Published: Wed, August 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

CIO chief leaves Trump's manufacturing council

CIO chief leaves Trump's manufacturing council

Richard Trumka, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), issued a statement saying he was resigning from the American Manufacturing Council.

The aftermath of the violence at a neo-Nazi and white nationalist rally represents the latest break between Trump, who sold himself as a businessman president, and leaders of corporate America.

"Representing a company with the largest and one of the most diverse groups of associates in the USA, and an even more diverse customer base of tens of millions of customers, we believe we should stay engaged to try to influence decisions in a positive way and help bring people together", Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon said.

He chose to leave the council after Trump again said Tuesday that blame fell on "both sides" for the violence that erupted. Trump has already torn into the members who resigned from the manufacturing council, calling them "grandstanders" who are easily replaced.

Trumka and Lee join the CEOs of Intel, Under Armour, and Merck, who resigned from the council previously.

The events in Charlottesville on Saturday killed one woman and injured 19 other individuals after a auto rammed into a crowd of people present at a "Unite the Right" rally populated by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and hate groups.

Trumka is the fifth executive to step down from one of the White House business advisory councils, following the recent resignation of Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, earlier Tuesday afternoon.

"America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy", he said in a statement.

Trump on Monday denounced white supremacists, including neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, as "criminals and thugs", bowing to days of mounting political pressure to condemn such groups explicitly.

One other member, Dell, said there was "no change" in how it is "engaging with the Trump administration" on policy issues that affect the company.

His announcement Monday - which sparked an immediate negative response from Trump on Twitter - was followed by that of Ken Plank, the CEO of Under Armour.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich was somewhat more direct.

"I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them", he said.

During the presidential campaign, Trumka called Trump "anti-American" and "a bigot".

"International Paper strongly condemns the violence that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend - there is no place for hatred, bigotry and racism in our society", a company spokesman said in a statement.

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