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Congress Flooded with Anti-TPP Calls In National Day Of Action

6 Million Member Sanders Campaign Legacy Group Our Revolution Joins Almost 90 Other Organizations in National Day of Action 

As President Obama Urges Corporate Chiefs at Export Council to Do More to Pass Beleaguered TPP, More than 13 Million People to Be Engaged to Call on Congress to Oppose Lame Duck TPP Push

Washington, DC – Approximately 90 organizations are participating in a National Call-In Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) today, September 14th. These organizations, listed below, will remind their combined millions of supporters why TPP is a bad deal for America and will encourage supporters to tell their congressional representatives to oppose the TPP in a post-election lame duck session of Congress.

As part of the national day of action, more than 13 million people will be engaged through a range of online and offline channels, with calls expected in every congressional district in the country. The efforts will both encourage Americans to call their local Member of Congress, while also directing extra attention at the 28 House Democratic Members who vote to “fast track” authority for the TPP.

“The sheer volume of people participating in these grassroots efforts shows how toxic TPP is across the country. This is not just about stopping a bad trade deal like the TPP – it’s about completely rewriting the rules on trade policy to make sure they benefit working people,” stated Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President.

 Among the key activities as part of this national day of action include:

  • On social media platforms, an anti-TPP ThunderClap Action will reach more than 1.6 million people via Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr on Wednesday morning 9/14
  • Our Revolution, the post-primary movement of Sen. Bernie Sanders, has sent out an email alert for the call-in day to their list of about 6 million individuals on Monday. The organization, which plans to re-send the email on Wednesday, is asking recipients to sign a congressional petition against TPP and are setting as a public goal the aim to “place at least 50,000 calls to members of Congress and their offices on Wednesday. 
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA) activists are engaged in multiple actions to reinforce opposition to the TPP. CWA members nationwide are calling their Members of Congress, pressing them to oppose the TPP in a lame duck push. Activists are making sure that this message: “Don’t Let Politicians Betray American Workers” especially is heard by candidates in critical battleground Senate contests, like Indiana’s Republican Senate nominee and current Rep. Todd Young and other races. CWA activists also are joining allies in on-the-ground actions. In South Florida, for example, protests at the district offices of pro-fast track voters Senator Marco Rubio and Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Debbie Wasserman Schultz will include CWA and other South Florida unions, Citizens Trade Campaign and community activists, members of the Labor Council of Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), and NOVA Southeastern Law Professor Tim Canova. Along with AFSCME, CWA is engaged in a phone program in targeted districts, encouraging constituents to call their Members of Congress and urge them to reject the TPP once and for all.
  • The AFL-CIO is engaging its 12.5 million members through its State Federations and Central Labor Councils. It is rallying more than 100,000 action takers around the call-in day, including more than 15,000 people who signed a petition opposing a lame duck vote in the last two days. The federation will also engage all its social media properties throughout the day.
  • The Sierra Club, the nation’s largest environmental group with 2.4 million members and supporters, is making the environmental case against the TPP in Congress. Hundreds of thousands of supporters will be asked to participate in tomorrow’s call in day, building on the more than 100,000 calls and messages Sierra Club members and supporters have already sent to Congress this year.

Quotes from Participating Organizations:

“We are concerned that passage of the TPP will greatly compromise our public health and food safety. For example, we know that just over 1 percent of imported fish and seafood shipments is properly inspected and has resulted in seafood being sold in U.S. supermarkets with unsafe chemicals and additives, some of which are illegal in our country. That is why the Center for Food Safety sent out alerts to our 800,00 members urging them to participate in today’s call-in action and tell their member of Congress to vote no on the TPP.” -Debbie Barker, international director, Center for Food Safety 

“It’s unfortunate that we are not able to focus exclusively at this time on defeating Donald Trump and electing a Democratic Senate and House in less than two months. Instead, President Obama is forcing the entire progressive community to use our resources in this critical election season to try and defeat the corporate drafted, jobs destroying TPP. His insistence on having a lame duck Congressional vote on the TPP only means fewer resources and members engaged in winning the elections. He is the one responsible for choosing the timing of this distracting fight.” – Shane Larson, legislative director, Communications Workers of America (CWA)

“The Obama administration is hoping to jam this corporate giveaway through Congress during the lame duck session when elected officials are less accountable to voters. Today, throughout the fall, and beyond, we’ll make it crystal clear to Congress that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is unacceptable – and that any politician who supports it will be held accountable. We will continue to build on the activism of over 4.2 million CREDO members who have already made over 50,000 calls to Congress to speak out against the TPP.” –Murshed Zaheed, political director, CREDO

“Demand Progress joined this national call-in day of action because the TPP would be a disastrous corporate giveaway that would undermine Internet freedom, make it easier for corporations to ship jobs overseas, and give big banks unprecedented new rights to challenge U.S. laws in front of an unaccountable tribunal of three corporate lawyers. The TPP was negotiated in secret, so it’s even more outrageous that the Obama administration is attempting to shut the public out again by pushing it through Congress after Election Day when lawmakers are least accountable to the American people.” –Kate Kizer, campaigner, Demand Progress

“While the president is cloistered with corporate chieftains planning how to use a lame duck session to try to pass a TPP only they love, Congress’ phones are ringing off the hook with anti-TPP calls as millions of members of unions and consumer, environmental, on-line activism, and other groups unite for an day of action aimed at ensuring Representatives stand with their constituents not the corporate lobby.”  -Lori Wallach, director, Public Citizen

“The TPP undermines our democracy. It was not written by or for people, but by and for powerful corporate interests. MoveOn members are proud to join with a broad coalition of environmental, consumer, labor, and grassroots progressive groups to call members of Congress urging them to reject the TPP. MoveOn members have been organizing against the TPP since 2012 and will continue to fight through the lame duck session and beyond.” –Emma Einhorn, Washington coordinator, MoveOn.org

NFL Gameday: Brought to You by America’s Unions

Written by Kenneth Quinnell on the AFL-CIO Blog

If you’re like me and millions of other Americans, the beginning of the National Football League season is one of the more fun times of the year. Week 1 means that all of our teams are still in contention (at least for one more day). In contention all season, though, are the working people who bring you Game Day. Nearly every aspect of the NFL experience, in the stadium or at home, is brought to you by union members.

For starters, the players themselves are members of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). The referees are members of the NFL Referees Association. The footballs themselves are made by members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

As the video above shows, Electrical Workers (IBEW) members build and maintain stadiums. Stadiums are big complex structures that require the expertise of many different professionals. Unions that participate in the construction and maintenance of NFL stadiums include: Boilermaker (IBB), Bricklayers (BAC), Carpenters (UBC), Elevator Constructors (IUEC), Ironworkers, Laborers (LIUNA), Operating Engineers (IUOE), Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA), International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) and United Steelworkers (USW).

Stadiums are packed with people, from players, coaches and referees to fans, cheerleaders and workers. Getting them to and from the stadium safely and on time is the work of Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), Air Traffic Controllers (NATCA), Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), Machinists (IAM), Amalgamated Transit Workers (ATU), Transport Workers (TWU) and Teamsters.

Inside the stadium, it’s important to keep fans and workers safe and to keep the facilities clean. Those jobs are done by Fire Fighters (IAFF), first responders (AFSCME), police officers (IUPA) and custodial workers and security (SEIU).

During the game, announcing, commentary, advertising, broadcasting and music (and related services) are provided by unions, including: American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM), Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), IBEW, NABET-CWA, The News Guild-CWA and SAG-AFTRA.

If you are watching the game in the stadium, concessions are run by UNITE HERE. If you are watching the game at home, you can complete your union football experience by making sure that your gametime snacks and drinks are union-made with this handy guide from Labor 411.

So many people go into making an NFL game happen that it’s possible even our research on everything might miss something, so if there are any unions missing from this post, e-mail me at kquinnell@aflcio.org and we’ll fix that as quick as possible.

 

This post was originally published on the AFL-CIO Now blog and republished with permission. 

