WASHINGTON — AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney “doesn’t understand” what working people “go through every day,” while President Barack Obama has “absolutely” done a lot for the labor movement.
“Has he [Obama] done everything he can for the labor movement? That’s a simple answer. No one has ever done that — no president has ever done that. Has he done a lot for the labor movement? Absolutely he has,” Trumka said at a Thursday briefing with reporters in Washington.
“Has he done a lot for working people? Absolutely he has.”
Trumka predicted an Obama victory in November and said Romney does not “identify” with the working class.
“When it comes to working people, there’s no contest,” he said. “Barack Obama is more for working people than Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney is for the very rich. He doesn’t identify with us.”
“He [Romney] doesn’t understand what we go through everyday. He doesn’t understand the decisions that we have to make. He doesn’t understand it’s tough to send kids to school — you shouldn’t be slashing aid to colleges or Pell grants or things of that sort. He should be increasing them for the good of the country.”
According to the watchdog group Center for Union Facts, which compiled federal, state and local data on union salaries, Trumka earns $293,750 per year including benefits and other compensation.
In the briefing, he slammed Obama’s predecessor, former President George W. Bush for hurting the economy and worker safety. (RELATED: Santorum: Obama showed contempt for the Constitution with welfare change)
“This guy [Obama] has fought for jobs. Look at the last guy. The last guy came in, Bush came in, he had an economy that was blowing off the charts, it was growing a giant surplus. He leaves office eight years later with fewer jobs than when he came into office,” Trumka said. “So, every American worker — every American — was worse off. Our pension funds have been ravished, lost money because of the deregulation that he had given, done to people.”
Trumka declined to say how much money his organization plans to spend this election cycle.