Study Guide: Richard Trumka and the White House

MAP OF FREEDOM

http://www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/fiw09/MOF09.pdf

LIBYAN CARGO PORTS CLOSED DUE TO VIOLENCE

http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFLDE71L1OB20110222

Iran's president: Mideast upheaval will reach US

http://www.fox12idaho.com/Global/story.asp?S=14081616

Italy Says Death Toll in Libya Is Likely Over 1,000

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/world/europe/24italy.html?pagewanted=print

PBS FRONTLINE Documentary

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/revolution-in-cairo/?utm_campaign=viewpage&utm_medium=grid&utm_source=grid?autoplay

TRUMKA’S TIES TO SOCIALIST GROUPS

  1. Democratic Socialists of America

DSA Atlanta newsletter, Jan. 2010

http://www.dsa-atlanta.org/pdf_docs/Newsletter_Jan2010.pdf

  • A major action involving the National AFL-CIO officers is also in the works. A breakfast meeting in September with 200 labor and community activists and top AFL-CIO officers -- Richard Trumka, Arlene Holt Baker and Liz Schuler -- linked the foreclosure crisis to the overall economic crisis facing American workers and set the stage for this follow-up action.

  1. Economic Policy Insitute

http://www.epi.org/pages/board/

  • EPI President is Lawrence Mishel, longtime DSA member
  • Board of Directors members include: Richard Trumka, Andy Stern, Gerald McEntee, Ron Gettelfinger, Leo Gerard, Larry Cohen
  • EPI is a 501(c)(3) corporation. In 2005 through 2007, a majority of its funding (about 53%) was in the form of foundation grants, while another 29% came from labor unions

http://www.dsausa.org/dl/Fall_2010_content/DL_Locals_Organize.pdf <http://www.dsausa.org/dl/Fall_2010_content/DL_Locals_Organize.pdf>

  • DSA Vice-Chair Harold Meyerson and longtime DSA member and Economic Policy Institute President Larry Mishel served as panelists, speaking on the causes of and possible solutions to the unemployment crisis. Introductory remarks by the local’s co-chairs explicitly linked the event with the One Nation rally. Mishel then laid out the causes of the crisis and outlined some possible ways to bolster the economy, including the establishment of a national infrastructure bank. In all, about 35 people attended the event, including Medea Benjamin of Code Pink/Global Exchange and the chief organizer of DC Jobs With Justice

  1. Party of European Socialists

http://www.pes.org/en/news/financial-transaction-tax-ftt-simple-principled-and-do-able-high-level-brussels-seminar-told <http://www.pes.org/en/news/financial-transaction-tax-ftt-simple-principled-and-do-able-high-level-brussels-seminar-told>

  • Trumka spoke to the PES conference on March 15, 2010
  • Representatives from both sides of the Atlantic were there. Richard Trumka, the President of the AFLCIO, the biggest American Trade Union Federation, spoke from Washington by video link. He outlined the developments on the FTT in the United States. "He stated that the U.S. administration needs to find new revenues for job creation, the FTT provides this opportunity".

  1. National Jobs for All Coalition

http://www.njfac.org/whoweare.html <http://www.njfac.org/whoweare.html>

  • Trumka is listed as a member of the Advisory Board

http://dsanyc.org/2011/01/30/feb-4-first-friday-vigil-for-jobs/ <http://dsanyc.org/2011/01/30/feb-4-first-friday-vigil-for-jobs/>

  • National Jobs for All Coalition endorsed the DSA’s First Friday Vigil for Jobs on Feb 4, 2011

  1. AFL-CIO Solidarity Center – Trumka is the Secretary-Treasurer on the Board of Trustees

http://www.solidaritycenter.org/content.asp?pl=409&sl=409&contentid=515 <http://www.solidaritycenter.org/content.asp?pl=409&sl=409&contentid=515>

  • To tackle the enormous challenges workers face in the global economy, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - the national federation that represents millions of working women and men in the United States - launched the American Center for International Labor Solidarity in 1997.
  • The Solidarity Center's mission is to help build a global labor movement by strengthening the economic and political power of workers around the world through effective, independent, and democratic unions. We envision a world . . .
  • Where working families have a voice in the future through the development of strong, independent free trade unions
  • Where workers band together as part of an international movement for democracy and social justice
  • Where all who work and contribute to the global economy are rewarded fairly and equitably
  • Where governments enforce, and employers respect, the rights of workers