New Polling Data Shows Trump Is Not As Favored By Union Members As He Says He Is

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

Do Union members really support Donald Trump as much as Trump says they do? 

Donald Trump said and continues to reiterate, “I have tremendous support within unions…every poll shows it.

Everyone knows that Trump likes to stretch the truth a little and nobody loves Trump more than Trump, but the truth is that union members really don’t like the idea of a Trump presidency.

Today, the AFL-CIO released new internal polling data that shows “Trump is at 36 percent among union members in the five battleground states of FL, NV, OH, PA and WI.”  

Just as many other Americans are turning away from Trump’s extreme rhetoric and xenophobic statements, among union members Trump has lost over five points in these key states over the last two and a half months.   

“We are educating our members and demonstrating the dangers Trump’s reality show poses to our reality. It’s making a difference. And we’re not letting up,” wrote the AFL-CIO. “’Every poll shows it.’ He can keep saying it, but like most things with Trump, the claim is just hollow words – and it won’t come true on Election Day.”

Trump is really not as pro-union as he claims.

Culinary Union 226Union members across the country are watching the ongoing labor dispute between Trump’s Las Vegas Hotel and the Culinary Workers local 226 (Unite Here) as real guide to how Trump works, or doesn’t work, with unions.

In April, after Trump Hotel Las Vegas disputed the union election, the Regional Director for the office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) covering Las Vegas overruled the Trump Hotel Las Vegas and certified the Culinary and Bartenders Union as the legal collective bargaining representatives to the more than 500 workers at the hotel.

Since then Trump Hotel Las Vegas has tried to “negate their employees’ right to unionize and instead of recognizing the results of the federal government union election, hotel management has undertaken a hostile anti-union campaign” wrote the Culinary Workers Union in recent press release. “Employees of the Trump Hotel Las Vegas are calling on their boss, the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, and co-owner Phillip Ruffin to negotiate a fair union contract.”

The Culinary Workers Union is also working to “educate and inform the travel industry about the serious ongoing and escalating labor dispute” at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas.

In July, the Culinary Workers Union and AFSCME teamed up to hold a rally highlighting Trump’s union busting tactics.  Maria Mendoza was one of the thousands who showed up to protest the Trump’s failure to negotiate.

“I work hard everyday, but with the low wages I’m paid, I really struggle to provide for my daughters,” said Maria Mendoza, a guest room attendant at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas. “Mr. Trump says that he wants to ‘Make America Great Again,’ but I work for him and want him to negotiate a union contract so my coworkers and I can have fair wages, job security, and good health benefits.

Culinary Trump Protest

The ongoing battle between union members and Trump’s Las Vegas hotel is not the only thing that union member have taken offense to. Earlier in the campaign Trump professed his love for “Right to Work.”  Trump told the crowd that Right to Work is “better for the people” and “gives great flexibility to the companies.”

Union members have been fighting for decades against these so-called Right to Work laws. Right to Work (for less) does nothing but lower wages, reduces a workers chance to have any type of retirement benefit, weakens collective bargaining, and is just a tool to bust unions.

So-called Right to Work laws hurt all workers.

“The average worker in states with Right to Work laws makes $5,971 (12.2 percent) less annually than workers in states without right to when all other factors are removed than workers in other states,” stated the AFL-CIO.

Trump’s continued support of anti-worker policies like Right to Work and his company’s refusal to negotiate with workers will only drive down his support among union workers further.

Donald Trump Right to Work

Nevada Hispanic Working People Ramp up Voter Mobilization Ahead of Labor Day

Image of Latino American (Image by LBJ Foundation FLIKR)

Image of Latino American (Image by LBJ Foundation FLIKR)

Hispanic workers in this key state ready to go out in record numbers to defeat Donald Trump and to support candidates who stand for Nevada’s working families 

[Las Vegas, Nev.] –   Daniel Aranda, a Mexican-American IBEW Local 357 electrician and union organizer, is determined to do whatever is needed to help Hispanics in Nevada live a better life. He is ready to rally against Donald Trump and his vitriolic rhetoric attacking Hispanic working families. 

