tv AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Delivers Remarks on the Labor Movement CSPAN September 4, 2016 10:34am-11:31am EDT
coincingth ant.utni wks thho-- out which union works with whom. >>e ve pje where you can registernder article 21 and you can say, here is my organizing plan. here are the resources i will use. i should get exclusivity here and here. it prevents a lot of the fighting. there will still be some of that. it has been easy to convince grad assistants who have been exploited for years. this is not new. we have organized grad assistants years ago. then when university decided they should challenge that and they delayed it for 5-6 years. that is why you have the backup at cornell and other universities along the line.
those gates will open up. those people understand that they need a voice as an employee. yes, they are students, but their employees and as an employee, you need a voice so they don't get continued -- continue to get exploited. it is an easy sell. >> a little bit earlier you mentioned the states where your priorities are. the data in pennsylvania, those of the two that you mentioned. can you talk about the way you will get involved in those races? >> we have a large membership in pennsylvania. one out of five voters will come from a union household. when out of six in nevada. we have three different kinds of campaigns and the states. we have a labor-labor campaign.
we have a labor and paid campaign where they talk to members and nonmembers. campaign for the talk to people who were not even members. but they are working people. we hit several different levels. they will be getting mail aggressively every week from here until the election from us. from the locals and the national union as well. they will get worksite visits where we will talk to them about issue after issue. giving them information. they will phone calls, door knocks. we will probably have over 100,000 volunteers in the six states that will do phone banks, door knocks or a combination of those.
and we have unions doing the exact same thing with their membership on the ground. getting them information that they need. probably the most aggressive campaign we have had in several decades. >> the national journal. >> good morning. a follow-up on some of your comments about hillary clinton and judges. she has said out of the gate one of the things she wants to promote would be $275 billion infrastructure package. i want to know if you have been in any discussion with the campaign or the transition team about how specifically that package should be structured. my second question, if obama is an -- merrick garland is not a lame duck, would you consider him be nominated by hillary clinton? here is what he
said. look at donald trump's economic package and said the country would lose 3.5 million jobs under donald trump's economic in program. he also graded hers and said we would gain 10 million. this is moody business credit rating system. it would be the largest infrastructure bill since world war ii. our infrastructure is an atrophy. we have talked about policy. in an we will continue to talk and about policy. not just to the election, but after the transition and into
the new administration. in we will be working as partners. >> does that mean you have offered some specific ideas for infrastructure proposals to the clinton campaign? mr. trumka: we have those publicly out. yes. >> we are going to the end of the table. >> you talked about the tier one presidential states that couple months ago. i wonder if you would see any point in the election after the -- another clinton campaign is going in and buying advertising space in arizona where based on the tenor of what you are hearing and you could add to the state and the opportunity that you did not have but for the rhetoric. mr. trumka: there is no question
that he gives us ample ammunition. we could do a new thing each day based on what he says. his speech yesterday was pretty mean-spirited. he doubled down on all the policies that he talked about in the past. he went to mexico and talked like john wayne last night, that he acted like winnie the pooh when he was in mexico. [laughter] he never even raised who would pay for the wall. it tells you that he is not serious about it. we will continue to use what he says to educate our members. there probably about where we were with barack obama and the election. the more we get to members with information, the better off we will get.
we will continue to do that straight through election day. there be a lot of persuasion and we will convert the last 10 days to focusing. >> on the same question. donald trump, his message seems to resonate with some union voters. what is it about that appeal that he has? mr. trumka: he has tapped into anger and frustration that is out there. he has done that successfully. when you look at the policy, he just says just trust me on the details. every employer we have ever bargained with has said trust me, you don't need to worry about the details, every time we trust them, we find out that the details are what hangs you.
everybody knows this, our members are increasingly discovering and coming to the realization that he is a fraud. he is an opportunist. he throws a whopper every five minutes according to fact checkers. they just don't believe him. they don't believe him on trade because he does exactly the opposite of what he says should be done. they don't believe him when he says he is going to be good for workers because our wages are too high. he supports right to work 100%. he things carl icahn would be a great treasury secretary. and these are all things are members know are not good things. my dad used to say that he was born at night but not last night. our members are the same way. when you scrape away the anger,
his reality show becomes our reality. >> you think some folks in unions who were on board with him, they see him as a fraud? mr. trumka: i think there is no question about that. the number of people supporting him is less and less. >> usa today. >> thank you. back to the senate race. you mentioned ohio. strickland is behind portman in the polls. a couple of democratic groups have reduced their advertising. kochs have reduced their advertising. what you think is happening there? are you concerned about his chances? mr. trumka: i think the top of the ticket will help. ted needs to be more aggressive right now.
