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Sunday, June 26, 2011
Trumka speaks to Chamber board directors - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room
On Wednesday morning, Trumka told a closed meeting of the Chamber’s board that the country needs to rebuild its crumbling infrastructure. The push for more spending on roads, bridges and highways has become a common cause this year for the labor federation and the business group. Trumka and Tom Donohue, the Chamber’s president and CEO, have made several joint appearances together, including testifying together before Congress.
“It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: We’re pretty strange bedfellows. There have been many times we haven’t agreed, and I’m sure there will be many more. But in the end, I think we all want the same thing: productive and profitable businesses, prosperous families and thriving communities,” Trumka said, according to remarks the AFL-CIO sent to reporters.
The two groups are often at each other’s throats on several other issues, especially on labor laws and regulations. But Trumka said that America’s infrastructure has reached a crisis point and both business and labor need to work together to spark the rebuilding effort.
“Not in 50 years have we needed investments in our infrastructure like we do today. Frankly, the situation is approaching a crisis. Our congested and deteriorating transportation systems are hurting all of us — threatening business productivity and affecting the lives of anybody who travels,” Trumka said. “Let me just say that I think we need to put our combined muscle behind the wheel, behind a renewed effort to win the investments America needs.”
Trumka said workers and businesses in the United States used to work together but that relationship has suffered over the years. That’s why the labor leader has invited Donohue to speak to the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council to help improve relations.
“I’d like us to change that. That’s why I’m especially glad to be here today, and why, Tom, I look forward to your visit soon to the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council — because I believe business and working people often stand on common ground, and we should speak with one voice every chance we get,” Trumka said.