Today, Aranda joined other Hispanic union members at the Culinary Union Hall in Las Vegas, Nev., for a roundtable to discuss their plan to stop Donald Trump and to support candidates in key Nevada races like Catherine Cortez Masto for Senate and Ruben Kihuen in CD-4 who have a clear record of standing for policies that will empower this state’s Hispanic working families.

“The Hispanic vote is extremely important, especially here in Nevada”, said Aranda, a Las Vegas resident who immigrated from Chihuahua, Mexico when he was a teenager. “We are ready to inform Hispanic working people across the state of the candidates who will support them. We will urge them to become citizens, to register to vote and to go out and vote.” 

The AFL-CIO’s Labor 2016 election effort aims to reach over 100,000 Hispanic voters who are part of union households in Nevada. At the roundtable today, the Labor 2016 program debuted new Spanish-language materials focused on voter registration and the presidential, Senate, and congressional races as part of the labor movement’s strategy to turnout Hispanic voters in Nevada.

Two weeks ago, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka spoke at the Nevada AFL-CIO convention where he called all working people to be part of this electoral effort:

“Nevada is one of our priority states. If we work together, if we stand united, if we all have skin in the game, we will elect candidates from the state house to the White House who are ready to change the rules of our economy,” Trumka said. “Donald Trump is profoundly unfit to be president.  If you want to know where Donald Trump really stands, ask the brave men and women at Trump Hotel in Las Vegas.  First, Trump hired a union-busting firm to discourage workers from organizing.  The workers won anyway.”

Labor unions in Nevada have been running door-to-door programs across the state since May and will ramp up efforts to reach voters in Hispanic communities after the Labor Day weekend. Speakers on the panel represented unions with some of the highest rates of Hispanic workers in Nevada. For example, the Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest union and largest Hispanic and immigrant organization with 56% of its over 57,000 members identifying as Hispanic/Latino. 

During this roundtable Hispanic members of Nevada’s unions firmly expressed their rejection of Donald Trump’s recent immigration speech. They agreed that they will stand together against the candidate’s attacks by reaching out to their friends, families and neighbors. 

 “We will phone bank. We will knock on as many doors as we can,” said Aranda. “Only through our vote can we tell Donald Trump that he is wrong and that Hispanic working people matter.”

AFL-CIO Challenges Kelly Ayotte And Other Senate Candidates Tied to Trump

 

trump_kelly_ayotteNew Petitions to Target Senators Who Have Not Renounced Trump

 

(Washington, DC) – Today the AFL-CIO launched a round of petitions targeting Senate candidates who have endorsed Donald Trump, or have not denounced his incendiary remarks on issues from working families to social justice. The petitions will reach voters in states with contested Senate races including Florida, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

 

“These petitions are all about education and accountability,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “It is important that our members know which senators have aligned themselves with Trump’s radical agenda and demand better.”

 

The petitions call on each Senator to put country before party and renounce Donald Trump as dangerous and unfit to be president.

 

Click here to sign the petition against Kelly Ayotte

AFL-CIO Commits to Mobilizing Millions of Women in 2016

 Statement by AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler on the AFL-CIO Executive Council’s Working Women Economic Agenda:

This image © 2009 Jay Mallin.  All rights reserved.

This image © 2009 Jay Mallin. All rights reserved.

Women make up more than half of the U.S. electorate, and we vote at higher rates than men. From now until November, the AFL-CIO will be talking to women voters about the issues that impact them the most. We will have conversations with our friends and family on the doors, on the phone, at work and in our communities to ensure that the women’s agenda remains at the forefront.

Today the AFL-CIO Executive Council reinforced its commitment to advancing the rights of all working women and men – union or non-union – with the adoption of the Economic Agenda for Working Women and Our Families. The labor movement will continue to fight for equal pay, family friendly policies, high-quality education and the right to negotiate better working conditions.

It is time that our nation’s policies reflect our values and lift up working women, and all working people. Women are change-makers and this year we are going to elect pro-worker, pro-woman and pro-family candidates. Hillary Clinton’s historic nomination for president shattered the glass ceiling, and we stand behind her. She shares our values and has put forth a plan that will help working women achieve equal rights along with the respect and dignity we deserve.

