AFL-CIO chief Trumka rejects White House jobs council report

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Wednesday offered a stinging rebuke of the the White House jobs council’s latest report.

Trumka, one of two union leaders on the council, said the body is too narrow to provide recommendations to President Obama that are balanced between the interests of business and other groups such as labor.

He specifically took issue with the report’s calls for lower corporate taxes and fewer regulations, saying they would not lead to more jobs.

“Overall, I disagree that reforming our regulatory system and reducing the statutory corporate tax rate are crucial elements of ‘competitiveness’ for the United States going forward, nor does empirical evidence support the claim that significant net new job creation would result from such ‘reforms,’” he said.

The 22-member council consists mainly of chief executives from major companies, including Intel, Procter & Gamble and Southwest Airlines. Trumka and Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and chairman of the Change to Win Federation, are the council’s only two labor members.

Trumka adopted the rhetoric of the Occupy Wall Street movement in his statement.

“The answer lies in the view that we share with so many of our fellow Americans: that our country has become dominated by the interests of the wealthiest 1 percent at the expense of the remaining 99 percent,” Trumka said. “It turns out that a country run in the interests of the wealthiest 1 percent systematically under-invests in public goods; systematically silences, disempowers, and under-invests in its workers; and in the end is less competitive and creates fewer jobs than a country that focuses on the interests of the 99 percent.”

Trumka didn’t attend the Tuesday meeting at the White House.

Hansen attended the meeting but abstained from voting on the report.