AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka flounders against Trump's stellar record on labor

President Trump's stellar economy nothing but hell on Democrats, and nowhere is it more hellish than in the offices of AFL-CIO union boss Richard Trumka, who for years has gotten the better of Republicans in claims to stand up for the conditions of the working man. Now Trump has come along, and things aren’t quite so easy.

Trumka was called to speak on Labor Day by Fox News’s Chris Wallace about one of his old bugaboos, NAFTA, and it’s obvious he doesn’t quite know what to say:

 

 

Did we just hear he said he WANTED more NAFTA? That trade pact he’s hated for years and often said he wanted scrapped? Suddenly, he wants NAFTA the way a free marketer does, given that the economies of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are all “integrated?” Talk about singing soprano. Let’s see him try to sell that to the hardhats.

Then he gets even more Clinton-globalista, by saying he wants a deal that “works” for all the workers of the NAFTA area – Canadian workers, Mexican workers and American workers, not just American workers alone. As if what’s good for one in a trade pact scenario doesn’t mean some give-ups from another. Let’s see him try to sell that one to the Caterpillar-boot brigades, too.

It’s also interesting that, he ignores, (and to his credit, doesn’t lie about) President Trump’s stunning record on job creation and wages, talking about other stuff instead. “Those are good, but,” he admits. Then he broadly says that workers aren’t doing well, without bringing up specifics. It was obvious from the interview that he wanted that question to go away. Maybe that’s because he’s hearing from his own union members – who in an unrelated trade pact question in a poll put on by the AFL-CIO – cited jobs and wages as their two biggie issues.

Wallace then brings up local content and wage hikes, and how Trump’s renegotiated NAFTA pact raises those things in Mexico, just as the AFL-CIO wanted. He argues (after a softball save from Wallace about enforcement of the pact) that enforcement was, yeah, the issue. Without a scintilla of evidence, he says the whole local content and wage rise can’t be enforced. What part of ‘yes’ does he not understand?

Trumka let slip a little detail about how he was working with the USTR office for enforcement. When has any president allowed AFL-CIO that much input in the past? Again, he got all he wanted, and that leaves him up a tree, exposed as a Democrat operative in a business suit playing advocate of the working man. Success is a problem for him because it undermines Democrats.

It’s also significant that Trumka emphasized a lot that he was non-partisan, objective, a caller of “balls and strikes,” not a Democratic Party shill. Obviously, he’s a bit scared of his union members and all the good stuff President Trump has brought for them.

Which highlights what is really going on here: With Trump giving workers what they want, Trumka is increasingly irrelevant. That explains his sudden nice-guy persona, and his strangely shifting positions on NAFTA. For him, the game was never about the working man, it was about advancing the aims of the left. Now he’s in the uncomfortable position of being a successful union leader who got his workers the jobs and wage hikes they wanted, yet he can’t capitalize on it. His real game has always been getting votes for Democrats and everyone now knows it.

Trump is hell for this union boss, and Trumka’s floundering shows it.

 

Image credit: Linh Do, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

President Trump's stellar economy nothing but hell on Democrats, and nowhere is it more hellish than in the offices of AFL-CIO union boss Richard Trumka, who for years has gotten the better of Republicans in claims to stand up for the conditions of the working man. Now Trump has come along, and things aren’t quite so easy.

Trumka was called to speak on Labor Day by Fox News’s Chris Wallace about one of his old bugaboos, NAFTA, and it’s obvious he doesn’t quite know what to say:

 

 

Did we just hear he said he WANTED more NAFTA? That trade pact he’s hated for years and often said he wanted scrapped? Suddenly, he wants NAFTA the way a free marketer does, given that the economies of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are all “integrated?” Talk about singing soprano. Let’s see him try to sell that to the hardhats.

Then he gets even more Clinton-globalista, by saying he wants a deal that “works” for all the workers of the NAFTA area – Canadian workers, Mexican workers and American workers, not just American workers alone. As if what’s good for one in a trade pact scenario doesn’t mean some give-ups from another. Let’s see him try to sell that one to the Caterpillar-boot brigades, too.

It’s also interesting that, he ignores, (and to his credit, doesn’t lie about) President Trump’s stunning record on job creation and wages, talking about other stuff instead. “Those are good, but,” he admits. Then he broadly says that workers aren’t doing well, without bringing up specifics. It was obvious from the interview that he wanted that question to go away. Maybe that’s because he’s hearing from his own union members – who in an unrelated trade pact question in a poll put on by the AFL-CIO – cited jobs and wages as their two biggie issues.

Wallace then brings up local content and wage hikes, and how Trump’s renegotiated NAFTA pact raises those things in Mexico, just as the AFL-CIO wanted. He argues (after a softball save from Wallace about enforcement of the pact) that enforcement was, yeah, the issue. Without a scintilla of evidence, he says the whole local content and wage rise can’t be enforced. What part of ‘yes’ does he not understand?

Trumka let slip a little detail about how he was working with the USTR office for enforcement. When has any president allowed AFL-CIO that much input in the past? Again, he got all he wanted, and that leaves him up a tree, exposed as a Democrat operative in a business suit playing advocate of the working man. Success is a problem for him because it undermines Democrats.

It’s also significant that Trumka emphasized a lot that he was non-partisan, objective, a caller of “balls and strikes,” not a Democratic Party shill. Obviously, he’s a bit scared of his union members and all the good stuff President Trump has brought for them.

Which highlights what is really going on here: With Trump giving workers what they want, Trumka is increasingly irrelevant. That explains his sudden nice-guy persona, and his strangely shifting positions on NAFTA. For him, the game was never about the working man, it was about advancing the aims of the left. Now he’s in the uncomfortable position of being a successful union leader who got his workers the jobs and wage hikes they wanted, yet he can’t capitalize on it. His real game has always been getting votes for Democrats and everyone now knows it.

Trump is hell for this union boss, and Trumka’s floundering shows it.

 

Image credit: Linh Do, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0