Clinton Is The “Slam Dunk” Choice For President And AFL-CIO To Kick Off “Battleground Blitz”

Transportation Trades Department praises Clinton as the clear choice this election.

AFL-CIO kicks off Labor 2016 campaign in battleground states.

After a stirring oration from President Barack Obama on Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) released the following statement in support of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States:

“Last night, President Obama reminded us that Secretary Clinton is as ready as any candidate in history to be our commander in chief. Her experience, temperament and lifelong commitment to fighting for a country that is fair and treats everyone equally, combine to make the choice in this election a no-brainer.

“Secretary Clinton has a plan to put millions of people to work modernizing the economy, including our transportation system and infrastructure. Donald Trump’s GOP platform calls for the elimination of mass transit, reckless cuts to Amtrak and an austerity agenda that dooms any chance of reversing decades of neglect that have left our aging transportation system in a severe state of decay and disrepair.

“Secretary Clinton has put forward strong ideas for expanding our middle class by empowering millions to form and join unions, and bargain for fair wages and retirement security. Donald Trump has endorsed proposals that would gut collective bargaining and leave millions of working people to fend for themselves in an economy that features a widening wage gap and millions living in poverty.

“And Secretary Clinton has rejected the politics of fear and division designed to vilify and undermine the men and women who work in public service – from our cities and states to our federal government institutions. Donald Trump has endorsed a platform that attacks those people and the critical services they provide.

“The working people on the frontlines of our transportation system have grown weary of politicians who talk a good game but fail to offer real solutions. They are looking for a champion who will reach across the aisle and finally end this era of inaction and disinvestment that has left our transportation system reeling. Secretary Clinton is that champion, without question – and that’s a slam dunk.”

This morning, after Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination from President of the United States, Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, released the following statement:

“The AFL-CIO and 12.5 million working people across the nation congratulate Hillary Clinton on her historic nomination for president by the Democratic Party. We applaud the hard fought campaign that led to this moment. This is a momentous occasion for working women everywhere who are still fighting to level the playing field in their workplace and achieve equal pay for equal work. Hillary Clinton’s nomination signals our nation’s commitment to gender equality and we in the labor movement will lift up that commitment on a daily basis.

This is a moment for women, and all Americans, to celebrate. When my grandmother immigrated to America, she didn’t speak English. As a young woman, my mother couldn’t afford a college education. So, when I witnessed Hillary Clinton accept the nomination, I knew things were incredibly changed for the better. And when we elect Secretary Clinton in November, they will be changed forever.”

Concurrently with their message of support for Clinton’s nomination the AFL-CIO announced they would be kicking off a “battleground blitz” in support of Clinton and to defeat Donald Trump.

“Working people are unified behind Hillary Clinton and are ready to defeat Donald Trump in November. The Democratic Convention ended with an enthusiastic commitment to stand together to rewrite the economic rules so that all Americans can get ahead and stay ahead,” wrote the AFL-CIO.

The morning after the Convention ends, working people in every state are ready to take off and work to elect Hillary Clinton and other pro-worker candidates. The labor movement is launching an immediate series of events and actions, with 35 separate activities in 13 different cities planned between today and Sunday in the states of Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“Working families are an unstoppable force when we stick together,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “We spoke loud and strong and have helped put the country on a path to shared prosperity. We have driven the debate that put the brakes on the TPP and have established the standard for rewriting the economic rules that will shape this election.”

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre will be in South Florida this weekend for campaign kickoff events. Across the country, union members will be phone banking, canvassing and rallying to elect Hillary Clinton.

Labor Leaders Speak At The Democratic National Convention (VIDEO)

The Democratic National Convention is in full swing and there is so much going on it is easy to miss something.

On Day 1 of the DNC labor leaders from a variety of national unions spoke in support of Hillary Clinton and in opposition to the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency.

Labor unions have stood in strong opposition to Donald Trump since he first announced his campaign when he attacked immigrants and threatened to tear apart families by deporting 11 million aspiring Americans.