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TRUMKA’S PAST – VIOLENCE UNDER HIS REIGN AT UMW

http://socialequality.com/node/603 <http://socialequality.com/node/603>

  • Over the next 13 years however, Trumka worked to break down the traditions of working class solidarity and militant struggle in the UMW and transform the union into an adjunct of the coal industry.  In 1983, the UMW abandoned its traditional policy of “no contract, no work” and industry-wide strike action in favor of the policy of so-called “selective strikes” against individual companies.
  • This paved the way for the isolation and defeat of the 1984-85 AT Massey strike and the 1989-90 struggle at Pittston coal, which opened the way for a wave of violence by the coal companies and the state that culminated in the frame-up and murder of militant miners.
  • Rather than organizing mass picketing to defend the 1,500 Pittston strikers and spreading the struggle across the coalfields, Trumka ordered miners to carry out civil disobedience stunts, such as sitting in front of the mine entrances until state troopers hauled them off to jail and appealing to Pittston shareholders at corporate meetings.
  • While he cowered before the coal operators and the government, Trumka used threats and physical attacks against his opponents, above all the Workers League, the predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party, which was fighting to mobilize all miners in a national strike to defend the Pittston strikers.

http://www.nrtw.org/files/nrtw/Trumka%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf <http://www.nrtw.org/files/nrtw/Trumka%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf>

  • Trumka’s reign (1982-1995) as president of United Mine Workers (UMW) union was marked by militancy, strikes, and union violence
  • Trumka’s fiery rhetoric often appeared to condone militancy and violence, especially against workers who dared to continue to provide for their families by working during a strike
  • UMWA President Richard Trumka…urged union members to…‘kick the (expletive) out of every last one of ‘em.’”
  • “You’d have to be very naïve to believe that if management brought in scabs, there won’t be something somewhere.”
  • “I’m saying if you strike a match and you put your finger in it, you’re likely to get burned. That doesn’t mean I’m threatening to burn you. That just means if you strike the match, and you put your finger in it, common sense will tell you it’ll burn your finger.”
  • 1993 UMW strike against Peabody Coal -- Eddie York, a 39 year old nonunion worker, “was shot in the back of the head and killed” leaving a job in Logan County, West Virginia. “Guards told police the truck careened across the road and went into a ditch. When guards rushed over to check on York, they continued to be pelted with rocks, guards told police.”
  • In a detailed account of the York murder and subsequent investigation, Reader’s Digest noted that “UMW President Richard Trumka did not publicly discipline or reprimand a single striker present when York was killed. In fact, all eight were helped out financially by the local.” 5
  • Trumka and other UMW officials were charged in a $27 million wrongful death suit by Eddie York’s widow. After fighting the suit intensely for four years, UMW lawyers settled suddenly in 1997 -- just two days after the judge in the case ruled evidence in the criminal trial would be

admitted.

  • 1985 UMW strike against A.T. Massey Coal -- “At the Sprouse Creek Processing Co., Buddy McCoy was a union man who crossed the picket line to become a foreman. ‘I had a family to care for,’ says McCoy, who received a three-stitch gash in the head from marauding strikers after his defection.”
  • 1989 UMW strike against Pittston Coal -- Virginia Circuit Court Judge Donald McGlothlin Jr. declared that “the evidence shows beyond any shadow of a doubt that violent activities are being organized, orchestrated and encouraged by the leadership of this union.”

Unanimous Virginia Supreme Court reinforced Judge McGlothlin’s findings: “Union officials took active roles in these unlawful activities. Notwithstanding the large fines, the Union never represented to the court that it regretted or intended to cease its lawless actions. To the contrary, the utter defiance of the rule of law continued unabated.”

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TRUMKA ON WISCONSIN

This Isn’t Deficit Control. It’s Assault

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-trumka/this-isnt-deficit-control_b_823912.html <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-trumka/this-isnt-deficit-control_b_823912.html>

  • This isn't "fiscal responsibility" or "deficit control." It's about the most bald-faced assault on America's middle class I've ever seen -- and clear political payback to CEOs who poured millions into the 2010 elections. CEOs don't like job safety regulations, so the politicians they elected are trying to cut the funding and fire the inspectors. CEOs don't want environmental safeguards, energy improvements or curbs on health insurance companies, so their politicians are pushing to just defund the programs.
  • This federal budget madness echoes pound-foolish actions we're seeing in state <http://www.aflcio.org/issues/states/> after state, where Republican legislators and governors elected with lucrative CEO support are ignoring the jobs crisis and playing politics as usual with the lives of working families. Govs. Scott Walker in Wisconsin <http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/02/14/wisconsin-says-no-way-to-walkers-budget-bargaining-assault/> and John Kasich in Ohio <http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/02/10/workers-pack-ohio-hearing-to-oppose-attack-on-collective-bargaining/>  are determined to end collective bargaining for public employees and deflate good middle-class jobs -- Walker is so determined he's threatened to call out the National Guard to enforce his will. It doesn't matter that definitive studies have shown public employees are paid less than comparable private-sector workers. It doesn't matter that we rely on public employees to care for us when we're ill or in danger, teach our children and keep our communities running. Reality doesn't seem to matter to any of these characters

TRUMKA WISCONSIN BUDGET SOT, “Morning Joe,” MSNBC, 2/22/11

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3096434/#41715202

  • This governor, Scott Walker, contrived what he calls a shortfall or a deficit so that he can go after workers. I think it’s the most outrageous. We’re seeing it in other states as well. Workers are trying to take the way – the right of American workers to pursue and achieve the American dream.

