AFL-CIO’s Trumka Meets With Donald Trump, Slams GOP Healthcare Proposal


AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka tweeted out his opposition to the GOP’s new healthcare law, just a few hours after meeting with President Donald Trump in the White House.

“This isn’t a healthcare plan at all,” Trumka said in a statement. “It’s a massive transfer of wealth from working people to Wall Street … it’s bad for healthcare, It’s bad for working families, it’s bad for our economy and we will fully oppose it,” he wrote.

The statement declared:

Millions of people will lose their health care coverage thanks to a plan introduced by Congressional Republicans. This haphazard “repeal and replace” effort would result in painful taxes on working families, cuts to Medicaid, and tax giveaways for the super-rich. Of all the bad ideas in this flawed plan, forcing workers to pay a so-called “Cadillac tax,” on employer provided health care has to be among the worst. That’s a terrible plan for healthcare in America… For more than a century, the labor movement has fought to make health care a right for every American. The Republican plan contradicts this very idea by making care less affordable and accessible. It’s bad for healthcare, it’s bad for working families, it’s bad for our economy and we will fully oppose it.

Trumka was invited to visit Trump at the White House in the late afternoon, illustrating Trump’s outreach to union leaders and union voters.

In the 2016 election, Trump won comparatively high support from union members, especially from skilled workers in the private-sector unions, because of his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, his opposition to cheap-labor illegal immigration, and because of his “Buy American, Hire American” economic strategy.

Shortly after his inauguration, Trump met with the leaders of several skilled-trade unions, who praised his outreach, partly because it will benefit their high-skilled members.

But Trumka’s federation is much less receptive to Trump’s pro-American, small government policies than are the union leaders of the skilled trades. Trumka represents a wider range of unions, including unions for unskilled workers that include many legal and illegal immigrants, and unions for the government employees. Many of Trumka’s unions are also led by far-left university-trained progressives instead of by former regular workers.

Shortly after the closed-door meeting, a Tweet from Trumka suggested that he challenged Trump’s support for some of the legislation and regulations being pushed by the GOP’s pro-Chamber of Commerce wing.

Before their meeting, White House officials canceled a pre-meeting “spray,” where media would have been able to briefly photograph and question the two leaders.