The AFL-CIO Declares (Semi) Independence

Updated: Today

The Labor Movement

Friday, May 6, 2011 08:30 ET

Richard Trumka declares labor’s independence

The man who shamed Democrats for anti-Obama racism vows to put AFL-CIO cash into its own future, not the party’s

Richard Trumka declares labor's independence

President Barack Obama and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

One of the shining moments of the 2008 presidential campaign came when AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka confronted the racism that was making some white union members, even staunch Democrats, reluctant to vote for Barack Obama. The son and grandson of miners from Nemacolin, Pa., who went into the mines himself, then went to law school, then became UMWA president, Trumka described the way he challenged an old family friend and local Democrat who confided she wouldn’t vote for the Democratic nominee because he was black. He told the story in a series of speeches that summer; one went up on YouTube, where it’s been view. . . [click here to continue reading]


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