Let’s face it: President-elect Donald Trump and the 115th Congress, which convened today, are bad news for working people. They represent the biggest threat workers have seen in years.
Make no mistake. Neither Trump nor right-wing lawmakers speak for working Americans. We cannot and should not let them co-opt the concerns of public-service workers and other middle-class Americans. AFSCME and other labor unions have long provided the voice for generations of working Americans and will continue to do so in the era of Trump. Period.
In a recent op-ed, AFL-CIO Pres. Richard Trumka wrote that working people aren’t looking for a “savior to speak for us.” What we want, he said, is to “raise our own voices through our unions.”
We, the proud members of AFSCME, couldn’t agree more. We make it our mission to improve our communities. What we strive to achieve is for working people to build power together. We will never quit our commitment to strengthening the voice of working people.
Trumka’s words echoed the sentiments expressed by AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders. He warned in an earlier op-ed that a “cruel bait-and-switch” appears to be taking place because “a campaign that promised to lift up working people is transitioning into an administration that will tear them down.” Working people will not stand idly by and let that happen.
Meanwhile, what should a worker-friendly legislative agenda look like? Here’s one respected group’s view.