Her comments came early in an address to about 6,000 members of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, one of the nation’s largest labor unions, gathered for a conference here.
While the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was greeted enthusiastically — with audience members banging green boom sticks — Clinton hardly has a lock on the families such unions represent. Polls have showed one of Trump’s strongest constituencies to be white working-class men.
In her address, here in the battleground state of Nevada, Clinton cautioned her audience to be wary of Trump’s claim that he is on the side of working families.
“We heard a lot of anger and division, but we did not hear a single solution that would help working families get ahead,’ Clinton said of the GOP convention’s opening night in Cleveland, which she described as “surreal.”
Clinton made no mention of allegations that Trump’s wife, Melania, plagiarized part of her remarks but said she heard plenty of criticism about her and President Obama.
Clinton ticked off several areas on which her views line up with labor unions, including making college debt free, mandating equal pay for women and expanding Social Security benefits.
And she argued that Trump’s policies and past actions have been hostile to workers, including decisions to manufacture clothing that bears his name and various other products in foreign countries.
“If Donald Trump wants to make America great again, he should start actually making things in America again,” Clinton said.
Trump has sought to use Clinton’s past support for trade deals against her, arguing that his more protectionist views would better protect U.S. jobs.
During her appearance, Clinton pointed out that she was wearing a green outfit, a nod to the color of T-shirts routinely worn by AFSCME members.
“You see what I’m wearing, right?” Clinton said, saying she was looking forward to seeing the "green machine" working for her out on the campaign trail.
“I know how much you’ve done, and I’m counting on your to do it again," she said.
Clinton also picked up an endorsement Tuesday from UNITE HERE, a national labor union that represents workers in the hotel, gaming, food services and other industries that withheld its endorsement during the Democratic primaries.
In a statement, the union said that the decision to endorse Tuesday was influenced by Clinton’s commitment to change a provision in the Affordable Care Act that will impose an excise tax on high-end health care plans.
The tax, known as the “Cadillac tax,” is set to go into effect after Obama leaves office and would affect the plans of many union members.
Clinton reaffirmed her opposition during an appearance later Tuesday at a training center here run by the Culinary Workers Union, an affiliate of UNITE HERE.
She reminded the crowd that she had previously twice joined members of the union picketing out front of a hotel that Trump owns in Las Vegas, where workers had accused him of unfair labor practices.
Clinton also accused Trump of a pattern of "stiffing" workers and contractors in his business dealings and said she continues to stand squarely with labor unions.
“Unions have helped to build the strongest middle class in the history of the world," she said.
Tuesday's events were part of a robust schedule for Clinton during the first two days of the GOP convention. On Monday, she address a convention of the NAACP in Cincinnati and the American Federation of Teachers in Minneapolis.
She has also been touting a new campaign initiative to registered more than 3 million voters nationwide before the November election.