• Advertisement

Labor Continues Fight for Justice for all Immigrant Working Families

(Photo by Bill Burke, Page One Photography)

(Photo by Bill Burke, Page One Photography)

A year after the executive action on immigration,
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement:

Today should have been a day of celebration for working families across the nation. Instead, thanks to partisan legal obstructionism of the DAPA and expanded DACA policies, millions of people continue to live and work in fear in our country. Nonetheless, we continue to press forward.

This year working people have been standing together to fight for just wages and fair treatment in communities across the country. Millions of workers of all immigration statuses have been negotiating with a collective voice for a better life; and we have seen how labor unions have embraced the Adelante! We Rise! campaign by opening their halls to empower immigrant working families.  Our movement, including community allies and worker centers, is more energized than ever.

Right now, the Texas AFL-CIO and the Workers Defense Project are holding a three day pilgrimage to Austin to remind the nation that in Texas immigrant families are a vibrant part of the community and that they refuse to remain in the shadows. Our movement has been at the forefront of a wide range of issues related to bettering conditions for workers and their families. Last week the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the National Day Labor Organizing Network and community groups gathered outside Los Angeles’ downtown immigrant detention center to honor all the families that have suffered unnecessary separations as a result of our nation’s broken immigration system. 

The AFL-CIO was pleased to see the Administration file a formal request today for the Supreme Court to hear the case on DAPA and expanded DACA.  We remain deeply committed to ensuring that the promise of these programs to improve the lives of millions of working people is realized, and we intend to make our support clear in the streets, at the polls, and to the Court directly.

Meanwhile, we will press forward in the struggle for equal rights for all working people. Roadblocks test our determination, but we will not rest until families can remain united and all working people are treated with respect and dignity.

AFL-CIO President Trumka Addresses The NH Raising Wages Summit

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka NH Raising Wages Summit Image by Matt Murray

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
NH Raising Wages Summit
Image by Matt Murray

We are going to stand united and defeat the TPP so we can start investing in working men and women again,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka at the Raising Wages Summit in Concord, NH.

The New Hampshire Raising Wages Summit is the second of four planned summits to bring attention to the fact that working families have not seen a real raise in years, if not decades.  The minimum wage has been stagnant for far to long, and the median wage in this country continues to fall.

“Raising wages is what we’re all about. It’s good for working families and the nation. And it comes from activism and the collective voice. This agenda is about much more than wages, though. It’s about—the opportunity to work for a better life. It’s a philosophy, a vision, and a plan all rolled into one. It starts with the absolute truth that we should be decently paid for the work we do. No one should make less than the minimum wage, everyone should make a living wage, and collective bargaining should be available for all workers,” said Trumka.

The AFL-CIO chose New Hampshire because we have a very unique opportunity to meet and talk with the next President of the United States.  Being the First in the Nation primary state allows us unprecedented access to candidates and the media following them around like lap dogs.

We have a responsibility to put real pressure on these candidates and ask them, “What are you going to do to raise the wages for working families?”

The Raising Wages Summit was not only about raising the minimum wage but for pushing back against policies like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that will harm working families.

“On Thursday, after six long years, the Obama Administration finally released the text of the TPP. To our disappointment but not our surprise, it is a bad deal for workers. It would drive down wages, kill jobs, give corporations special rights, hurt consumers, and jeopardize the public health,” said Trumka.

The fight over the TPP was almost over when labor activist came within three votes of killing the “fast-track authority” in Congress.  Now the text of the TPP has been released and Congress must decide to accept or reject it once and for all.

“The release of the TPP text confirmed our worst suspicions—this deal would be a disaster for America. So brothers and sisters, we are going to continue to make our voices heard. We are going to fight like hell against the TPP. And when it comes up for a vote, we are going to kill this bad trade deal once and for all,” Trumka stated.

“We are going to stand united and defeat the TPP so we can start investing in working men and women again,” said Trumka

Below is the full video of President Trumka’s speech and the text as prepared.


Full Remarks by Richard Trumka, as prepared for delivery

Good morning brothers and sisters. It is great to be back in New Hampshire. There is something extra special about coming here during the political season. There is a buzz in the air. Fall, football, and the New Hampshire primary. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Voters in New Hampshire don’t rely on debates or television interviews to get to know the presidential candidates. You interact with them one on one—in town halls and diners and often in your own living room. New Hampshire plays a unique role in choosing our next president. What an awesome responsibility.

