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AFL's Trumka on Pols Selling Out Workers: 'I've Had a Snootful of This S**t!'

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From The Nation

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sent his strongest signal yet about the labor movement's frustration with the dysfunctional politics of the moment -- where Republicans go to extremes on behalf of big banks and multinational corporations, Democrats compromise and working families are left out of the equation.

Speaking Tuesday to the National Nurses United conference in Washington, where more than one thousand nurses from across the country rallied to begin the push to replace the politics of settling for less with unapologetic demands for a new economic agenda, Trumka found plenty of takers for his aggressively progressive message.

"We want an independent labor movement strong enough to return balance to our economy, fairness to our tax system, security to our families and moral and economic standing to our nation," declared Trumka, who in recent months has been repositioning the AFL-CIO as a force that will hold Republicans and Democrats to what he describes as "a simple standard: "Are they helping or hurting working families?"

"We can't simply build the power of any political party or any candidate. For too long we've been left after the election holding a canceled check and asking someone to pay attention to us. No more! No more!" the federation president, a former United Mineworkers union chief, shouted above the cheers of the nurses.

Then he described a scenario all too familiar to union activists: that of trying to get officials who are supposed to be allies of the working Americans to act on their behalf with the same energy that Republicans bring to aiding corporations.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

Nichols writes about politics (more...)

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will push politicians one way or the other, and I'... by John Sanchez Jr. on Sunday, Jun 12, 2011 at 8:17:11 AM
  Here is a cold hard fact, the wages, benef... by Dale Snyder on Sunday, Jun 12, 2011 at 12:21:21 PM
That's the most convoluted argument I can remember... by Jim Arnold on Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 4:12:18 AM
BAAHHHHHH, That goes against what my political dem... by Dale Snyder on Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 7:04:56 AM
You seem to have a vague understanding that things... by Jim Arnold on Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 9:58:26 AM
AGAIN more sheep rhetoric. You have devoted a bunc... by Dale Snyder on Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 5:43:10 PM
The last thing we need to do is lower corporate ta... by Mari Eliza on Sunday, Jun 12, 2011 at 1:59:29 PM
Every employee's wages and benefits are tax deduct... by John Sanchez Jr. on Sunday, Jun 12, 2011 at 2:52:22 PM
Trumka makes it clear that he understands how the ... by Stephen Unger on Sunday, Jun 12, 2011 at 7:51:16 PM