The president of the AFL-CIO labor federation spoke at a closed meeting with representatives from the entire field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates ahead of Wednesday’s debate in Detroit. His message was straightforward: “It’s time to do better.”
Richard Trumka told attendees that while President Donald Trump is enacting bad policies for workers, Democratic leaders need to reckon with their own role in creating an unfair economy. He said “both parties” are to blame for a system that caters to the rich.
“We are caught in a web of century-old labor laws that prioritize unchecked corporate greed over all else,” Trumka said. “We can blame this White House all we want. But this isn’t new.”
Trumka went on, “More often than not, the Republican Party is bad for workers. This president is bad for workers. But let’s be honest about the Democratic Party’s record.”
He singled out the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership as Democrat-backed trade deals that were tilted against the working class.