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Richard Trumka Threatens To Abandon Democrats In 2012 Unless They Fight Harder For Labor

Huffington Post- Sam Stein

Posted: 05/20/11 02:22 AM ET

WASHINGTON — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka plans to issue yet another warning to Democrats on Friday, proclaiming that if lawmakers don’t push hard enough to stem attacks on labor’s interests, workers will abandon the party in the 2012 election.

The union leader, whose perch atop the 11-million-member federation makes him arguably the most powerful labor official in the country, is slated to speak at a National Press Club luncheon. In excerpts from his prepared remarks, obtained in advance by The Huffington Post, Trumka focuses his ire on the widening gulf between U.S. workers and the wealthy — attaching particular blame to politicians who value ideology over morality.

“Budget proposals unveiled in Washington and state capitals across our country revealed a despicable canvas of cruelty,” Trumka will say, according to his prepared remarks. “And not just meanness. Destructiveness. A willful desire to block the road to the future.”

“America’s real deficit is a moral deficit — where political choices come down to forcing foster children to wear hand-me-downs while cutting taxes for profitable corporations,” the remarks continue. “Powerful political forces are seeking to silence working people — to drive us out of the national conversation.”

Trumka also says in the prepared remarks that party affiliation alone won’t determine how the federation allocates its resources in 2012. If Republican lawmakers embrace parts of the AFL-CIO’s agenda, the union federation will respond in kind. If Democrats abandon the union community’s principles — or if they fail to protest as those principles are attacked — they can expect similar treatment.

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