September 29, 2016
By Joe Maniscalco
New York, NY – Some frustrated white working class men and women left cold by the neoliberal policies of the Democratic Party elite may think that they have an ally in Donald Trump — but the legendary NYC journalist who has been following Trump for the last four decades, said at City Limits’ 40th anniversary bash on Monday night, that the Republican nominee “doesn’t give a crap” about white working class voters and has a long history of sacrificing their interests for personal gain.
“He’s trashed working people all his life,” investigative journalist Wayne Barrett told LaborPress.
Barrett, author of “Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Deals, the Downfall, and the Reinvention”, specifically pointed to a case that took place in the 1980s when Trump’s company hired a group of 200 undocumented Polish workers to help make way for Midtown Manhattan’s gaudy Trump Tower.
The “Polish Brigade” as they were called, worked daily 12-hour shifts without overtime, eventually suing for unpaid wages and exposure to dangerous working conditions. Trump was also subsequently sued for ripping off a union pension fund to the tune of $1 million. The case dragged on for years before quietly being settled in 1999.
“[Trump] is supposed to have such great clout with white working class people — but look what he did to Polish workers with the asbestos,” Barrett continued. “Some of them never recovered from the exposure and he didn’t give a crap. He pretended that he didn’t know, but witnesses testified that they told him.”
Barrett also jeered Trump’s association with infamous Atlantic City mob boss Nicky Scarfo back in the days when organized crime held Local 54 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union in its clutches.
“This base of his just doesn’t want to hear the facts,” the acclaimed journalist and author continued. “Look at the facts of [Trump’s] history with white workers — he was in bed with Nicky Scarfo…Local 54 in Atlantic City…the most murderous crime family in the history of the United States. When they struck all the other casinos in Atlantic City, he had a deal with them. They didn’t strike him. That’s the kind of labor leader [Trump] likes — Nicky Scarfo.”
City Limits, the nonprofit media outlet that got its start back in 1976, honored Barrett this week with its Urban Journalism Award. Executive Editor and Publisher Jarrett Murphy hailed Barrett for his energy and “unwavering moral compass,” while DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, saluted Barrett’s decades of work “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.”
In accepting the City Limits honor, Barrett excoriated the Democratic- and Republican-controlled presidential debates, as well as ratings-obsessed reporters who have forgotten that journalists are “detectives for the people” who are “paid to tell the truth.”
“Let Chelsea [Clinton] and Ivanka [Trump] moderate the [presidential] debates,” Barrett said. “No journalist should participate in a sham where journalists are required to become passive observers.”