So I thought I’d talk today about the state of the labor movement, the role we are playing in this election, and why that role is so important.

In January, the AFL-CIO hosted a national summit to launch an agenda for shared prosperity called Raising Wages.

Raising wages is what we’re all about. It’s good for working families and the nation. And it comes from activism and the collective voice.

This agenda is about much more than wages, though. It’s about—the opportunity to work for a better life. It’s a philosophy, a vision, and a plan all rolled into one. It starts with the absolute truth that we should be decently paid for the work we do. No one should make less than the minimum wage, everyone should make a living wage, and collective bargaining should be available for all workers. But it goes far broader and deeper than that.

Raising wages means trade policies that lift incomes in America and around the world. It means modern labor laws that give everyone who works a real opportunity to bargain for higher wages without fear. It means allowing workers to demand and win paid time off and fair schedules so we can sustain healthy families.

Now those of you who have worked in Washington know that summits and conferences happen all the time. More often than not, after the last speech is given and the lights are turned off, people go back to business as usual. Not this time. Our national summit was a beginning, not an end. We created an agenda—a standard by which all things would be measured. We also scheduled 4 regional summits in the early campaign states. We previously had one in Iowa and will bring our message to Nevada and South Carolina in the coming months.

We knew this time had to be different for two important reasons.

First, labor is under attack like never before. The corporate right-wing and their allies are waging the most sophisticated anti-worker campaign we have ever seen. They are holding down our pay. On purpose. They are coming after us in all 50 states. In city halls and state legislatures. In Congress and even at the Supreme Court.

So we need allies. Allies like Governor Maggie Hassan. The 2014 election was a tough one for working families. But we were proud to come together and re-elect Governor Hassan. Under her leadership, New Hampshire had more economic growth last year than any other state in New England. Governor Hassan understands that we must invest in infrastructure, education, and most of all, working men and women. She pushed through the Paycheck Fairness Act to guarantee women equal pay for equal work. She successfully worked to freeze college tuition for New Hampshire students. She has been a champion of a living wage. And she has stood strong against efforts to pass right to work in New Hampshire.

Governor Hassan also knows that our trade policies should export American products, not American jobs.

That brings me to the second reason we couldn’t settle for the status quo after our national summit: fast track.

The truth is unfair trade deals have ripped apart the fabric of our nation. You know it and I know it. We’ve seen the shuttered factories. We’ve visited the towns that look like they are stuck in the 1970s. We’ve talked to the workers who lost everything, only to be told they should retrain in another field. That’s why we fought so hard against fast track. We were fighting for the future of the American Dream.

The work you did and the solidarity you showed was an inspiration. Your letters, your phone calls, your e-mails, and most of all your energy, helped moved the dial. It was a sight to see.

In the end we came up just a few votes short, but we changed the trade debate forever. The Wall Street and Washington elite thought the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a slam dunk, but we have slowed down the entire process.

On Thursday, after six long years, the Obama Administration finally released the text of the TPP. To our disappointment but not our surprise, it is a bad deal for workers. It would drive down wages, kill jobs, give corporations special rights, hurt consumers, and jeopardize the public health.

The release of the TPP text confirmed our worst suspicions—this deal would be a disaster for America. So brothers and sisters, we are going to continue to make our voices heard. We are going to fight like hell against the TPP. And when it comes up for a vote, we are going to kill this bad trade deal once and for all.

Just as the Raising Wages agenda is about more than wages, the fast track fight was about more than trade.

Fast track was a symbol of an economy out of balance—a set of rules written by and for big corporations.

So the debate raised a fundamental question: do we want to be a nation that values work, community, investment, and productivity?

Or will we continue to reward wealth, profit, monopoly, and inequality?

Brothers and sisters, we may have lost the vote. But we won the debate. We changed the conversation in America. We can raise wages!

We see it in new worker organizing in manufacturing, construction, retail, and fast food.

We see it in 5 million union workers are speaking up together, the biggest year for collective bargaining in American history.