portman was for the trade agreement in the pretense he is against tpp. and there are a number of other issues he would be bad. we need to see more of that in the upcoming weeks. >> do you think strickland has not done a good enough job of being aggressive? mr. trumka: i think all of us have not done a good enough job of being aggressive. >> if there was one thing -- if you were to give hillary clinton advice and there is one thing you would tell her to do differently, what would it be? mr. trumka: to do differently? >> to say or do. mr. trumka: i think she has run a pretty solid campaign. i think she does one thing that
is extremely important and i wish more politician did, she listens. she's a good listener which i think is very important. i think if i was going to tell her anything, i would say, let people see you. i have known her personally for 30 years and i have seen her in spotlight and out of the spotlight. she is a very smart, tough, intelligent lady. she is also a warm person. especially when you get past the camera and light. i tell her to let a little bit more of that shine through. >> do you trust her on tpp? are you confident she is going to make serious changes? mr. trumka: i have no doubt in my mind.
i have looked her squarely in the eye and we have talked about tpp. i've known her for 30 years and there has never been one time where hillary clinton has given me her word on anything that she did not follow through on. i have absolute trust she will follow through on that. terry needs to let his mind to stay in gear and not let go into neutral. >> anybody else? >> washington post. i would want to follow up on the merrick garland question. if that does not happen, would you urgently put into re-nominate him once she is in office?
mr. trumka: they have gotten so far out on a limb and it created such a mess out of this and they set such a bad precedent for the country. he probably can't backtrack now. as far as afterwards, we will see. i'm not willing to commit at this time to go forward on it. we will see. >> anyone else? >> what does that have to do with mandatory arbitration clauses? a drama playing out with the fox news story and various lawsuits. mr. trumka: commercial cases? >> i'm talking about sexual harassment cases. in mandatory arbitration clauses
are not a new issue for labor. a lot of discussion about whether they should be legal. this notion that -- of giving up rights for the court. the supreme court eventually have to decide it? any thoughts on whether we will likely see action? mr. trumka: after getting a ninth justice, we will probably see action. the supreme court does tend to try to reconcile splits in jurisdictions. the primary issue becomes, is it the contract? did you voluntarily agree to it? this is such a difference in power between the employer and employee at that point that you can't say this was entered in good-faith. most of the time, you have to
say probably was not because the employer holds the upper hand. if you want the job, you must take this clause. you will probably see some of them struck down because of that. >> anybody else? mr. trumka: it also takes more to waive your rights. it has to be a specific waiver. some of those clauses don't have anything about waivers. those that do, is it fairly entered into? >> we have exhausted the senate. are there any particular targets? mr. trumka: exhausted by the senate. [laughter] >> any targets in the house you would like to take out? mr. trumka: where do i start? [laughter] you have an element in the house that is just corrosive.
they cared little about the problems or the country, they cared more about ideology. they did not listen to their own leadership. those people are not responsible legislatures and the electorate should look at them carefully. and try to put somebody in who is responsible. that does not meet someone who agrees with me all the time. that means somebody who looks at the problems of the country and says solving those problems should come first before ideology or blowing up the system. some are more interested in blowing up the system then they are solving problems. that is given rise quite quickly to the candidacy of donald trump. i don't want to start naming right now. >> huffington post. then the national journal.
>> i tagged along with the canvasser outside of cleveland. he's knocking on doors and talking to people about donald trump, the first door we knocked on, the guy said he voted twice for obama, and he was going to vote for trump. the candidate said he comes across that quite a bit. people who say they feel that the democratic party has not done much for them to raise their wages and they would rather see someone come in and blow things up. i wonder what you would take it back i who feels like a party has not helped him and what do you say to members who may feel the same way? mr. trumka: i think there's some legitimacy to that. workers have felt that nobody is listening to them. not democrats, not republicans. i think you would have a tougher time making the case this time around.
