Trumka’s “Super PAC” Lifts Labor’s Voice

Posted on September 2, 2011 by

American unions may be declining, but Rich Trumka’s star is rising. 

His “everyman” speaking style and strong progressive advocacy attract considerable media attention and coverage as top-tier reporters flock to AFL-CIO press events

Trumka is particularly adroit at giving reporters just what they want: 

Playing the D.C. “tease” by criticizing administration policy and prodding Barack Obama without ever quite abandoning the President (the two plan to celebrate Labor Day together in Detroit). 

The creation of a Labor “Super PAC (Political Action Committee)” also keeps the political class intrigued.  Allowing unlimited fundraising and minimum accountability, this election-year campaign fund was enabled by the Supreme Court’s “Citizen United” decision which unleashes corporate political spending. 

This independent advocacy PAC – coupled with the so-called “America Wants to Work” initiative – gives unions an exalted status in the upcoming political cycle. 

The fact is that Rich Trumka is the first-ever AFL-CIO prez with any media swagger.  His predecessor John Sweeney was earnest but dreadfully dull and before that was the astonishingly aloof Lane Kirkland. 

Obviously, Trumka alone cannot revitalize the movement.  But he’s pretty good at communicating our vision. 

Which could give us a big edge in the upcoming election and beyond.

Comments (3)


  1. Vivian says:

    I like what Rick Bloomingdale and the Penn AFLCIO and J for J did with the students hired at Hershey under the J-1 cultural exchange visa.
    They showed solidarity and support for the students, while connecting the unjust way foreign workers are recruited and exploited while starving out local workers.

  2. Gavin says:

    Good to see Trumka more around the President. Geting labor a more positive face in the press isn’t so bad. Would like to see something on recent Dana decision overturn my the NRLB

  3. Bill says:

    Does Trumka have the skill and interest to help heal the rift with Change to Win?

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