We see it in a recent Gallup poll that shows support for unions at a 7-year high. And we see it in the 2016 presidential campaign.

I don’t know about you but I thought the first Democratic debate was one of the best I have ever seen. Here are just a few of the highlights.

Hillary Clinton came out against the TPP and emphasized the words “raising wages.”

Bernie Sanders decried the “casino capitalist process.”

Martin O’Malley talked about passing a living wage and investing in infrastructure in Maryland.

Make no mistake, labor is influencing the debate. We are setting the terms and conditions of this election.

We have said all along that the presidential candidates must explain what they will do to make our economy fairer for working families. That’s what we insisted on at our national summit in January, and that’s what you are demanding here in New Hampshire today.

We have also been crystal clear that we do not work for any political party or candidate. We work for working people, plain and simple, because we want the freedom to live better lives, to take care of our families and to improve our jobs and our communities.

Brothers and sisters, for too long we’ve worked for the Democratic Party. In this election, we’re making the Democratic Party work for us.

Heck, even last week’s Republican debate included a discussion about inequality.

It is clear we are part of a powerful movement at an historic time and you are on the front lines. It starts with us and it starts here in New Hampshire.

We’re building collective power in the workplace, in the economy and in politics.

From now until the New Hampshire primary and beyond, we need to keep up the pressure.

We need to keep shaping the debate and making our voices heard.

We have a message for all the presidential candidates and anyone else who will listen.

We are going to do everything in our power to raise wages.

We are going to join together for good pay, great benefits and safe workplaces.

We are going to fight to guarantee women are paid one hundred cents on the dollar.

We are going to push for policies that make it easier to form a union and bargain collectively, and harder for employers to deny us those rights.

We are going to stand united and defeat the TPP so we can start investing in working men and women again.

And we are going to spend every single day building an America of shared prosperity that gives every one of us the opportunity for a better life.

Thank you! God bless you, and the work you do!

Raising The Minimum Wage Is Long Overdue

moon design studio co. presents

I used to say, “It is time to raise the minimum wage.” However that moment has passed and we are seriously behind the 8-ball. We must raise the minimum wage now to help the millions nation-wide who are suffering through life, in poverty, working 40,50, even 60 hours a week.

Right now the National Minimum Wage law is set at $7.25 an hour, and that is completely unacceptable. People are working more hours now than at any point in our history and yet they are still losing ground as Congress and our State Legislatures fail to increase the minimum wage.

Just look at this image from the Economic Policy Institute that shows if the minimum wage would have kept up with productivity they would be earning over $18.00 an hour.


Over 50,000 Granite Staters are earning at or below the Federal Minimum Wage, yet our Republican controlled Senate refuses to raise the NH Minimum Wage.

The economists at MIT calculated what a “living wage” would be in New Hampshire and the results are staggering. A single worker would need to earn $11.51 an hour. If your break that down to todays numbers that is almost 60 hours a week at $7.25 an hour. But it gets much worse. A single parent working would need to earn $24.66 an hour. That equates to about 137 hours a week at minimum wage. Considering there is only 168 in a week, that would leave a whopping 31 hours a week to sleep, raise their child, cook, clean, grocery shop, and whatever else needs to be done.

I know what your thinking, “the minimum wage is for teenagers and part-time employees.” You would be half right, because the majority of these workers are considered part time, not because they do not want to work full time, but because their employer refuses to make them full time to avoid having to pay for any healthcare or retirement options.

As for being only teenagers, yes teenagers make up a quarter (24%) of the minimum wage workforce, but how many of these teenagers are working at Dunkin Donuts at 8 am on a Tuesday? Not many because most of them are still in school.

The fact is that another 25% of minimum wage workers are between 20-24 and 50% of minimum wage workers are over 25. In 2013 it was reported that 27.9% of those effected by raising the minimum wage to $10.10, are parents raising at least one child.

It is time to take action. The New Hampshire AFL-CIO will be hosting a “Raising Wages Summit” with special guest speaker, Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO.

Raising Wages SummitThe summit will include information sessions and workshops designed to expand your knowledge of who is effected by raising the minimum wage, how to talk to legislators (and your crazy Uncle Joe) about why it is important to raising the minimum wage, and to start building a coalition of activists who will stand up for working families here in the Granite State.

