President Obama weakened his reelection hopes when touting a free trade agreement with Colombia this weekend, a major labor union boss suggested today.
"I can announce that the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement willl enter into force next month on May 15th," President Obama said during a joint press conference in Colombia.
AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka had a rapid response. "The more these things happen, where workers interests are subjugated to other interests, it has a cumulative effect, making it harder for us to energize our members and get them out in the numbers necessary in the fall," Trumka told The Washington Post today.
Trumka opposed the free trade agreement before it passed Congress, saying that "the situation in Colombia remains unacceptably violent for trade unionists, as well as for human rights defenders and other vulnerable populations."
The union boss also implicitly accused Obama of caring less about union workers than the wealthy, as he argued at the time that "if 51 CEOs had been murdered in Colombia last year, this deal would be on a very slow track indeed."
Trumka took a similarly class-charged tack today. "Each time this happens, it obscures the clearness with which the president represents the 99 percent," he told The Washington Post.