When President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress Tuesday, working people will be listening closely. But it is in deeds, not words, that we are judging this administration.
A win or loss for working families doesn't necessarily follow Washington D.C.'s traditional partisan lines, and that's why the AFL-CIO is putting a premium on political independence. We are measuring each action and policy based on our core values and the real-life impact they will have on the hard-working women and men we represent.
Union members come in all political stripes, and so do working families. Yet we are united by one grim reality: The current economic rules simply do not work for ordinary people. They were written by and for big corporations and have resulted in a level of economic inequality and insecurity that is unsustainable.
Trump was able to win the White House in large part by railing against this status quo – promising to rein in Wall Street and restore jobs and opportunity for American workers. But his first month in office has been a mixed bag at best and a disappointment at worst.
On the positive side, Trump withdrew the United States from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership. Working people put that unfair agreement on life support through our activism – and the White House was right to pull the plug. The president has also shown an interest in rewriting the North American Free Trade Agreement and making key and overdue investments in our crumbling infrastructure.