The Raising Wages Summit will be held at the IBEW 490 Hall, 48 Airport Road, Concord, NH, on Saturday November 7th, from 9:30a-1:30p.

(More information can be found on the NH AFL-CIO’s Facebook event, or by contacting Judy Stadtman at the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, (603) 632-7302 x19 or email 2015wagesummit@nhaflcio.org.)

Labor And The Church Share Many Of The Same Progressive Values

Pope Francis (republic of Korea FLIKR)There has always been a strong relationship between the church and labor. The church teaches us to help feed the needed, pay your workers well, and not to fall victim to vanity and greed.

Here are just a few of the hundreds of examples in the Bible:

“Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”
Luke 3:11

“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother.”
Deuteronomy 15:7

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
1 Timothy 6:10

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

The teachings of the Bible are simple, help and love your fellow man, and you will be blessed.

Social justice is the bedrock of the labor movement. Fighting for equal pay for equal work regardless of skin color, gender, or sexual preference. Fighting to ensure that everyone earns an honest wage for the work they do. In short, standing together to help all mankind.

So why are conservatives freaking out over the Pope addressing a joint session of Congress?

There is no denying that the political right believes they own the monopoly on religion. They preach the gospel and claim to be good Christians. The problem is that many of their party’s priorities do not fall in line what the Bible teaches and Pope Francis has been speaking out against the foundations of the Republican Party.

Pope Francis says greed ruins society.

The earth, entire peoples and individual persons are being brutally punished. And behind all this pain, death and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called “the dung of the devil.” An unfettered pursuit of money rules. The service of the common good is left behind. Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home.
Pope Francis.

Recently the Pope has come out and said the church should forgive women who had abortions, in support of LBGT rights, that women should be paid equally, and even went as far to say that the church should pay taxes like everyone else.

“If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Pope Francis.

“Why should it be taken for granted that women must earn less than men? The disparity is pure scandal. The witness of the social dignity of marriage shall become persuasive, precisely by this way: the way of witness that attracts.”
Pope Francis.

Many are looking forward to the Pope’s arrival including Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO.

“Pope Francis’ arrival is a watershed moment for working people in the United States and an opportunity for every American, regardless of faith, to reexamine the values that drive us as a country. His message of inclusion, economic justice, and social progress transcends party and represents the best of humanity,” said Trumka.

“Working people stand with Pope Francis and look forward to welcoming him to the United States, as he puts forward an agenda that lifts spirits and wages,” added Trumka.

So again I will ask, why does the Pope’s visits scare conservatives? Because he is bringing a message of social progress, that is unheard of on the political right. He is also empowering many of the leaders in the church to speak out against the oppressive right wing policies.

Recently the Archbishop of Chicago spoke out against Right To Work and the demonizing of workers. “I have come today to tell Chicago workers the Catholic Church is with you,” said Archbishop Cupich. “You put your faith into action… You are Catholic social teaching at work.”

“History has shown that we’re better off when the rights of workers (are) protected,” said Cupich.

It is good to finally see organized religion using their immense power and influence to effect positive change in the world.

Be sure to check out this great collection of progressive quotes from Pope Francis at Addicting Info.


Below is the entire speech from Archbishop Cupich.  If you have not seen it, you should check it out.

The GOP’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Is Racist And Un-American

Image by Gage Skidmore

Image by Gage Skidmore

Enough is enough! 

We must stop praising these politicians who trying to win the nomination of the Republican Party by threatening to evict 11 million aspiring Americans and potentially millions more American citizens whose parents are not yet citizens.

It is disgusting, racist and un-American.  

By now you have already seen this video of the pompous asshat Donald Trump forcibly removing one of the nations most respected journalists from his press conference in an attempt to avoid answering questions regarding his immigration policies.

As if the actions of the Trump campaign were not enough, the story does not end there.

After being evicted from the press conference, an unidentified man tells Jorge Ramos (who is an American citizen) to “get out of my country.

Donald Trump is leading the charge against immigrants, specifically latino families by accusing them of being drug dealers & rapists, “and some I presume are good people.” Other GOP wannabe’s are also following Trump’s lead by promoting this idea that we should rescind “birthright citizenship.”  Some of these Presidential candidates are first generation Americans themselves.

