AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka Backs Occupy Wall Street

Watch the video on CSPAN.

Rough transcript:

okay. let's take questions from the audience. in the very back there's a question with his hand up, and if you can give us your name, and if you're with an organization and also keep your questions brief so we can get to as many people as possible.

certainly. lloyd chris, america's democratic action. my question actually has to do with the occupied wall street protests that are going on in new york city, and there's been some recent activity where some union locals are kind of becoming involved in that, and i was wondering if you have an opinion on some of the afl-cio national member organizations, kind of beginning to take a role in that because i sort of think that that street demonstration activity is sort of forcing dialogue on the issues that you're talking about. just wondered if you have any thoughts on that, thank you.

i happen to agree with you. i think being in the streets and calling attention to issues is sometime the only recourse you have because god only knows you can go to the hill, and you can talk to a lot of people and see nothing ever happen because it doesn't happen. in the streets, i think, a lot of people are there. our international unions are involved. our locals are involved, and you'll see a lot of working people. you'll see a lot of small business people. you'll see a lot of manufacturing people who actually produce in this country that are being stepped on the same way by multinationals in wall street. i think it's a tactic and a valid tactic to call attention to a problem. wall street is out of control. we have three imbalances in this country. the imbalance between imports and exports. the imbalance between employer power and working power, and the imbalance between the real economy and the financial economy. we need to bring back balance to the final economy and calling attention to it and peacefully protesting is very legitimate way of doing it. god only knows i've done it thousands of times myself, and i'll do it again.