https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/f-lead-trade-unionists-slam-donald-trump-actively-hurting-us-workers-after-first-state-union

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump was accused of siding with “corporations and their political allies to undermine the right of workers to bargain collectively” as he took to the podium for his first State of the Union address last night.

The president used his speech to brag about the “incredible progress and extraordinary success” of his first year in office, speaking at length about tax cuts, infrastructure investment, attacking environmental protections he derided as a “war on American energy” and reiterating promises to build a wall along the Mexican border and maintain the illegal concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay on Cuban soil.

But trade union federation AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said that Mr Trump’s first year in office had “actively hurt working people” with its assault on collective bargaining.

“He has taken money out of our pockets and made our workplaces less safe. He has divided our country, abandoned our values and given cover to racism and other forms of bigotry,” the trade unionist said.

Mr Trump claimed to have defeated the “core” of Obamacare by eliminating an “especially cruel tax” — the individual mandate requiring citizens to purchase health insurance.

Journalist Dylan Scott noted that ditching the mandate would raise premiums and see some citizens lose healthcare coverage, with the Congressional Budget Office estimating 13 million people will lose access to healthcare as a result.

Analyst Josh Bivens cast doubt on the president’s claim to have invested in infrastructure, saying his proposals aren’t “just empty, but outright corrupt,” comprising loan guarantees that will reward financial speculators and tax credits for private developers.

“It’s an open invitation for crony capitalism, corruption and rampant inequality of public investments across communities,” he said.

Over 500 women held an alternative State of Our Union event, featuring Democratic congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who boycotted the official event because of “all the racism and hatred coming out of this White House,” as well as Black Lives Matter co-founder Alizia Garcia and Ai-jen Poo of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. The meeting said “movement leaders” would discuss how to resist the Trump administration and responses to the “urgency of the current political and climate crises.”