One month into Donald Trump’s presidency, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said that if Trump followed through on his campaign promise to stand up for working families, workers and their unions would support him.
Today, as Trump delivers his first State of the Union speech to Congress, there is no longer any doubt about Trump’s failure to stand up for working families. Trumka blasted Trump recently for a year’s worth of harmful anti-worker, pro-corporate policies.
“Broken promises are bad enough,” Trumka said. “But President Trump has also used his office to actively hurt working people. 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 workplace less safe. He has divided our country, abandoned our values and given cover to racism and other forms of bigotry.”
Trump also has done much to make workplaces more dangerous, and the list is long.
Trumka said his disillusionment is shared by more and more working people. A year ago, 45 percent of union members approved of Trump and 55 percent disapproved, today 37 percent approve while 63 percent disapprove, according to according to Mike Podhorzer, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s political director.
Other union leaders have taken stock of Trump’s first year in office and called it a catastrophe for working families.
Chuck Jones, the former president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, said many of his fellow workers who voted for Trump now feel betrayed.
Local 1999 represents workers at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis. As president-elect, Trump visited the plant and told a crowd of cheering workers that he had saved their jobs from moving to Mexico.
But the truth is Carrier continued to lay off workers, including most recently a few weeks ago.
In fact, since Trump was elected, 93,000 American jobs have been lost to outsourcing or trade competition – that’s a faster rate of job loss than in previous years.
Jones said many of his fellow workers who were “lifelong Democrats” took a chance on Trump because he promised to save their jobs.
“And they’re telling me now, you know, they feel betrayed,” he added. “They feel like – that he was just playing them. You know, he had no intent – because we’re not seeing anything that shows that he’s trying to keep jobs here in this country.”