Michael Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, told a reporter “WE did not pay people to picket.” It’s a classic dodge to answer dishonestly, while telling the truth. If by “WE” he meant the NATIONAL AFL-CIO’s money, there is still lots of wiggle room for local unions to be using funds to astroturf at protests.
The CPAC protester who told a reporter he was being paid to be there also said he was from Local 100. The web site where the Occupy CPAC events were advertised was the Washington DC Metro Council of the AFL-CIO. Neither one is the big honkin’ national AFL-CIO that dear Michael could be thinking of when he says WE didn’t pay protesters.
Another reason not to believe Trumka? He claimed the unions can’t afford to pay protesters. Riiiight. The AFL-CIO spent more than $50 million to support Democrats in the 2010 elections! Of course they have money to pay protesters.
Anyway, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard people say they were paid by their union to show up at a political rally or protest. According to one source, they’ve been doing it for decades.
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