Hillary has garnered strong support from labor unions throughout out the primary.  She gained more labor support when she came out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and announced her bold infrastructure investment plan.

Nearly all of the labor leaders who spoke highlighted that the choice this election could not be clearer. Do we want a champion for working families or a shameless billionaire who has always been there to make a quick buck off the suffering of working people?

Here are just a few quotes from the video below as transcribed by C-Span:

AFSME President Lee Saunders
“HILLARY CLINTON NEVER QUITS EITHER. SHE UNDERSTANDS THAT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS STRENGTHEN ALL OF US. WE NEED A PRESIDENT WHO GETS THAT AND UNDERSTAND THAT BUSTING UNIONS AND CUTTING SERVICES MEANS FAMILIES SUFFER.”

“I WAS IN LAS VEGAS AT THE TRUMP HOTEL LAST WEEK AND THEY VOTED TO FORM A UNION. BUT DONALD TRUMP WILL NOT MEET WITH THEM.”

“I KNOW WHAT SIDE I AM ON. I AM WITH HER. ELECT HILLARY CLINTON THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
“WORKING PEOPLE ARE STRONG AND DONALD TRUMP IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. LISTEN, HE THINKS HE IS A TOUGH GUY. DONALD, I WORKED IN THE MINES WITH TOUGH GUYS. I KNOW TOUGH GUYS. DONALD, YOU ARE NO TOUGH GUY. YOU ARE A PHONY. DONALD TRUMP HAS REPEATEDLY OUTSOURCED JOBS TO LINE HIS OWN POCKETS. HE ROOTED FOR THE HOUSING COLLAPSE. HE SAID WAGES ARE TOO HIGH — NOT JUST ONCE, BUT REPEATEDLY. “

“WE ARE BUILDING A MOVEMENT FOR A BETTER LIFE, NO MATTER THE COLOR OF OUR SKIN, WHERE WE WERE BORN, FOR WE LOVE, OR HOW WE WORSHIP. HILLARY CLINTON ANSWERED OUR CALL. SHE IS FIGHTING TO REWRITE THE ECONOMIC RULES FOR ALL OF US. SHE HAS A BOLD PLAN TO INVEST IN MANUFACTURING, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND JOBS. SHE OPPOSES THE JOB KILLING TRANSPACIFIC PARTNERSHIP.”

NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia
“HILLARY CLINTON BELIEVES IN KEEPING FAMILIES TOGETHER. SHE BELIEVES IN OUR DREAMERS. SHE BELIEVES THAT EDUCATORS SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON EDUCATION, NOT DEPORTATION.”

“DONALD TRUMP SEES IMMIGRANTS AS CRIMINALS, DRUG DEALERS ,RAPISTS? HE SAYS HE WOULD ROUND UP FAMILIES AND UP THEM AND BUILD A WALL — DEPART THEM AND BUILD THE WALL.”

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry
“WE NEED A PRESIDENT WHO WANTS TO RAISE WAGES IN THIS COUNTRY, NOT ONE THAT SAYS WAGES ARE TOO HIGH AND THERE SHOULD NOT BE A FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE. THAT IS WHY WE ARE WORKING TO ELECT HILLARY CLINTON AND CHAMPIONS UP AND DOWN THE BALLOT WHO WILL RAISE WAGES AND HEALTH WORKERS JOINED TOGETHER IN UNIONS.”

“WE MUST ELECT HILLARY CLINTON AND THE CHAMPIONS LIKE HER WERE GOING TO PUT FAMILIES FIRST AND STOP THE CANDIDATE OF HATRED AND GREED.”

North American Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey
“TRADE UNION MEMBERS HAVE HELPED OF THIS GREAT NATION. THE SUPER DOME, THE GOLDING GATE BRIDGE, THE FREEDOM TOWERS, THE ARENA WE ARE IN TONIGHT. YOU NAME IT, WE BUILD IT. WE ARE PROUD OF OUR WORK. BUT WITH COLLAPSED BRIDGES, COMING ROADS AND STRESS ENERGY SYSTEMS, WE NOTICED HAVE TIME TO REBUILD OUR NATION’S INFRASTRUCTURE. BUILDING TRADE NUMBERS ARE READY TO DO THEIR PART.”

