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Chamber’s Donohue, AFL-CIO’s Trumka on better terms than Obama and Congress

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins

Here’s some interesting detail about the working relationship between AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue from a story in the Hill newspaper. You might think the two would be naturally hostile to each other, but that isn’t the case. Big Business and Big Labor have often gotten along in the past to lobby the federal government and Trumka and Donohue are continuing that tradition. It helps that they appear to get along really well:

“I’m working personally with Mr. Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO, on a number of issues that we can come to some accommodation,” Donohue said last week to reporters when asked about immigration reform. He said those talks “should speed the process.” Donohue and Trumka joined up in 2011 for a lobbying push on infrastructure spending and often grab lunch together at the Hay-Adams hotel and the Equinox restaurant in Washington.

Aides to both leaders recalled friendly banter between Donohue and Trumka in the green room before a joint appearance in 2011 on ABC’s “This Week.” Trumka even made a rare visit to the Chamber to speak with the group’s board of directors.

“They go to the neighborhood haunts. We are right around the corner from each other,” said Tom Collamore, the Chamber’s senior vice president of communications and strategy. “When they have their periodic lunches, I think they go through the whole laundry list of issues.”

Read the whole Hill story here.

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Sean Higgins

Senior Writer
The Washington Examiner