Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Richard Trumka Yells at a Podium for an Hour

With the economy still struggling, we imagine you’ve never thought to yourself, “What does Richard Trumka think of all this?” Well, you don’t have to.

Trumka shared anyway in his speech at the National Press Club yesterday. There were plenty of highlights from his tirade, but one of our favorites was his conspiracy theory about The Campaign to Destroy Workers:

Trumka continued, “I am talking about the campaigns in state after state, funded by shadowy committees created in the wake of Citizens United, aimed at depriving all workers—public and private sector—of the basic human right to form strong unions and bargain collectively.”

“This attack is fueled by the enthusiasm – and the financial support — of people like Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, and Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire publisher behind Fox News,” Trumka said, “both participate in a committee formed to raise business funds to attack public employees, based on the proposition that firefighters and nurses and medical orderlies are overpaid.”

We also enjoyed Trumka’s seminar on economics:

Trumka blended a sense of patriotism and a desire to continue American economic superiority with warnings of a “kind of 21st century peonage to the lords of finance and energy and global supply chains.”

Yikes. Time magazine pointed out Trumka’s most obvious contradiction: calling for the political rhetoric to be toned down two weeks ago, and using phrases like “crushing” workers’ rights and “destroying” institutions in his speech. Trumka also declared, “We can’t count on the political process here in Washington to get the job done.” Despite his anger at Washington, we can say with confidence that we don’t think this means an end to the AFL-CIO’s big-spending on behalf of the Democratic Party? The Democrats are all they’ve got.

Should you feel compelled, you can watch the full speech here.

Image courtesy of Jobs with Justice.

Categories: AFL-CIOCenter for Union Facts