if you look at the democratic platform, it is probably the most progressive platform we have seen since fdr. it has been good. we have been shaping the debate, shaping the platform. when you give those members the facts about, ok, here is a guy who thinks the wages are too high. do you think the wages are too high? i have done survey after survey and no working yet has had their wages are too high. [laughter] when they say, "what do you think about right to work," will that help? absolutely no. when you talk about outsourcing and the things they have done, they start to come back across the bridge. they are angry. they are frustrated and he tapped into that. he will make things worse
because he is doubling down on the very policies that got us here. he is not some kind of revolutionary when it comes to economics. he does not want to rewrite the rules in favor of working people. he wants to write the rules in favor of rich people like himself to benefit himself. when you tell people that, they start to come back across the bridge. we have focus groups with them, we have met them in numerous different positions. you're going to have some people that vote for trump. we have that every time. we don't get to select our members. the employer hires them and we get them after the employer hires them. working people generally vote in their best interest. we are in about the same place in this election when obama ran. on election day, we overwhelmingly voted in favor of him. that same thing will happen for hillary clinton. >> and a follow-up to the follow-up on garland. is there any reason why you were not flatly saying that clinton
should re-nominate him if he is not considered in the lame-duck? why are you not simply recommending that hillary clinton re-nominate him? mr. trumka: what do i gain from that? is it better for me to have an option? there may be somebody better. i think he would make a great judge. there could be somebody better. if somebody better comes along, we will support them. it also, when they notice not a -- when they know it isn't a certainty, then they may actually vote on the guy. >> looking past the election, if things go where they look like they are now which is a big if, hillary clinton wins and the
house is in republican control, people think it will be difficult to get anything done in congress. what do you foresee as happening in the first year or so of the potential clinton administration? what can labor do to push for your priorities? mr. trumka: the first thing you will see is the infrastructure bill pushed through. they can't oppose that. if they do, it is to their peril. the other thing is that they get a chance to define who they are. if you put things out that are good for the country, they will solve the problems and their obstruction -- the next election the apple will be taken away from them. we have to try to solve the
problems of the country or they will be obstructionist. if they continue to do that, they do it at their peril. >> we're about to have a showdown on how to fund the government. is there anything in particular that you are concerned about popping in there or would like to see? mr. trumka: the republicans have a knack for adding in rider after rider. they say no funding for them to do this. we will be guarding against that. they had 13 of them the last time. we beat all 13 back. we will be pushing for infrastructure and education and
workforce development. help for manufacturing so that we can get the economy back running again. >> two more. >> the comment about the infrastructure bill. would that be the problem they fell into in 2009 with the first thing on the bucket list was the stimulus bill. we had people like mccarthy say we will oppose everything barack obama did. because of the nature of the infrastructure bill, well one might argue that the need for the stimulus bill was more viable than if i would not be -- mr. trumka: the bill you recalled did get passed. it had a couple of provisions that were probably not in the best interest of the country.
the fact that the money had to have been spent in the year made sure that none of the big projects that were really -- would have really employed a lot of people to get started. you had to do a bunch of small projects. that negated the effectiveness of it. they can try that. they can say we are not good to do a stimulus bill. i can tell you something, there will be a rebellion against them. the american public is sick of a do-nothing congress. one that obstructs everything that happens. mitch mcconnell let the count of the bag -- cat out of the bag. he said our job is to make sure he does not get a second term. we go to stop everything he does. and they did. but who paid the price? the country. i think people are fed up with that. they will try to put lipstick on it. but the american public are
smart. you either fix it or you don't. they don't care whether was some arcane rule that stop it or not, they just know it did not get fixed they may try that. i think it will get there. we will put every pressure we can to make sure he gets there. we will let everybody in the world, every worker know who is obstructing it and who is helping it. i think i know which way workers will go in the decision. >> we may be on the verge of inaugurating our first woman president. i'm curious in the union world if you see any differences in how women lead versus men lead? mr. trumka: women are by nature more collaborative. they bring people together more naturally than men do.
sometimes men believe that they have to have all the answers and not having the answer is essentially embarrassing and women don't believe that. my secretary of treasury naturally collaborative, brings people together, good listener. she listens to what people has to say -- have to say and then makes a sharp decision. that is what the country needs. somebody who can ask a bring the country together and listen. listening is important. even if i disagree, you may have some kernel of knowledge or wisdom or a grain of the solution that can be built upon. i applaud hillary because i think she is outstanding at listening. i think her tendency is to
listen first and then talk as opposed to talk first and then listen. and i think that is a significant difference with women. i think in many ways women are tougher. >> how so? mr. trumka: they have to be. the system has been rigged for years. ones have come up have really had to fight hard. with hillary clinton, she have to do a+ work to get a c. whether it is the union movement or business, they get judged by a higher standard. if they do not show compassion -- do show compassion, it is a sign of weakness. men do it, it is a sign of strength. i think it is an unfair double standard. women deserve better.
>> thank you very much for doing this. i appreciate your comments. mr. trumka: thank you, everybody. happy labor day. >>'s labor day, c-span's continues the road to the white house coverage. monday afternoon at 2:00, we're live from cleveland with hillary clinton and vice presidential candidate tim kaine as they lay out their plans for the nation's economy. then, jill stein and vice president of candidate is human baraka speak from detroit. a libertarian party president for canada gary johnson ur stoppingis to
in grandview university. watch this interview on c-span and c-span.org. and several obama other world leaders are in china this weekend with a g20 summit, talking about global economic challenges and security. this is the 10th and the first time it's being hosted by china. will be thethis last time president obama attends before the end of his term in january. they will do a closing news conference tomorrow morning when the summit comes with official close. watch that live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. a look at what the media saw earlier in china, as the g20 repaired for the opening session.
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