Trump promises open-door policy for labor leaders
Washington — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that labor leaders will have an open door at the White House as long as he is president.
The heads of the North American Building Trades Union, United Ironworkers and Laborers International Union of North America attended a speech Trump gave in Cincinnati on Wednesday to promote his administration’s plan to spend $200 billion to entice private companies to spend as much as $800 billion on the nation’s infrastructure.
“As long as I am president, America’s labor leaders will always find an open door at the White House,” Trump said during the speech.
Early in his presidency, Trump met at the White House with representatives of several labor and trade unions: United Brotherhood of Carpenters; North America’s Building and Construction Trades Department; Laborers International Union of North America; United Association; Steamfitters United Association; United Brotherhood of Carpenters; United Ironworkers; Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers; and the Sheet Metal arm of the SMART Union.
“This is a group I know well,” Trump said at that Jan. 23 meeting, noting that he had hired “thousands and thousands” of union members throughout his real estate career before he entered politics.
Trump later spoke at the 2017 North America’s Building Trades Union’s National Legislative Conference in April, promising the group again “that America’s labor leaders will always find an open door with Donald Trump.”
Although the United Auto Workers was not at that meeting, UAW President Dennis Williams participated in a business roundtable Trump held after an appearance at American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti in March.
When asked about Trump’s outreach to its members Wednesday, the UAW pointed to the statement Williams delivered as he was sitting next to Trump at the roundtable.
“There are certain things that we have worked with presidents on that are in the interest of our membership and working men and women in this country, and we’ll do the same with President Trump,” Williams said then. “But we’re not going to shy away or walk away from core principles we have. That we are in conflict with, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t work with the administration on things that I think are very important to the American public, and American workers and UAW members throughout the globe.”
The UAW declined to comment further on its interactions with Trump since he took office in January.