On Friday the AFL-CIO and other labor organizations came together to announce that they are holding their own convention prior to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. This is a push for all American Workers to understand that this election is not about partisan politics but about the workers. At the National Press Club, Edwin Hill, President of the IBEW stated:
Republicans and Democrats need to hear what the people are saying and break through the gridlock and the attacks on the rights of workers at all levels of government.
Our government has been at a stand still when it comes to jobs. They all have talked about creating jobs. The President even put forward a very large program called, the American Jobs Act, which has yet to be voted on in the US House. This is not the only bill that our Congress has yet to act on. There is the Call Center Bill, and the Bring Jobs Home Act, both have yet to be acted on.
“(This is) a national campaign to refocus America’s national priorities on the needs of working men and women, demanding an economy that works for all, not just those at the top.” Richard Trumka President of the AFL-CIO at the National Press Club.
The AFL-CIO has also started a new campaign called the “Second Bill of Rights”. This “bill of rights” is inspired by Franklin D Roosevelt’s 1944 economic bill of rights. All participants in the Workers Stand For America rally will be encouraged to sign the “Second Bill of Rights”. All workers should sign this “Second Bill of Rights”. Below is the text of the Second Bill of Rights
America’s Second Bill of Rights
We the People want to strengthen our nation, as a beacon of equality, economic opportunity and freedom for all. We hold these rights to be essential to our vision of America and believe that the principles contained therein should guide our government, business leaders, organizations and individuals in our common goal of a just and fair society.
The Right to Full Employment and a Living Wage:
All Americans willing and able to work have the right to safe, gainful employment at a fair and livable wage. We call on the public and private sectors to invest in America’s infrastructure and promote industrial development, maintaining job creation as a top policy priority.
The Right to Full Participation in the Electoral Process:
Recent initiatives to disenfranchise citizens seek to reduce the rolls of eligible voters and empower money instead of people. We believe these actions constitute an assault on our nation’s democracy and history of heroic struggle against voting restrictions based upon property ownership, religion, race and gender and call for reinforcing our fundamental right to vote.
The Right to a Voice at Work:
All workers have the right of freedom of association in the workplace, including the right to collectively bargain with their employer to improve wages, benefits and working conditions.
The Right to a Quality Education:
Education is a fundamental bedrock of our democracy, vital to America’s competitive position in the world and the principal means by which citizens empower themselves to participate in our nation’s economic and political systems. Quality, affordable education should be universally available from pre-kindergarten to college level, including an expanded use of apprenticeships and specialty skills training to prepare Americans for the workplace.
The Right to a Secure, Healthy Future:
Americans have the right to a baseline level of health care, unemployment insurance and retirement security, all of which have been badly eroded by the disruption of the social compact that served the nation well for decades. We call on government and private industry together to confront the issues of declining access to health care especially for children, weakening of unemployment coverage, and inadequate pension plans that undermine the ability of working men and women to retire in dignity, even as Social Security and Medicare are under strain and threatened with cutbacks.
All workers Union and Non-Union must understand that we are all in this together. We need to work together to create new jobs, and to elect legislators who understand what we truly need.
“This is not a union bill of rights. And our campaign and rally on Aug. 11 is not just for union members. As the largest body of organized working people in America, the labor movement is leading the way, but we invite all who share our goals and values to sign on in support of America’s Second Bill of Rights.” Richard Trumka President of the AFL-CIO at the National Press Club
America needs our help. If Congress will not take action then we must take matters into our own hands.