President-elect Donald Trump’s latest Twitter target is a local union official who questioned the billionaire’s account of how many jobs he saved at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis.
Trump has previously used social media to browbeat companies that move jobs offshore as well as entertainers whose acts he finds tiresome.
On Wednesday, Trump took aim at Chuck Jones, president of the United Steelworkers Local 1999.
Trump wrote on Twitter that Jones “has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!”
The president-elect seemed to be responding to criticism from Jones that he had inflated the number of jobs saved at Carrier’s furnace factory.
Trump had boasted that his intervention with Carrier persuaded the company to preserve more than 1,100 jobs in Indiana that were previously moving to Mexico. But the actual number of jobs that will be staying in the U.S. is about 800. The remaining jobs were never expected to move.
Jones told the Washington Post that Trump had “lied his a** off.”
“I think he ought to make sure he gets all the facts straight before he starts talking about what he’s done,” Jones added in an interview with CNN.
He also pointed to Trump’s history of opposing union organizing efforts in his own hotels.
The union official, who voted for Hillary Clinton, quickly found himself on the receiving end of a Twitter attack from the president-elect.
“If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working — less time talking. Reduce dues,” Trump wrote.
Trump’s tweets were followed by a series of threatening telephone calls to Jones.
“Nothing that says they’re gonna kill me, but, you know you better keep your eye on your kids,” Jones told MSNBC. “Things along those lines.”
Jones shrugged off the harassing calls and union colleagues rose to his defense.
“Chuck Jones is a man of integrity who ALWAYS puts the interest of workers first,” the Indiana AFL-CIO tweeted.
“Chuck is a hero not a scapegoat,” the United Steelworkers union added.