AFL-CIO president resigns from Trump manufacturing council

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Tuesday resigned from President Trump’s manufacturing council.

Trumka in a statement said he and AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee, who was also a member of the council, “cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism.

Trumka and Lee resigned shortly after Trump once again blamed “both sides” for the violence that erupted at Saturday’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Heather Heyer, 32, died and more than a dozen other people were injured when a 21-year-old Nazi sympathizer from Ohio allegedly drove his car into a group of counter-protesters.

“President Trump’s remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis,” said Trumka and Lee in their statement. “We must resign on behalf of America’s working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups.”

The AFL-CIO is among the labor unions that have championed LGBT-specific causes. Pride at Work, which represents LGBT union members and their supporters, is one of the AFL-CIO’s constituency groups.

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Under Armour CEO Kevin Planck and Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul have also resigned from Trump’s council since Saturday. Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin is among the LGBT rights advocates who have sharply criticized the president’s response to the Charlottesville rally.

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