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Unions react to Trump's B.S.

Reactions from four union leaders after Trump's first Joint Address to Congress

Kris LaGrange's picture
Mar 01, 2017

I got to be honest, I didn't watch Trump's Joint Address to Congress. I said I wasn't going to, I joined a movement of millions under the hashtag #BLACKOUTTRUMP and I did other things. In fact, 5 million more people watched President Obama's first Joint Address to Congress, including yours truly. We knows it's killing Trump's ego and it really doesn't matter what this Liar-n-Chief says, it matters what he does. 

We would remiss not to at least give you the feedback from national union leaders, their thoughts and reactions. As you can see, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) had very similar reactions, more in touch with what is actually happening, reacting to what Trump has done and not what he is saying is he is going to do. The AFL-CIO's leader, Richard Trumka was more optimistic, finding common-ground on what Trump said. Let's cut Richy some slack, that's his job - to work with this asshole regardless of our personal feeling of animas. Trumka has to weather the storm, prevent a national Right-to-Work law from coming and do whatever he can to preserve some resemblance of a strong and united American Union Movement. 

I tweeted this out this morning...

I guess in a way that is my childish way of saying I'm kinda over it and ready to get to work. I think we all are. So I got to give credit where it is due, my favorite response to Trump's B.S. came from Randi Weingarten of the AFT, she said:

Interview with Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO on Fox Business News:

A statement from the National Education Association (NEA):

WASHINGTON - February 28, 2017 - NEA President Lily Eskelsen García today released the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s first Joint Address to the United States Congress.

“President Donald Trump promised to unite the country, and to stand up for students and working families. Sadly, since taking the oath of office, he’s done nothing but break those promises. In fact, he’s been making decisions that are dividing us and has pursued policies that are hurting real people.

“Consider his selection of Betsy DeVos as education secretary. Educators believe America is a country where all children have the right to a public education regardless of family circumstances or ZIP code. Yet, despite public outcry and growing opposition, Trump and DeVos are pursuing a failed agenda that will steal taxpayer dollars from public education to fund private schools through a national voucher program. The Trump-DeVos agenda does nothing to provide opportunity to all students.

“Trump’s recent decisions undermine our job and, more importantly, our moral standing in the world. His ill-advised, discriminatory, and harmful decisions are aimed at separating families, banning refugees and Muslims, and rolling back protections of our most vulnerable students. We reject all of this. This is not who we are. We don’t teach hate, we do not tell people how to pray, and we do not discriminate against people based on their ethnicity, religion, gender, or identity.

“We also deserve a Supreme Court justice who will protect students and stand up for public education. Trump missed an opportunity to nominate to the Supreme Court someone who will protect the rights of our students and educators. Nearly every issue that affects our public school students and educators makes its way to the Supreme Court—from protections for special education students and transgender students to protections for workers—Trump’s nominee has failed to stand up for students and their families.

“And with respect to health care, it’s time for Trump to come clean to the American people: his promise to provide better coverage for less cost is empty rhetoric. The Affordable Care Act expanded coverage to more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans and established crucial patient protections. We will continue to defend the law, this country’s health care safety net, and quality, affordable coverage for children and working families.

“While Trump has the opportunity to reach out to all Americans tonight, we can expect that the past will serve as prologue and he will double-down on his divisive and ill-conceived policies that the majority of Americans are rejecting. Regardless, educators will continue to stand up for all students and for the promise of public education.”

American Federation of Teacher President Randi Weingarten:

WASHINGTON— Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten in response to President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress:

"While President Trump's rhetoric was more presidential—including, finally, a denunciation of hate—his agenda remained unchanged: cutting taxes for the wealthy, ripping healthcare away from millions of Americans, seeing education as a commodity that can be voucherized or privatized, and blaming immigrant communities for all our country’s challenges. He failed to lift up public education or even mention the role of higher education in preparing kids for the jobs of today and tomorrow. And he’s taken the slogans of the labor movement by calling for hiring and buying American without offering real details on how to create good middle-class jobs. There continues to be a big difference between what President Trump says and what he does.

"With all the good our public schools are doing, it was disappointing that the president couldn’t lift up any of them—like the school I saw today in Peoria, Ill., where teachers, their union, and Republicans and Democrats are finding common ground to make sure kids can learn the skills they need to find good jobs and move this community forward."

- See more at: http://www.aft.org/press-release/aft-reacts-trumps-speech#sthash.hHY8g8b...

WASHINGTON— Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten in response to President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress:

"While President Trump's rhetoric was more presidential—including, finally, a denunciation of hate—his agenda remained unchanged: cutting taxes for the wealthy, ripping healthcare away from millions of Americans, seeing education as a commodity that can be voucherized or privatized, and blaming immigrant communities for all our country’s challenges. He failed to lift up public education or even mention the role of higher education in preparing kids for the jobs of today and tomorrow. And he’s taken the slogans of the labor movement by calling for hiring and buying American without offering real details on how to create good middle-class jobs. There continues to be a big difference between what President Trump says and what he does.

