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Labor leaders in Toledo pick Clinton over Trump

A group of Ohio labor leaders denounced Donald Trump Monday as divisive, offensive, and an all-around bad choice for working Americans.

“This is a time clear and steady leadership is needed to unify the county,” Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga said during a news conference at the UAW Local 12 hall in Toledo.

Mr. Burga said the Republican presidential candidate “flames the fuels of division” in America; claims that firms should produce products in the country but his own businesses do not; wants American workers to be paid less, and does not have a plan for the economy.

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Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga speaks at the UAW Local 12 hall. From left are Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Duffey, UAW Region 2-B Director Ken Lortz, and United Steelworkers District 1 Director Dave McCall.

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“Donald Trump talks a good game in trade, but his first and only loyalty is to Donald Trump,” Mr. Burga said.

UAW Region 2-B Director Ken Lortz, United Steelworkers District 1 Director Dave McCall, and Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Duffey also blasted the celebrity businessman who clinched the Republican nomination for president.

All four men endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

Mr. Lortz also lambasted Mr. Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

“I have seen first-hand what Mike Pence thinks of workers,” he said. “He supported unfair NAFTA and China trade agreements. He was one of the most outspoken members in the legislature in opposition to the auto rescue.”

Mr. Duffey said the sheer number of lawsuits filed against Mr. Trump by contractors for lack of payment should be a caveat to voters.

Lucas County GOP Chairman Jon Stainbrook dismissed the labor leaders’ statements and instead called on Ohioans to consider the year-long investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s private email server.

“They found more emails today from Hillary Clinton’s server,” Mr. Stainbrook said. “She is unfit to be president of the United States because of her handling of top secret information. Unfortunately, a lot of good union men and women are lead by their unions that are mostly in the pockets of the Democratic Party, just as Hillary Clinton is in the pocket of lobbyist and Washington insiders.”

The news conference was part of a series across Ohio to occur over the next several days. 

Other events will be in Columbus, Cleveland, Youngstown, Dayton, and Cincinnati, said Michael Gillis, spokesman for the Ohio AFL-CIO.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.

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