In addition to President Donald Trump meeting with various tech leaders and CEOs in the United States within his first few weeks, he also met with union leaders.
On the campaign trail, Trump made multiple promises to “drain the swamp,” leading many union and non-union American workers to support him. But others, like American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) President Richard Trumka, have been less than impressed with Trump’s progress so far.
“He promised that he wouldn’t let Wall Street get away with murder, and he’s changing the rules and doing away with Dodd-Frank and doing away with the fiduciary rule,” Trumka told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Friday. “What [American workers] had in mind when they voted for change and a rewrite of the American rules was that workers’ wages, income and retirement assets will be increased and it wouldn’t come at the expense of us, and Wall Street wouldn’t get a free, huge gift, which is what these changes are. It wasn’t what we expected, and it wasn’t what we wanted and, the last thing is, it’s terrible for the economy.”
Trumka, the leader of the AFL-CIO, a national trade union center and the largest federation of unions in the United States, has also criticized several of Trump’s Cabinet nominations. One especially is Steve Mnuchin, Treasury secretary nominee.
“He’s the foreclosure king. He made billions of dollars by kicking a lot of working people out of their homes,” Trumka said. “He has been an example of what was wrong with the American economy, and if he brings that to the Treasury and spreads that, I think the American economy will suffer dramatically and again, Wall Street will profit and workers will get hurt.”
Regarding many of Trump’s actions so far, Trumka has been less than impressed.
“When he does something, we’re going to try to look at it and ask two questions. Is it consistent with the values of the American worker and the American people and, two, is it good for workers?” Trumka said. “If it passes that test, then we’re going to work for it. If it doesn’t, we’re going to work against it. And most — many — of the things that he’s done [have] failed that test.”
And with whatever action or order Trump decides to implement next, Trumka says the union will stay unified in its response.
“If the rules get rewritten to make it worse for workers, we’ll say that. If he rewrites it to make it better for workers, we’ll say that,” Trumka said. “If it’s good for the workers and good for the country, we’re gonna be for it. If it’s bad for workers and the country, we’ll be against it. And if we’re against it, we’ll fight it as a unified labor movement.”