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AFL-CIO's Trumka: Trump is Actively Hurting Workers

Trumka highlights Trump's failures in the first year as Trump's approval with union members falls

Kris LaGrange's picture
Jan 24, 2018

After a year of broken promises, constant investigations and scandals Trump is seeing his support plummet all over the country. Even union members who helped Trump win vital states in the Midwest are deserting him.

A new AFL-CIO Survey finds that while last January 45% of union members supported Trump, with 55% disapproved of him only a year later, 37% say they support him while a whopping 63% disapprove. Exit polls following the 2016 election showed that about 43% of union households voted for him, a 3% increase over Romney and a level of support for a Republican candidate that has not been seen since Reagan.

In a meeting with reporters on Tuesday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka offered some ideas for why Trump’s support is falling. “Broken promises are bad enough, but President Trump has used his office to actively hurt working people,” Trumka said. “He has joined with corporations and their political allies to undermine the right of workers to bargain collectively. He has taken money out of our pockets and made our workplaces less safe.”

Some of the specific issues that Trumka called Trump out on included his failure to label China as a currency manipulator and said that Trump has rejected plans to revitalize our coal communities. A year into Trump’s term, there has been little to no action on the massive infrastructure projects that he promised. The infrastructure plan was one of the main reasons that many in the Building Trades bought into his con, as the self-titled “Builder in Chief” promised them tens of thousands of jobs rebuilding America’s highways, roads, pipelines and more. “He promised a trillion and we’ve seen nothing so far,” Trumka said.

Going further than just breaking promises to workers, Trumka singled out Trump’s only real legislative accomplishment, the tax plan, saying that it favors companies over workers and rewards outsourcing of jobs. UCOMMBlog has previously reported that the Trump Tax Plan would incentivize companies to move their production to low tax countries. Trump is also responsible for putting Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, where he is expected to provide the tie-breaking vote in the upcoming Janus case. Trump has also proposed serious cuts to federal workers including a proposal to freeze their raises, eliminate their pensions, and take away holidays.

Trumka is promising that in 2018 the AFL-CIO will be focusing on a number of “Tier 1” races in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, and Missouri in an effort to elect and re-elect pro-union candidates to the House and Senate. “Those are all states we’re going to play heavy in because of the Senate races, House races we think we can do something in and in many cases, governors' races as well,” he said. “Democrats will help themselves if they have an economic agenda that rings true with working people and they will hurt themselves if they don’t."

Trumka is also looking to the future and the 2020 election. “If President Trump wants to change course and join us in the fight to raise wages and standards, and strengthen our democracy and build better lives, then we’ll be ready,” he said. “But if he continues down his current path, workers will be looking for a new president in 2020.”

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