AFL-CIO president: Trump has been a 'disappointment' 

AFL-CIO president: Trump has been a 'disappointment' 
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The president of the nation’s largest labor federation called President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE a disappointment Tuesday and warned that workers will be looking for a new president in 2020 if Trump keeps pace with his current agenda.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Trump has done nothing to invest in America’s infrastructure, has rejected plans to revitalize the coal community and has been too timid on trade.

“Broken promises are bad enough, but President Trump has used his office to actively hurt working people,” Trumka said. 


Trumka cited the Republican tax plan, the administration’s decision to delay the Obama-era overtime rule and its move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as policies that have hurt workers.   

“If President Trump wants to change course and join us in the fight to raise wages and standards, and strengthen our democracy and build better lives, then we’ll be ready,” he said. “But if he continues down his current path, workers will be looking for a new president in 2020.” 

Trumka had said after Trump's election that AFL-CIO was “ready to work” with the president. He met with Trump during the transition, having what he characterized as a "very honest" conversation at Trump Tower.

But a year into the administration, Trumka suggested Trump's support among union workers is dwindling.

“I can tell you more and more working people are coming back across the bridge saying, ‘Yeah, he promised stuff, but it’s not working,’” he said.

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Trumka noted that Trump gained the support of 37 percent of AFL-CIO members during the election. He could not say how many members overall support the president now.

In 2018, Trumka said AFL-CIO plans to focus political spending on key Senate and House races in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida and Missouri. He mentioned Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe 'frills' of Biden's infrastructure plan are real needs Senate Democrats offer bill to scrap tax break for investment managers Wyden: Funding infrastructure with gas tax hike a 'big mistake' MORE’s (D-Ohio) and Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Ex-GOP Rep. Lou Barletta launches bid for Pennsylvania governor The 'frills' of Biden's infrastructure plan are real needs MORE’s (D-Pa.) bids for reelection, specifically.

“Those are all states we’re going to play heavy in because of the Senate races, House races we think we can do something in and in many cases, governors' races as well,” he said. 

“Democrats will help themselves if they have an economic agenda that rings true with working people and they will hurt themselves if they don’t."

Trumka did not have a comment on Trump’s decision Monday to impose a 20 percent tariff on imported washing machines and a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panel technology. The move aims to target imports from China. 

“I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, quite frankly,” Trumka said. “He’s done a couple of things in the last two days that we’re trying to work through and see where things go.” 

AFL-CIO has been pushing the U.S. to crack down on China’s alleged currency manipulation and unfair trade practices.