"With all the good our public schools are doing, it was disappointing that the president couldn’t lift up any of them—like the school I saw today in Peoria, Ill., where teachers, their union, and Republicans and Democrats are finding common ground to make sure kids can learn the skills they need to find good jobs and move this community forward."

- See more at: http://www.aft.org/press-release/aft-reacts-trumps-speech#sthash.hHY8g8b...

WASHINGTON— Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten in response to President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress:

"While President Trump's rhetoric was more presidential—including, finally, a denunciation of hate—his agenda remained unchanged: cutting taxes for the wealthy, ripping healthcare away from millions of Americans, seeing education as a commodity that can be voucherized or privatized, and blaming immigrant communities for all our country’s challenges. He failed to lift up public education or even mention the role of higher education in preparing kids for the jobs of today and tomorrow. And he’s taken the slogans of the labor movement by calling for hiring and buying American without offering real details on how to create good middle-class jobs. There continues to be a big difference between what President Trump says and what he does.

"With all the good our public schools are doing, it was disappointing that the president couldn’t lift up any of them—like the school I saw today in Peoria, Ill., where teachers, their union, and Republicans and Democrats are finding common ground to make sure kids can learn the skills they need to find good jobs and move this community forward."

- See more at: http://www.aft.org/press-release/aft-reacts-trumps-speech#sthash.hHY8g8b...

WASHINGTON— Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten in response to President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress:

"While President Trump's rhetoric was more presidential—including, finally, a denunciation of hate—his agenda remained unchanged: cutting taxes for the wealthy, ripping healthcare away from millions of Americans, seeing education as a commodity that can be voucherized or privatized, and blaming immigrant communities for all our country’s challenges. He failed to lift up public education or even mention the role of higher education in preparing kids for the jobs of today and tomorrow. And he’s taken the slogans of the labor movement by calling for hiring and buying American without offering real details on how to create good middle-class jobs. There continues to be a big difference between what President Trump says and what he does.

"With all the good our public schools are doing, it was disappointing that the president couldn’t lift up any of them—like the school I saw today in Peoria, Ill., where teachers, their union, and Republicans and Democrats are finding common ground to make sure kids can learn the skills they need to find good jobs and move this community forward."

- See more at: http://www.aft.org/press-release/aft-reacts-trumps-speech#sthash.hHY8g8b...

WASHINGTON— Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten in response to President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress:

"While President Trump's rhetoric was more presidential—including, finally, a denunciation of hate—his agenda remained unchanged: cutting taxes for the wealthy, ripping healthcare away from millions of Americans, seeing education as a commodity that can be voucherized or privatized, and blaming immigrant communities for all our country’s challenges. He failed to lift up public education or even mention the role of higher education in preparing kids for the jobs of today and tomorrow. And he’s taken the slogans of the labor movement by calling for hiring and buying American without offering real details on how to create good middle-class jobs. There continues to be a big difference between what President Trump says and what he does.

- See more at: http://www.aft.org/press-release/aft-reacts-trumps-speech#sthash.hHY8g8b...

WASHINGTON— Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten in response to President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress:

"While President Trump's rhetoric was more presidential—including, finally, a denunciation of hate—his agenda remained unchanged: cutting taxes for the wealthy, ripping healthcare away from millions of Americans, seeing education as a commodity that can be voucherized or privatized, and blaming immigrant communities for all our country’s challenges. He failed to lift up public education or even mention the role of higher education in preparing kids for the jobs of today and tomorrow. And he’s taken the slogans of the labor movement by calling for hiring and buying American without offering real details on how to create good middle-class jobs. There continues to be a big difference between what President Trump says and what he does.

"With all the good our public schools are doing, it was disappointing that the president couldn’t lift up any of them—like the school I saw today in Peoria, Ill., where teachers, their union, and Republicans and Democrats are finding common ground to make sure kids can learn the skills they need to find good jobs and move this community forward."

Statement from American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE):

In response to President Trump's first joint address to Congress, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement:

"I appreciate that President Trump struck a more conciliatory tone in his address and expressed a desire to work with lawmakers across the aisle on positive reforms that will benefit all Americans. Unfortunately, many of the unilateral actions President Trump has taken so far will leave Americans less safe and less financially secure than when he took office.

"Preventing federal agencies from hiring new workers or filling vacant positions makes it harder for them to provide the services that taxpayers expect. Gutting the budgets of agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department endangers the health of our country and weakens our standing internationally. Promising to unravel a law that has extended health care coverage to millions of people puts their lives at risk. Handing tens of billions of dollars more to unaccountable defense contractors will do absolutely nothing to improve military readiness.

"President Trump said he wants to work with members of Congress from both parties going forward on new laws that will benefit all Americans. I and the rest of the country intend to hold him to that promise."

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