AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka resigned from President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council on Tuesday in the wake of a press conference at which Trump again blamed “both sides” for the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va.
“I cannot sit on a council for a President that tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism; I resign, effective immediately,” Trumka said in a tweet Tuesday night. The AFL-CIO is America’s largest federation of labor unions.
In a statement, Trumka announced that he and former AFL-CIO deputy chief of staff Thea Lee would no longer serve on the council because of Trump’s latest comments about the Charlottesville rallies. Despite his condemnation of racism on Monday, Trump defended some of those attending the white supremacist rally and said Tuesday that anti-racist protesters, who he described as the “alt-left,” deserved some of the blame.
“President Trump’s remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America’s working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups,” Trumka said in the statement, calling Trump’s most recent remarks “the last straw.”
“From hollow councils to bad policy and embracing bigotry, the actions of this administration have consistently failed working people,” Trumka said.
The leaders are the latest to resign from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative, which has already seen the departure of four other members since Monday.