DNC chief powwows with union leaders

Top labor leaders met with Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) Thursday morning and said she told them she'd fight to include their priorities in the Democratic Party platform.

The meeting — and her offer — are signs that the DNC is trying to placate those in organized labor who are still angry the party's convention is being held in North Carolina, a state hostile to unions. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called it a "very good meeting."

ADVERTISEMENT
Trumka and International Brotherhood of Electric Workers President Ed Hill rolled out a campaign agenda focused on helping working-class families they dubbed the "Second Bill of Rights."

After the press conference, Hill told reporters that Wasserman Schultz had promised them that "she would try to work it into the platform."

The union plans to hold a major rally in Philadelphia on Aug. 11, and said Wasserman Schultz had committed to speak there. They projected between 20,000 and 30,000 people would be in attendance.

Hill said he was still "not happy" the convention would be in Charlotte, a sentiment he'd expressed publicly and privately to the DNC head when the party announced Charlotte would be the pick. Neither his union nor the AFL-CIO, an umbrella group for most of the large unions, have donated to help pay for the convention, a major shift from past years.

"I'm not upset [because] it's going in Charlotte, I'm upset that there's very little unionized construction there, there's very little unionized employment opportunities there. We had our nasty clash, there's no question about it, and I'm still not happy with it, but it's not causing what we're doing right now," he said.

Trumka said that he would be at the convention, and pointed out that a number of delegates there would be union members. Both he and Hill disputed earlier reports that the rally and platform were created in response to the Democrats' convention choice, although Hill admitted that some of the money his union would normally donate to help pay for the convention would instead be used to fund the rally and follow-up efforts.

The DNC declined to comment on the meeting.

More in Presidential races

DNC planning primary debates for Hillary

Read more »