President Donald Trump and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka met at the White House hours before the union president blasted the health care plan backed by House Republicans and the Trump administration on Tuesday.
While Trumka said the duo spoke about wages, trade and infrastructure during the meeting, it doesn’t appear that they spoke about health care — an issue the union leaders slammed the President on hours after meeting with him.
“Among the issues we discussed were trade and infrastructure,” Trumka said. “I also talked to the president about policies that allow Wall Street and corporations to take advantage of workers while lowering wages and stripping workers of rights.”
The union president added that the two spoke about “workers who are facing stagnant and declining wages, jobs going overseas, and a loss of rights on the job.”
Many of Trumka’s union constituents backed Trump in 2016, and the union president has met with the President numerous times in the last few months. Trumka last met with Trump in January, days before Trump was inaugurated.
But their relationship is not entirely harmonious.
Hours after Tuesday’s meeting, Trumka issued a statement blasting the Republican health care plan that Trump backed.
“Millions of people will lose their health care coverage thanks to a plan introduced by Congressional Republicans,” Trumka said. “This haphazard “repeal and replace” effort would result in painful taxes on working families, cuts to Medicaid, and tax giveaways for the super-rich.”
Trumka called the plan a “massive transfer of wealth for working people to Wall Street” that contradicts the goal of the labor movement.
A White House spokesperson declined to comment on the meeting.
Reporters were told Tuesday morning that they would get access to the meeting, but the access was abruptly canceled shortly before reporters were meant to enter the Oval Office.
“It was just going to be a quick photo op and we decided we didn’t want to interrupt the cadence meeting,” White House spokeswoman Stephane Grisham said. “Not any big deal.”