Donald Trump, significantly behind in the polls, appears to be laying the groundwork for illegally attempting to remain in office if he loses the election. Labor organizations around the country are mobilizing to preserve democracy against Trump’s threat of a coup.

On September 25 AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka stated, that the AFL-CIO “categorically rejects all threats to the peaceful transition of power.” America’s workers “stand ready to do our part” to ensure that Trump’s defeat is “followed by his removal from office.” America’s workers “stand ready to do our part to ensure his defeat in this election is followed by his removal from office.”

At the local level unions are already organizing. The Rochester Labor Council, AFL-CIO, passed a resolution October 8 that calls on all labor organizations “to prepare for and enact a general strike of all working people, if necessary, to ensure a Constitutionally mandated peaceful transition of power as a result of the 2020 Presidential Elections.” The Seattle Education Association passed a resolution calling for post-election meetings for members to consider “work actions” in the event of interference with the elections. The American Postal Workers Union in Detroit called on its members to pledge that:

  • We will vote.
  • We will refuse to accept election results until all the votes are counted.
  • We will nonviolently take to the streets if a coup is attempted.
  • If we need to, we will shut down this country to protect the integrity of the democratic process.[15] 

The Service Employees International Union and the Communications Workers of America are participating in Protect the Results, which has already organized actions in 233 locations for 5 p.m. local time on November 4 to “activate their members and take coordinated action” if “Donald Trump loses the election and refuses to concede.”

To learn more about opposing a Trump coup see “Social Self-Defense Against a Trump Coup” and “How Workers Can Help Defeat a Trump Coup”  by LNS research and policy director Jeremy Brecher.