Trumka to DNC Labor Council: Our Democracy Is at Stake

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka delivered the following remarks at the 2020 Democratic National Convention Labor Council Meeting:

I want to thank my longtime friend, Brother Stuart [Appelbaum], for that introduction. And I want to thank Chairman [Tom] Perez, for his great leadership. 

As we convene this meeting of the Labor Council, as we begin four days of a Democratic convention unlike any other, working people are counting on us more than ever because working people are doing more for us than ever. Right now, in big cities and small towns, union members are on the job. A pandemic is not stopping us from lifting the loads, stocking the shelves and fighting the fires. From healing the suffering and teaching our children. And while many of us are joining this meeting and watching this convention from the comfort of our homes, too many working people are wondering if they will be able to keep their home or make next month’s rent. They are choosing between groceries and prescriptions. Millions are out of work through no fault of their own. As travel halts. And shows stop. And our economy grinds to a halt.

These workers did their job and they did it well, but our president refused to do his. Donald Trump did not create the coronavirus, but his utter incompetence, his inaction and his lack of basic compassion have made COVID-19 worse. Instead of pouring himself into a national response plan, the president is pouring gasoline on the fire! He downplayed the threat, called it a hoax and ignored the experts. 173 days ago, the president said we would soon have zero coronavirus cases. There have been 5.4 million cases and 170,000 deaths. So what does President Trump have to say about that? “It is what it is.”

Read the full remarks here.