“HILLARY CLINTON HAS THE BOLDEST INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN WE HAVE SEEN IN GENERATIONS. SHE WILL HELP US REPAIR ROADS AND BRIDGES AND MAKE BROADBAND UNIVERSAL. BUILD NEW AIRPORTS AND MODERNIZE THE ENERGY GRID. SHE WILL DO IT ALL WHILE CREATING GOOD, FAIR PAINT JOBS WITH STANDARDS THAT SUPPORT REAL PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMS WHICH THE BUILDING TRADES PIONEER.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten
“DONALD MADE MILLIONS WHILE HE RIPPED OFF WORKERS AND SMALL BUSINESSES WITH HIS UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES. REMEMBER, HE ENDED UP BANKRUPTING NOT ONE, NOT TWO, NOT THREE, BUT FOR OF HIS COMPANIES — BUT FOUR OF HIS COMPANIES. AND HIS ECONOMIC IDEAS WILL MAKE MILLIONAIRES LIKE HIM RICHER AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS.”

“[Donald Trump] IS COMPLETELY UNQUALIFIED TO BE IN THE OVAL OFFICE.  
THANKFULLY, WE HAVE A DIFFERENT CHOICE AND IT IS A GREAT ONE. HILLARY CLINTON. SHE HAS WORKED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR WORKING FAMILIES. THAT’S US OF PUBLIC EDUCATION FROM PRE-K TO COLLEGE. A PLAN FOR UNIVERSAL EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.”

Labor Reacts to Selection of Tim Kaine

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bnwklr/16038546189

Richard Trumka photo by Ben Wikler via Flickr Creative Commons

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

“The AFL-CIO supports Hillary Clinton’s selection of Tim Kaine as her running mate. Tim Kaine is the son of an ironworker and a teacher, and is grounded in the values of working people.

“He has a strong record on workers’ issues, ranging from raising the minimum wage to securing equal pay for equal work.  He has always been a strong leader and will be an asset to the ticket. He is moral and honest and true to the values he espouses. Clinton – Kaine is a winner for America.”


Mary Kay Henry by The Leadership Conference via Flickr Creative Commons

Mary Kay Henry photo by The Leadership Conference via Flickr Creative Commons

SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry:

“For working families, the 2016 election is the most consequential of our lifetimes. The stakes couldn’t be higher – nor the contrast starker – on all of the issues our families need to get ahead. In choosing Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton has tapped as her running mate the right partner to move our country forward and build a better future for all families by rebalancing our economy and democracy to work for everyone, not just greedy corporations and wealthy special interests.

“Tim Kaine is an experienced leader with a proven track record on issues from raising wages to immigration reform and racial justice. He has voted and fought for higher wages, and ensured home care workers had the ability to stand together in a union. His Senate record shows that working families have been his priority as he has worked to expand child care, protect voting rights, address mass incarceration, preserve the Affordable Care Act, and promote opportunities for women and immigrants. He was the first person ever to deliver a speech on the Senate floor entirely in Spanish, and it was to demand action on commonsense immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

“Above all, we know what is in Tim Kaine’s heart. He is someone who is the son of an ironworker and a teacher, who served as a Catholic missionary, whose first case out of law school was representing at no cost a Black woman who had been the victim of housing discrimination. Tim Kaine’s convictions are rooted in justice for all.

“Together, Clinton and Kaine will stand with working families who have come together in the broadest modern grassroots movement to raise wages and protect opportunities for people to join together in 21st-century unions; increase access to affordable care for our children and aging parents; and advance racial, immigrant and environmental justice for all communities across our country.  SEIU members will continue to come out in record numbers across the country to elect Clinton and Kaine as the next president and vice president of the United States.”


