Mass exodus in protest, including two from AFL-CIO, leads Trump’s Manufacturing Council to disband

WASHINGTON—A mass exodus protesting Republican President Donald Trump’s statements on race, by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, former top federation staffer Thea Lee, and other members of Trump’s manufacturing advisory council led the council to disband itself on August 16. Trump tried to take the credit in a tweet, afterwards.

Not that the group helped workers, anyway, Trumka added.

Trumka, Lee, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier – who is African-American – and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt were among those who jumped over the side after Trump reiterated his stand blaming both sides, not the violent racists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites, for the three deaths and 19 injuries in Charlottesville, Va., on August 12. Trump even blamed the “alt-left.”

But neo-Nazis, alt-rightists, KKK racists and so-called militias incited the violence in Charlottesville, by attacking anti-racist protesters. One rightist, a 20-year-old man from Ohio, deliberately ran down people with his car, killing young paralegal Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. Trump condoned the rightists. Trumka and Lee joined the exodus when he did.

“We cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism. President Trump’s remarks today (August 15) repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America’s working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups,” Trumka declared on behalf of himself and Lee.

Trumka also called the council “never an effective means for delivering real policy that lifts working families — and his remarks today were the last straw.

“We joined this council with the intent to be a voice for working people and real hope it would result in positive economic policy, but it has become yet another broken promise on the president’s record. From hollow councils to bad policy and embracing bigotry, the actions of this administration have consistently failed working people,” Trumka concluded.

After the resignations of Trumka, Lee and the CEOs, Trump said in a tweet he killed the council: “Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!” he wrote. But members had decided beforehand, in a conference call, to disband, the council chair reported.

Source: PAI