I am appalled at what these people are saying about the millions of hard working people who have come to the United States in hope of finding a better life.

We need to fix our broken immigration system and never forget that we are a nation of immigrants.

We need more people like AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to speak out against this divisive, racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric that flows from the political right.   Just listen to how President Trumka calls the GOP out for their racist anti-immigrant messaging.

For millions of immigrants the Statue of Liberty was the first thing they saw as they immigrated to the United States.  She was, and still is, the beacon of hope for the millions of aspiring Americans with her immortal words:

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

To be anti-immigrant is to be anti-American.

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in response to Hillary Clinton’s Voting Rights Platform:

President Trumka Lauds Clinton’s Voter Rights Overhaul Plan

The labor movement strongly supports Hillary Clinton’s plan to implement sweeping changes to U.S. election and voting laws. This takes our country in the right direction towards ensuring that the vote of every eligible voter – regardless of his or her background – is protected. We applaud her for addressing these issues, which are crucial to a democratic system.

Every American should have the right to register to vote with ease and to cast a ballot in a convenient and accessible way without partisan politics getting in the way. But for far too long, extreme voices in the Republican Party have attempted to block large portions of the electorate from having a voice in the voting booth. Republicans’ refusal to restore the rights of the formerly incarcerated has also ensured that those who have paid their debt to society leave prison disenfranchised and marginalized.   Republican candidates cannot vie to lead this country while preventing Americans from exercising their right to elect government officials who reflect their values and beliefs. We call on all candidates to make clear their positions on this issue that is so crucial and basic to a democratic system.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On Senate Actions On TPP

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
on Senate Trade Negotiations

Richard_Trumka“America’s workers have lost millions of jobs and billions in wages over the last two decades as a result of currency manipulation—all with little to no response other than talk from various administrations, regardless of party.  If Congress is serious about ‘trade done right,’ enforceable currency provisions—both in U.S. law and in our trade deals—are needed.

Currency legislation, and indeed the entire enforcement bill (S. 1015) reported from the Senate Finance Committee, cannot be left behind as Senate Republicans attempt to advance Fast Track authority.  Yesterday, Senate Democrats insisted that all four bills passed by the Senate Finance Committee—Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority, Trade Adjustment Assistance, Preferences, and Customs—must be bundled and considered as a single package.  What they demanded yesterday, they should continue to demand today.  Those who want to get trade right must demand that Fast Track doesn’t move unless currency and other enforcement tools are included in the package.  Anything less leaves America’s workers, domestic producers, and communities behind.”

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
on Failed Senate Vote on TPA

“The Hatch-Wyden-Ryan Fast Track bill is halted – for now.  That’s good news for America’s working families, domestic producers, and communities.  We appreciate those senators who stood with working people today against a bill that would have led to undemocratic trade deals that lower wages and eliminate jobs.  This vote sends a message loud and clear.

If Congress is serious about creating jobs, reviving U.S. manufacturing, and raising wages, it needs to use its leverage to reshape the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  It must remove special legal privileges for foreign investors, add enforceable rules to prevent currency manipulation, strengthen rules of origin, and redouble efforts to ensure workers everywhere — from Hannibal, Missouri, to Hanoi, Vietnam — can organize and bargain collectively.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On Workers’ Memorial Day

Safe-Jobs-Save-Lives-Poster_largeOn Workers Memorial Day we commemorate all those who have perished on the job. No worker should be exposed to fatal injuries and illnesses at work, yet every day 150 men and women die from a work injury or occupational disease. Their deaths remind us that Americans still – in 2015 — face too many dangers at the workplace.

As a third-generation coal miner, I am all too familiar with the fear and uncertainty of not knowing whether a loved one will come home safe and healthy from a day’s work.

As we mourn the dead we should remember to fight for the living. This year, our brothers and sisters from the United Steel Workers went on strike in February to highlight the need for tighter safety regulations at refineries across the country. During the strike, an explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery in California injured four workers and shook neighborhoods for miles around, reinforcing the need for corporations to do more to address refinery safety.