Randi Weingarten

Randi Weingarten

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten:

“The choice of Tim Kaine, the son of a welder who has lived middle-class values and has a long track record of progressive accomplishments, reiterates Hillary Clinton’s commitment to building a government that will level the playing field for working families. While the GOP ticket masks irrational ideas behind a morally bankrupt message of fear, bigotry and hatred, a Clinton-Kaine ticket will be focused on helping people see higher wages, lower student debt, good jobs, successful public schools, and safety and security here and abroad.

“The contrasts between a Clinton-Kaine ticket and a Trump-Pence ticket couldn’t be more stark. Donald Trump, the narcissist, believes that he alone can fix our nation’s problems and peddles fear in a campaign devoid of facts, plans or humanity. Clinton and Kaine choose to confront fear and solve problems, and they will use their vast experience to help ensure the American dream is within reach for everyone.

“Strong public education runs deep in the Kaine household. In the U.S. Senate, he took the lead on supporting career and technical education programs in the new federal education law, and he has fought for funding to modernize public school buildings. And as Virginia’s governor, he expanded pre-K programs by 40 percent. His wife, Anne Holton, has been dedicated to fighting for great public schools for decades—she helped integrate Richmond, Va., public schools as a child and today is Virginia’s secretary of education.

“Our nation and the world can feel confident that the Clinton-Kaine ticket will be a great leadership team that will work to break down walls, disarm hate, and make educational and economic opportunity a reality.”

Federal Union Leader: 2016 GOP Platform ‘A Hostile Takeover of the Civil Service System’

Leader of largest federal employees’ union blasts proposals to cut pay and benefits, privatize government services, and politicize the workforce

AFGE National President J. David Cox, Sr.WASHINGTON – In response to the release of the 2016 Republican Party Platform, J. David Cox, Sr., National President of the American Federation of Government Employees, representing 670,000 federal and D.C. government employees across the country, issued the following statement:

The 2016 Republican Platform makes clear the GOP has moved so close to the extremes that it opposes the very government it seeks to lead. The platform advocates such profound changes to the terms of government employment that, if enacted, it would bring to end the merit-based, apolitical civil service system. Without Constitutional due process rights and free unions to provide accountability and transparency to government employment, government employment would cease to be a professional civil service. What would ensue is quite predictable and occurs wherever there is an absence of the rule of law: a government staffed with cronies and political protectors that will fail to provide quality services to the American people. A spoils system staffed by those hired because who they know, not what they can do.

AFGE_Logo_high+resThe platform’s ignorance and misrepresentation of the facts about federal pay and benefits should be an embarrassment. The truth is that federal pay lags the private sector and state and local governments by an average of 35% according the Federal Salary Council and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And federal benefits only look generous when compared to the shameful practice of private employers who provide nothing or next to nothing for their employees in the way of pensions or insurance. Federal compensation has always been modest, but three years of frozen pay and substantial pension cutbacks enacted over the last several years in the name of deficit reduction have impoverished thousands of federal employees and their families. The notion of dragging a border patrol agent or a VA nursing assistant’s living standards down even lower is despicable.

The Republican platform also shows a horrible irresponsibility for the public interest in its embrace of privatization. Handing over the government’s work to profit-hungry contractors at the expense of public safety and health is a guarantee of scandal. Dismantling the veterans’ health care system by closing down hospitals and clinics and telling veterans to find their own care through a privatized insurance system is a disgraceful and outrageous abrogation of the promise our nation makes to those who have worn our nation’s uniform. Today veterans can walk into any VA hospital and access seamlessly integrated primary/specialty care in addition to financial, educational, housing, vocational, and other benefits. Closing down the VA would mean more than just dangerous degradation in their health care. It would also mean missed opportunities for direct employment and job assistance, obtaining an education, and help with overcoming addiction or homelessness.

The platform’s plan to privatize TSA would also be a dangerous and expensive disaster, throwing away a decade and a half of reliable airport security and returning us the pre-9/11 model that failed to such devastating effect. Instead of dismantling the TSA, the platform should demand that the agency receive the funding and staff it needs to do its jobs safely and efficiently, which a Republican-led Congress has failed to do for years.”

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The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

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