  • Public workers get abused continuously. Go to the states where they don’t have collective bargaining and ask them what’s happening.  They do get abused and they need a spokesperson. They do realize they are part of the solution.  In this world, in the global economy, the best thing we can do is work together.

  • Q: rich, you just said the governor was told last week that the state employees were willing to go along with the givebacks on health and benefits.

TRUMKA : yes.

Q: if you're taking notes, which you apparently were, he said a few moments ago that nobody told him that directly. is he lying?

TRUMKA: look, he had a press conference where people in the press said, they're willing to accept your concessions. are you willing to compromise? and he said, no, i'm not willing to compromise. i'm not willing to negotiate. if he wants the letter sent to him, we'll send it to him directly. will he negotiate after that? he just told you he would not. he's being unreasonable and he's overreaching here.

TRUMKA ON WISCONSIN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING SOTS – Lawrence O’Donnell’s The Last Word, MSNBC, 2/22/11

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/41726231#41726231

  • This isn’t about balancing the budget, it’s about a payback for his rich contributors. People like the Koch brothers  that are sending millions of dollars into Wisconsin to take away rights from Wisconsin workers. And what he’s doing  is hurting every worker right now in Wisconsin, whether  a teacher, emt, a public employee. He is hurting their ability to have a middle class life and he shouldn’t be doing that. He got elected to create jobs, not take rights away from everybody.

  • Can you imagine a country with no labor unions? Who would be the last line of defense against corporate America? People like the Kock brothers who make millions of dollars and want to make more by eliminating the rights of workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere. That’s the future of America that I don’t think any of us want.

TRUMKA ON EGYPT SOT

  • To our brothers and sister, brave founders of the new independent union in Egypt, and to all Egyptians hungry for social justice. The 12 million members join international labor org, united nations, and the global labor movement to stand in solidarity with you.

TRUMKA WHITE HOUSE SOT - FEB. 18

  • HOW OFTEN DOES THE WHITE HOUSE -- DO YOU GET TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH THE WHITE HOUSE?

TRUMKA: CONVERSATIONS OR BE AT THE WHITE HOUSE?

BOTH.

TRUMKA: I'M AT THE WHITE HOUSE A COUPLE TIMES A WEEK -- TWO, THREE TIMES A WEEK.

I HAVE CONVERSATIONS EVERY DAY WITH SOMEONE IN THE WHITE HOUSE OR IN THE ADMINISTRATION.

TRUMKA UNION SOTS, 10/27/10, the Blaze

  • I got into the labor movement not because I wanted to negotiate wages. I got into the labor movement because I saw it as a vehicle to do massive social change to improve the lots of people.
  • I’ve been trying to build permanent coalitions. We’ve been asking our state heads and central labor councils to reach out and start building permanent coalitions with young workers groups, with student groups, with religious groups. Anybody that’s a progressive group to bring them in and actually make them part of the structure.

SOTS  & QUOTES ABOUT TRUMKA

  • SOT: TRUMKA MILITANT, PBS, SEPT. 18, 2009

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/09182009/transcript2.html

BILL FLETCHER: Well, first of all, I think that the election of Richard Trumka has a great deal of potential. Because

BILL MOYERS: The new president of the AFL-CIO.

BILL FLETCHER: The new president of the

BILL MOYERS: Why?

BILL FLETCHER: Because Trumka comes out of a history of militancy. He you know, in terms of his vision of the United Mine Workers that he led. His emphasis on organizing. His clarity on the nature of the economic crisis that we've been facing. And what he has articulated so far. And all I can say, this is a hope, is the notion that we have to engage in that confrontation that you're describing.  We have to do much more massive organizing. Particularly of the poor, the increasingly poor sections of the working class. So, I think that there's a vision here. And I can't overstate this issue of vision. Because it's not simply the technique of unions putting resources into organizing. People have to feel compelled that there's a vision of success, but a vision of a different kind of country. And indeed, a different kind of world.

  • QUOTE: Leo W. Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, the nation’s largest industrial union, cites Trumka’s “ intellectual capacity to do the job,” as well as his “great heart and passion to fight for issues that matter to America’s working families.”
  • Leo Gerard SOT – PA Progressive Conference Jan. 2011

And we won’t get there sitting on our asses. And we won’t get writing letters. We’ll get there when we understand we have an agenda worth fighting for. And if we have to take to the streets and do the things that have to be done…

  • QUOTE: Rich Trumka has demonstrated his courage as a trade unionist throughout his career,” says Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).He has terrific leadership skills. He knows the inner workings of labor, and will be forceful and aggressive in strengthening the voice of America’s working families.”
  • Gerald McEntee has ties to former SDS radicals Paul & Heather Booth who founded the Midwest Academy. Paul Booth is McEntee’s assistant and advisor.

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