AFL-CIO Head to Democrats: Cut Social Security or Medicare, And We'll 'End Your Career'

Richard Trumka's blunt remarks were made Monday to a conference for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in May 2010.
Photo Credit: AFLCIO/Bernard Pollack/Flickr

A leading labor union is bluntly telling Democrats that if they try to reduce Social Security or Medicare, the union would go after them electorally. The Huffington Post’s Dave Jamieson reports that Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO, will deliver that message in a speech Monday to a conference for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

“No politician … I don’t care the political party … will get away with cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. Don’t try it,” Trumka said in Las Vegas. “This warning goes double for Democrats. We will never forget. We will never forgive. And we will never stop working to end your career.”

The AFL-CIO said that the threat to “end” the careers of Democrats who supported those  cuts also applies to the issue of chained CPI, which refers to a plan floated by Democrats that would reduce annual increases to Social Security beneficiaries by changing how the cost of living affects Social Security payments.

The remarks from Trumka and the AFL-CIO signal a willingness to fight on the issue as budget negotiations continue in Washington. Trumka says that instead of reducing Social Security, the U.S. should increase it.

 

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.