NEW YORK, NY – AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, head of America’s largest democratic labor union, in March, escalated a nationwide campaign against GOP presidential contender Donald Trump and his racist crusade for the nation’s top spot.
Calling Trump a bigot for his anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim and anti-women rhetoric, Trumka held no punches. At a recent meeting of the 2016 OPCMIA West Coast Business Managers representing operative plasterers and cement masons, Trumka implored union members to band together as Democrats and
“From his anti-American proposal to ban Muslims to his horrendous comments about women and immigrants, Trump is running on hate. It seems the only group he won’t criticize is the KKK.” – Richard Trumpka, President AFL-CIO
Mainstreaming racism and bigotry
Speaking to the Transport Workers Union Political and Legislative Conference earlier in the month, Trumka called the Republican rhetoric un-American and racist.
“Our country is in the midst of a historic presidential primary season. We’ve seen inspiring ideas brought forward by some of the candidates, and we’ve also heard the ugliest and most divisive rhetoric imaginable. On the Republican side, we’ve been exposed to hate-filled claims that are flat-out un-American, like the offensive notion that certain people are somehow better or worth more than others,” Trumka said. “Under the guise of ‘speaking their mind,’ candidates for the highest office in the land have tried to push racism and bigotry into the mainstream. It’s truly frightening.”
Touting a membership of more than 12.5 million men and women workers, and representative of 56 unions, the move to denounce Trump’s candidacy may weigh heavily against the controversial candidate at both convention time and in November, should Mr. Trump succeed to make the final ballot.
“Republican candidates have used some of the ugliest, most racist and destructive language I have heard in my lifetime,” the union leader said. “It is equal parts frightening and appalling,”
The labor leader further cautioned that Donald Trump was “dangerous and very, very deceptive.”
Right to work and wages key issues
Trumka repeatedly warned union members to stay the course on workers issues. Setting forth Trump’s support of “right to work” and his financial backing for Wisconsin’s anti-union Governor, Scott Walker.
“Trump says our wages are already too high. Can you believe that? Trump is advocating the polar opposite of our raising wages agenda,” Trumka said. “The answer to economic insecurity isn’t right to work and lower wages. It’s collective action and collective bargaining.”