AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Thursday that his union will not be at the Democratic convention, “do[es] not intend to put any money into the convention” and will be hosting its own convention — without Obama.
Speaking in Washington, D.C., Trumka said the labor group “will not be doing extravagant events” at this year’s convention like “we’ve done in the past.”
Instead of giving money to the Obama campaign and Democrats they are focusing on their own event that rivals the Democratic convention. The event, called “Workers Stand for America” will be held on August 11 in Philadelphia.
“We will be having a bigger on the ground effort than we have ever had in the past” said Trumka. “This time around, unlike in past elections, we’ll be able to talk to non-union workers. So not only will we be educating, mobilizing, and getting out the vote of unions … we’ll also be talking to non-union workers”
When asked whether President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney had been invited to speak at the convention, AFL-CIO representatives appeared visibly uncomfortable and told reporters that they are “still working on the speakers … so no, we don’t have anything official. It’s about the workers — really, what the focus of the rally is.”
Trumka also vowed to be more aggressive with “friends and foes in the next election.”
“We’ll be forcing people,” he said. “We’ll be a little more aggressive with friends and foes in the next election when it comes to things like fair treatment and dignity on the job and the ability of workers to have a place that they call home. We’ll be a little more aggressive with those things and a little less, let’s say, understanding.”
Videography by Sarah Hofmann