AFL-CIO Chief Richard Trumka ‘Assessing’ Role in Trump Council

One of the top labor leaders in the country said he would be “assessing” his place on Donald Trump’s manufacturing council after the president’s widely-criticized response to a violent white supremacist rally this past week. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka didn’t go so far as fellow council member, Merck CEO Keith Frazier, in leaving the council entirely. But in a statement to The Daily Beast he laid his frustrations bare. “The AFL-CIO has unequivocally denounced the actions of bigoted domestic terrorists in Charlottesville and called on the President to do the same,” said Trumka. “We are aware of the decisions by other members of the President’s Manufacturing Council, which has yet to hold any real meeting, and are assessing our role. While the AFL-CIO will remain a powerful voice for the freedoms of working people, there are real questions into the effectiveness of this council to deliver real policy that lifts working families.” The Daily Beast contacted all other council members. Numerous company spokespeople said their bosses condemned the violence and bigotry of what took place, including the death of one counter-protestor. But all said they would remain on the council to better represent their industry’s interests.

—Sam Stein