In a recent interview with In These Times, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka claims that he is building a movement that is “independent” of the major political parties. When asked by reporter David Moberg what he meant by that, Trumka is wildly evasive:
First of all, it’s about building our structure as well; about getting working people to mobilize, whether they are union members or not; and talking about the differences that are out there. It’s about supporting people that are friends. And those that are real friends will get more attention from us and those that are marginal friends will get less attention, and those obviously that are not friends will get the opposite kind of attention.
But it’s not about the Democratic Party or the Republican Party.
Of course, we know what “friends” he’s talking about. The other interesting thing about Trumka’s remarks: it’s right on the cusp of the AFL-CIO’s formal announcement that it endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election at its annual Executive Meeting this week. So much for being independent, right? The timing is impeccable – for Big Labor. But, it’s really not for America’s workers and the millions of small businesses that employ them.
The true irony here is that while Trumka extols the virtues of the struggling modern worker, blasting “people [who] can drop in five or six million bucks at the drop of a hat to alter a presidential race,” he’s living it up with his other Big Labor buddies at the Buena Vista Hotel and Spa in Orlando.
Obviously, Big Labor is quick to reward its “real friend” in the White House with a Super PAC that’s raised $4 million and already has foot soldiers already on the ground. And this doesn’t even take into account the nearly 500 million dollars committed to the President’s re-election with a grand total approaching one billion when counting their 2008 support.
And, it’s a blatant show of political force by union bosses as they push President Obama to make unconstitutional “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the board itself to issue job-killing edicts. Trumka says it “not about” either party, but who is he fooling?