President Trumka Interview on Axios

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka told Jonathan Swan in an interview for “Axios on HBO” that he wished President Biden hadn’t canceled the Keystone XL pipeline his first day in office — because it will cost some good-paying union jobs.

Why this matters: Organized labor is crucial to the Biden coalition. But there are significant tensions among environmentalists, the president’s team addressing climate change and some parts of the labor movement.

  • The Laborers’ International Union of North America said the Keystone decision will cost 1,000 existing union jobs and 10,000 projected construction jobs.
  • “The Laborers’ International was right,” said Trumka.

Between the lines: Trumka said he thought Biden had learned a lesson from his Keystone announcement and that he hopes the president will pair any future decisions that would kill union jobs with simultaneous and specific announcements about how those jobs would be replaced.

  • “If you destroy 100 jobs in Greene County, Pennsylvania, where I grew up, and you create 100 jobs in California, it doesn’t do those 100 families much good,” Trumka said.
  • “If you’re looking at a pipeline and you’re saying we’re going to put it down, now what are you going to do to create the same good-paying jobs in that area?”
  • Trumka also appeared to be uneasy — pausing for a few seconds and ducking the question — when asked whether he was comfortable with Biden’s plan to ban fracking on federal lands.
  • White House spokesman Vedant Patel said, “President Biden has proposed transformative investments in infrastructure that will not only create millions of good union jobs but also help tackle the climate crisis.”

The bottom line: Trumka, who started his career as a coal miner, signaled he will have no patience for promises of retraining programs as consolation for union workers forced from their jobs.

  • “You know, when they laid off at the mines back in Pennsylvania, they told us they were going to train us to be computer programmers.”
  • “And I said, ‘Where are the computer programmer jobs at?’ ‘Uh, they’re in, uh, Oklahoma and they’re in Vegas and they’re here.’ And I said, ‘So, in other words, what we’re going to be is unemployed miners and unemployed computer programmers as well.'”

People “love where they live and they love the people in that area,” Trumka said. “And to them, that’s home. And that’s their culture.”

  • “I think what doesn’t get understood quite enough in the country, particularly in D.C. politics, is that that culture is very, very important to the people who live there.”

Editor’s note: Updates with White House comment.

Philly Shipyard Awarded Two Additional National Security Multi-Mission Vessels

Philly Shipyard Awarded Two Additional National Security Multi-Mission Vessels

Philly Shipyard, Inc., the sole operating subsidiary of Philly Shipyard ASA (OSE: PHLY) today announced the authorization by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) and subsequent order from TOTE Services, LLC (TOTE Services) for the construction of two additional National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMVs). These vessels will replace aging training vessels at Maine Maritime Academy and Texas A&M Maritime Academy. Construction of the two new vessels (NSMVs 3 and 4) is expected to commence in 2022 with planned deliveries in 2024.

See the press release

Press Release - NSMV Options 3 and 4 - 1.19.2021_F

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MTD Joins FWA, NAIJ in Urging Biden Administration to Maintain Statutory Labor Rights

MTD Joins FWA, NAIJ in Urging Biden Administration to Maintain Statutory Labor Rights

The  Federal Workers Alliance labor unions join the National Association of Immigration Judges, IFPTE Judicial Council 2, (NAIJ) in urging the Biden Administration to maintain the statutory labor rights of the NAIJ and reverse the Federal Labor Relations Authority’s (FLRA) November 2, 2020 unprecedented decision to strip the NAIJ of their unit certification by incorrectly classifying all of the 500 non-supervisory Immigration Judges as “management officials.”

2021-01-018 - FWA Letter Regarding NAIJ Decert and Biden Admin


Trump Must Go

Trump Must Go


The seditious attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 was incited by President Trump’s flagrant lies and assault upon our Constitution. Yesterday’s lukewarm concession speech doesn’t change or heal our nation and its people in any way.

Politicians and leaders from all walks of life must discard and disavow the President who once and for all must be held accountable for his insidious attacks on the electoral process that has now culminated in death and mayhem that defies description and threatens the peaceful transfer of power.

The collective Labor Movement, without fear or favor, must condemn and demand that the domestic terrorists that entered our nation’s hallowed halls of government in order to desecrate and destroy the legacy of democracy and who wickedly intimidated and attacked elected officials, law enforcement and staff of the US House, Senate and Executive Branch who were performing their constitutional duties that deadly day be charged, trialed and punished.

The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, acted swiftly on that heinous day, by immediately calling upon Vice President Pence to convene the Cabinet and remove President Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution. 

Our nation’s Capitol Building and the glorious history of our nation and its people matter. President Trump unleashed an unprecedented assault on the institutions of our democracy.

His actions cannot be tolerated!

I call upon Congress to remove the President of the United States from Office immediately.

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