Mourn-For-The-Dead-Sticker_mediumWe also are deeply appreciative of the work done by health workers in the wake of the Ebola crisis, both abroad and at home. Hundreds of healthcare workers cared for the sick. Due to subpar protections offered by employers, many aid providers themselves fell ill with the disease. No one providing a service to the community should risk his or her life due to lack of effective protective gear.

While we have made great strides in making workplaces safer, too many hardworking people both in this country and around the world continue to be hurt or killed on the job.

Today and every day, we must strive to achieve safe workplaces for every worker and demand that lawmakers create good jobs that ensure the dignity and safety every worker deserves.


Texas Ruling On Immigration Is Setback But Will Not Stop The AFL-CIO’s Work On Immigration

Late last night, a Texas judge issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the implementation of President Obama’s new deferred action initiatives. These initiatives, announced last November, came in response to more than 10 years of political stalemates and failure by Congress to address America’s broken immigration system and alleviate the pain endured by millions of families around the country. The President’s announced initiatives will provide temporary relief from deportation to approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.

The new deferred action initiatives, which include Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and an expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), are based on the well-established authority of Presidents and other executive branch officers to allocate and prioritize finite enforcement resources. This practice is used by prosecutors and other law enforcement personnel on daily basis. The judge’s order, issued just two days before the government was set to begin the DACA expansion, bars federal immigration officials from implementing “any and all aspects” of the new deferred action initiatives.

The following is a statement by Melissa Crow, Legal Director at the American Immigration Council:

“Today’s decision is only the first round in what will clearly be a much longer legal battle. Already, the White House has promised that the Justice Department will appeal the judge’s decision, and we urge them to do so in an expedited manner. We expect higher courts to overturn the judge’s decision based on well-established precedent.

“Today’s decision is more rooted in political rhetoric than legal rationales. It relies on a distorted view of overwhelming evidence of the economic benefits of immigration and ignores Supreme Court precedent. It also discounts a long history of recourse to prosecutorial discretion, which has been exercised by every President since Eisenhower. The decision relies on a technical violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to find that the Administration did not follow proper procedures, while ignoring the fact that the President’s deferred action initiatives are not subject to the APA. While the decision will unfortunately delay critical efforts to address our broken immigration system, the need and the demand for reform has never been greater. We remain confident that it is a question of when, not if, these programs will take effect.”

After the court ruling was announced Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO released the following statement:

This temporary setback will not deter the AFL-CIO’s work on the ground to ensure that as many workers as possible are eventually able to gain protections and work authorization under the new deferred action programs. Around the country, we will continue educating workers, training union activists and helping eligible applicants gather the documents they will need to qualify.

This lawsuit represents a misguided effort to use a false economic basis to block the immigration relief that millions of hardworking, longtime members of our community deserve. The executive actions on immigration will in fact increase earnings, grow the tax base, strengthen the economy and further the public interest, as states like Washington, California, Illinois and New York have explained to the court. The AFL-CIO supports the Department of Justice’s decision to file an appeal, and we trust that higher courts will undo this wrong.

The path to justice often includes obstacles. We will not give up the fight until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform with a clear pathway to citizenship so that all workers in this country will have the ability to assert their rights on the job and in their communities. In the meantime, this ruling will further strengthen the resolve of a resilient community that is a vital part of our labor movement. We know that an organized community is a stronger community, and that together we will rise.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Applauding Currency Manipulation Bill

“The Currency Undervaluation Investigation Act (Senate Bill) and the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act of 2015 (House Bill) are critical to creating and retaining good manufacturing jobs in America.  Enacting these bills will ensure that we have the tools to address and end destructive currency manipulation by other governments. This unfair practice distorts the global economy and disadvantages countries like the United States that comply with international trade rules. These illegal actions have cost far too many jobs over the past several years.

Working people applaud the leadership from Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and from Representatives Sander Levin (D-MI), Tim Murphy (R-PA), Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Mo Brooks (R-AL) to introduce this important the bipartisan legislation.

Currency manipulation has cost America as many as 5 million jobs, devastating many manufacturing communities.  As a result, there continues to be strong bipartisan support for currency legislation in both the House and Senate.  However, legislation by itself is not enough.  We need to ensure that there are also strong, enforceable currency mechanisms in trade agreements that the U.S. negotiates—especially the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which includes countries that have engaged in such manipulation to boost exports.”

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement