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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.

Nurses Endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for President

First National Union Endorsement for Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders with NNU members at Oakland rally August 10

Sen. Bernie Sanders with NNU members at Oakland rally August 10

Noting his issues “align with nurses from top to bottom,” National Nurses United, the nation’s largest organization of nurses, today endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President.

“Bernie Sanders has a proven track record of uncompromised activism and advocacy for working people, and a message that resonates with nurses, and, as we have all seen, tens of thousands of people across the country. He can talk about our issues as well as we can talk about our issues. We are proud to stand with him in his candidacy for President today,” said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro.

NNU, which represents some 185,000 nurses from California to Florida, including nurses who live in the early caucus and primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, becomes the first national union to endorse Sanders.

NNU Bernie Sanders 2The announcement was made at a National Nurses Conversation with Bernie Sanders attended by hundreds of RNs in the Oakland, Ca office of NNU, and watched on live stream, with questions asked, by nurses at 34 watch parties in 14 states. The festive  “Brunch with Bernie” even included ice cream donated by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, founders of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.

“Bernie’s issues align with nurses from top to bottom,” DeMoro continued. Among them – “insisting that healthcare for everyone is a right not a privilege, protecting Social Security and Medicare from those who want to destroy or privatize it and working to expand both, holding Wall Street accountable for the damage it has done to our communities, understanding the threat to public health from the climate crisis, environmental degradation, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, support for minimum nurse-to-patient ratios for hospital patients, and on and on,” DeMoro said

The NNU Executive Council voted to endorse Sanders. Factors for NNU backing, said DeMoro, included:

  • Sanders’ long history of support for NNU, nurses and patients,
  • A 100 percent scorecard on a questionnaire NNU sent to all the Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates,
  • Overwhelming support for Sanders among NNU members in an internal poll, and
  • Sanders’ response to issues before the AFL-CIO Executive Council.

NNU, said DeMoro, has adopted a call to “Vote Nurses Values – caring, compassion, community. Nurses take the pulse of America, and have to care for the fallout of every social and economic problem — malnutrition, homelessness, un-payable medical bills, the stress and mental disorders from joblessness, higher asthma rates, cancer, heart ailments and birth defects from environmental pollution and the climate crisis. Bernie Sanders’s prescriptions best represents the humanity and the values nurses embrace.”

DeMoro noted that in a presentation July 29 to the AFL-CIO Executive Council, on which DeMoro sits as a national vice president, “he made it clear that you will never have to wonder which side he is on. As he told the union leaders, ‘I see myself as part of you. This is not a conventional moment, we are fighting for the future of this country’.”

A central focus for nurses, DeMoro noted, is “our dysfunctional healthcare system. Too many Americans, even with the Affordable Care Act, remain priced out of access to the health care they need even if they have insurance due to lack of effective price controls, and a still broken system based on private profit not patient need. Sanders has long championed the full, humane reform we need, an updated, expanded Medicare for all.”

She noted Sanders’ statement July 30th in Washington at a rally, hosted by NNU to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid, at which Sanders said, “Let’s end the international embarrassment of the U.S. being the only major country on earth that does not guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. The time has come to say that we need to expand Medicare to every man, woman, and child as a single-payer national healthcare program.”

Nurses also welcome Sanders call, evidenced in a bill he authored, S 1731, calling for a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street speculation, on trades of stocks and other financial instruments, that could raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually to pay for healthcare for all, free college tuition to expand access to education, more jobs at living wages, ending AIDS, real action against the climate crisis, and other basic needs.

“Economic inequality remains the fundamental issue of our time. It is a major reason why the U.S. lags so far behind many other industrial nations not only in poverty and social injustice, but in a broad array of health outcomes, from maternal and infant mortality to life expectancy. Sanders’ leadership in calling for Wall Street to pay its share for rebuilding our national and global communities is a reminder of why we need his vision leading America,” DeMoro said.

Sanders also stands out, said DeMoro, in his outspoken opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, “which includes a terrible handout to pharmaceutical giants that will further drive up drug prices, a life and death issue for millions of people.”

NNU Bernie Sanders 3

Progressive Policy and Politics Drive AFL-CIO Executive Meeting

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council meeting taking place this week on July 29th and 30th in Silver Spring, MD:

The Executive Council of the AFL-CIO is meeting this week to strategize and coalesce around an agenda that helps working people achieve a better life. Building on our Raising Wages roadmap, the AFL-CIO is more committed than ever to broad progressive policies that bring our economy back into balance, encourage working men and women to speak up together, and enable families to sustain themselves.

In 2015, nearly 5 million working men and women will sit down with their employers to demand a fair contract, making this the biggest year for collective bargaining in American history. It is already paying dividends. In the first six months of this year alone, working people across a variety of industries have earned an average 4.3 percent pay increase the old-fashioned way—by asking for it.

As union members win wage increases through bargaining, we are spearheading political victories too. Just last week, fast food workers won a $15 minimum wage in New York and for the first time in history federal legislation was proposed at the same level. These are not isolated actions—they are part of a growing grassroots movement to change the rules to benefit working people, not the wealthy few.

The Raising Wages agenda is about more than income. We also need fundamental reforms like paid time off to care for a loved one, reliable and flexible schedules, equal pay for equal work, and the right to form a union free from employer interference. We must also put stricter rules on Wall Street and stop passing corporate-written, job-killing trade deals. Wall Street should serve Main Street, not the other way around.

The specifics of this agenda will drive our in-person discussions with five presidential candidates: Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Jim Webb. We want to know what their plan is to raise wages, what economic advisors they will listen to, and what actions they will take to make our economy fairer for working families. Our Raising Wages agenda, not any candidate’s political party, is the measuring stick we will use in 2016.

The need for fairer economic policies will be amplified by Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, chief economist at the Roosevelt Institute. He will address the Executive Council to discuss his report “Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy.” Stiglitz makes clear that wage and income inequality—which has skyrocketed to record highs—is not a natural occurrence, but the result of conscious decisions by policymakers of both political parties.

Chief among his recommendations for creating a stronger America is guaranteeing the freedom to form unions and bargain collectively, as well as increasing union density. We have been arguing for decades that the best tool to fight inequality is a collective bargaining agreement. He also calls for raising wages; reining in Wall Street excess; investing in health care, education and infrastructure; reforming our broken immigration system; and increasing opportunities for women and people of color.

The 12.5 million men and women we represent work hard every day and deserve an economy that works for them. Working people are not asking for much: good pay, decent benefits, paid time off, a fair schedule, and a something left over to retire with dignity. It is their future that will drive this Executive Council meeting, our role in the 2016 election, and our work going forward.

TTD Stands with United Flight Attendants Fighting for Fair Contract

TDDThousands of flight attendants at United Airlines hubs across the globe are standing up to say enough is enough — and we stand with them.

Yesterday, the Joint Negotiating Committee of AFA-CWA flight attendants held an International Day of Action to draw attention to the absurd refusal by United to bargain in good faith with its employees. Ed Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, joined flight attendants at Dulles International Airport, where he made a declaration of solidarity:

“United Airlines needs to invest in the workers who help make this company profitable and successful. Until management understands that and flight attendants at United secure a fair contract, I’ll be standing with you fighting for what’s right.”

United Airlines, which merged with Continental in 2010, is one of the largest airlines in the world. It’s also one of the most profitable. The company’s 2015 income will be five times higher than its income in 2013, and the company’s CEO, Jeff Smisek, recently enjoyed a 32-percent pay increase.

Despite these incredible figures, Smisek refuses to make good on a five-year-old promise to complete joint contracts with all workers by the end of 2011. Instead of fairly compensating employees — who have undoubtedly contributed to the company’s success — Smisek further insulted workers by recently announcing a $100 million investment in a Brazilian airline.

Meanwhile, United’s 24,000 flight attendants are still waiting for a fair contract that reflects the professionalism and pride they bring to their jobs daily.

“The bottom line problem is the company’s unwillingness to put the required economic resources into a Flight Attendant Contract,” AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson said. “That is unacceptable and we are going to stand up to make it clear to the company that we expect much more, especially now as United’s profits are soaring.”

Partisan Commerce Committee Bill Should be Scrapped or Amended

Transportation Trade Department LogoWashington, DC — Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement on the Comprehensive Transportation and Consumer Protection Act of 2015, introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-SD):

“At a time when our country’s transportation infrastructure is failing and disenfranchised Americans are desperate for work, bipartisan support is crucial to fund our nation’s highway and transit systems and boost job creation.

“Instead of following a bipartisan model — as Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) of the EPW Committee demonstrated last month — Commerce Committee Republicans are unwisely using their section of the surface transportation reauthorization bill to advance a partisan agenda that harms workers.  

“The Thune bill includes a poorly veiled measure designed to blame workers and their unions for all port delays during a bargaining dispute. It also prematurely allows the use of hair specimens for drug testing of bus and truck drivers. These provisions have no place in any portion of the surface transportation reauthorization bill.

“Sen. Thune’s bill also fails to require rail carriers to provide emergency responders with information about the amount and type of hazardous materials moving through their localities — a commonsense measure that is critical to the efforts of first responders to save lives.

“The highway/transit reauthorization bill is one of the most important initiatives Congress will consider this year. Senate Commerce Committee Republicans must stop playing partisan politics with this already long-delayed transportation investment bill, and reject proposals that undermine the rights of employees and fail to support our transportation system.”


The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, provides a bold voice for workers in every mode of transportation devoted to protecting middle-class jobs, expanding collective bargaining, and ensuring modern, safe, and secure transportation operations and infrastructure. For more information, visit us at www.ttd.org.

Unions Matter: “Solidarity Means Something”

From http://www.ilwu.org

From http://www.ilwu.org

By Steven Weiner for Unions Matters

As a union member who cares for the rights of working people, both here in the USA and abroad, I deplore the fact that the so-called “fast-track” bill was signed into law paving the way for approval of a new trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  I was proud to join the many thousands of union members all across the nation who fought hard to defeat this anti-worker, anti-democratic legislation. Despite an initial victory, corporations that will profit massively from TPP spent millions to insure that the votes were there for the “fast-track” bill’s final passage.

This is an agreement that was negotiated in secrecy; few of its details were released to unions and to others who made repeated requests to review the documents. A statement by the AFL-CIO explains succinctly why there was such concealment:

“TPP…is about increasing opportunities for U.S. companies to invest offshore and then export back to the United States with favorable tariff rates. This model enriches global companies, but does little for the workers in the U.S. who were laid off or foreign workers who toil in sweatshop conditions, denied fundamental rights.”

Teamster General President James Hoffa said that TPP, like an earlier trade agreement NAFTA, “will only ship jobs overseas and lower wages in the U.S. Yet again, workers have been tossed aside by some lawmakers who are more interested in pleasing their corporate cronies than doing what’s best for their constituents.”

Meanwhile, in the struggle to defeat TPP something happened in the labor movement that I believe is new and has big meaning for the future of organized labor in America. There was a huge coming together of many unions and thousands of workers to defeat this terrible bill. Said Mark MacKenzie, NH AFL-CIO President: “This fight demonstrated that when we unite in a common purpose anything is possible.” I’ve learned from Aesthetic Realism, founded by educator and critic Eli Siegel, that the one purpose that strengthens us is impelled by ethics, by the conviction that: “Justice to all people is the same as justice to oneself. ”

An example of this “common purpose” is in the fact that private sector unions whose members are likely to be badly impacted—including by huge job losses—were joined by public sector unions, whose members’ jobs would not be at stake.   In a New York Times article (6/13/15) entitled “Labor’s Might Seen in Failure of Trade Deal as Unions Allied to Thwart It,” Noam Scheiber writes:

“While a broad coalition of unions and liberal activists can claim credit for beating back the…legislation, the key to labor’s display of force in Congress, according to supporters and opponents of the trade deal, was the movement’s unusual cohesion across various sectors of the economy—including public employees and service workers not directly affected by foreign competition.”

As the article points out, unions not seemingly directly affected by TPP, saw its defeat as their fight. John Murphy, senior VP for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was quoted as saying “None of these workers are in any way negatively affected by competition with imports. Yet [they] will be there, showing solidarity.”

I am very encouraged that individual unions are seeing clearly that when one union is under attack and weakened, it’s easier to attack and weaken the next. I believe there’s a reinvigorated belief in the motto of the IWW: “An injury to one is an injury to all,” and it’s a cause for celebration!

Why There Are Increasing Attacks on Unions

In an important issue of the periodical The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, describes what has gone on as to unions in these last years, resulting in incalculable harm to millions of Americans. She writes:

In 1970 Eli Siegel explained that the profit system had reached the point at which it was no longer able to succeed. Though it might struggle on for a while, it would do so with increasing pain to humanity. And that is what has occurred. As production has been taking place in more and more nations, it has become harder and harder for US companies to haul in big profits for stockholders. They can do so now only by making the people who actually do the work become poorer and poorer—be paid less and less. That means crushing unions, because it is unions that have enabled working people to earn a dignified wage and be treated with respect.

… As big a fight as any going on in the world—indeed, as big a fight as any in the history of humanity—is the fight now taking place between the profit system and unions….The fight is really a sheer one: For the profit system to continue, unions must be defeated.”

At this pivotal time in America’s history, unions need to see clearly what they stand for and are fightingagainst so that the justice they represent as a united force will prevail! The means to this will be powerfully and delightfully shown on Sunday, July 12th in an upcoming production by the esteemed Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company Ethics Is a Force–2015! Songs about Labor.”

 

Steven Weiner is a Ret. Executive Board member and Shop Steward of Local 2627, DC-37, AFSCME.

Labor Praises The Supreme Court’s Marriage Equality Decision And Recognizes That There Is More To Be Done

Gay-Couple-from-back-Holding-Hands Square

For over thirty years organized labor and the LGBT have been walking hand-in-hand to push for equality.

Last year I wrote a labor history story called “Labor of Love: How The American Labor Movement Is Securing LBGT Equality” which focused on the role that labor unions played in pushing for equality.

“The UAW was the first union to get same sex couple benefits into labor contract,” said Roland Leggett, the Michigan State Director for Working America.  After the UAW successfully got domestic partner benefits into their contracts in 1982, more and more Fortune 500 companies started to adopt similar policies.  By 2006, 49% of all Fortune 500 companies offered domestic partner benefits.

As you are already well aware, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. This ruling will force states like Texas, to accept and recognize all marriages.

Labor unions from across the country applauded this decision and reminded us of their role in helping to make the dream of equality, a reality.

“Today’s Supreme Court decision marks a truly historic day in America. While there is still work to do to secure economic and social justice for LGBT Americans, the court’s ruling is a major victory for everyone who believes in equality,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler. “Same-sex couples will now have equal access to marriage licenses like any other couple. This ruling is a win for children, families, workers and our entire country.”

“The United Steelworkers applaud the court for upholding the 14th Amendment of the U.S Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law,” said The United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard and International Vice President Fred Redmond. “This is a historic day, and we are proud especially for our LGBT members. This victory confirms the principles of our union that regardless of the color of a person’s skin, regardless of religion or nationality, and no matter who a person loves, discrimination has no place in our union or in our society.”

“Today is a momentous day. Together as a nation we took a dramatic step toward the ideals of equality and freedom. Today, brave Americans who were unafraid to stand up and organize for their basic rights proved once again the arc of history is long but it bends toward justice,” stated Lee Saunders, President of the American Federation of County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

“AFGE applauds today’s Supreme Court ruling declaring that same-sex couples across the country have a Constitutional right to marry,” said American Federation of Government Employees National Vice President for Women and Fair Practices Augusta Y. Thomas. “This was the right decision for the country and the right decision for everyone who believes in the principles of fairness, equality, and basic human dignity.

“As the largest union representing federal and D.C. government employees, AFGE represents people across the social and political spectrum, including many LGBT members. Just two weeks ago, AFGE was proud to march for the first time in the 2015 Capital Pride Parade – the only labor union to participate. For years, our AFGE Pride Program has been working toward fair treatment and equality for LGBT employees in the government workplace,” concluded Thomas.

The National Education Association and its 22 state-level affiliates, were a part of a broad-based labor coalition with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and Change to Win, filed an amicus brief, arguing that state discrimination against same sex couples deprives such couples of an array of economic benefits and legal rights, and deprives them and their children of fundamental dignity, benefits and rights that other couples and their families enjoy.

“Today the Supreme Court has taken a monumental step forward in our national journey toward a more perfect union by making marriage equality the law in every state of our great nation,” said National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García. “On behalf of our members—and the students they serve—we applaud the court’s historic decision, which will end discrimination against same sex couples, place them on equal footing with other families and safeguard all of our children.”

“We know that today’s ruling will make a tremendous difference both to the dignity and personal and economic well-being of same sex families and to the dignity and personal well-being of their children as well as others who have been bullied and fearful due to their sexual identity. We applaud the Supreme Court and the many advocates whose work resulted in today’s historic decision,” concluded Eskelsen García.

For some this decision hit very close to home. Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers is also one of the few openly gay, national union leaders.

“From Loving to Windsor to today, love has won. As people start seeing one another’s real aspirations and dreams for all our families and our communities, as well as for ourselves, we see that the arc of history does bend toward justice,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.

“And while this is a day of celebration, there is more work to do in our fight for full equality. As a gay woman and union leader, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my union—an ally in the struggle for rights and a shield from unfair discrimination in the workplace,” said Weingarten.

The freedom to marry does not mean that the LGBT community has reached full equality. The persecution and discrimination of LGBT members still runs rampant in many parts of our great nation.

While I celebrated this decision, in solidarity with the dozens of my personal friends and family who are gay, I know that we still have a long way to go. The suicide rate of LBGT teens is almost 30% higher than non-LGBT teens. This is in large part to the persecution and bullying that LGBT teens must endure as they grow and find themselves. Most states have protections from bullying based on race or ethnicity, but very few have protections for the LGBT members.

We also have work to do to ensure that LGBT workers cannot be discriminated against in applying for a job, and cannot be arbitrarily fired just for being gay. Unfortunately too few states have protections for LGBT members from workplace discrimination.

“From talking with LGBT members throughout the country, I know the importance of ensuring that there are comprehensive federal nondiscrimination protections in place. Without these protections, same-sex couples who have the right to marry in their home state will still be at risk of being fired from their jobs or evicted from their apartments based simply on who they are. We will continue the fight forward,” concluded Weingarten.

 

Worker Wins Update: From Night Shifts to Nightclubs, Workers See Big Wins in June

WASHINGTON, DC– Workers across the country have stood up in the past month to fight for better wages and working conditions.

NYC Musicians Win Major Bargaining Agreement with Historic Venue: This month, members of the Associated Musicians of Greater New York Local 802 (American Federation of Musicians) signed a collective bargaining agreement with 54 Below, attached to the legendary Studio 54 nightclub.

Virgin America Pilots Flying High with New Union: Earlier this month, pilots for Virgin America overwhelmingly voted to join the Air Line Pilots Association, International. The vote was a result of a year-long campaign initiated by the pilots looking to achieve a stronger voice in the workplace.

California LabCorp Workers Continue Big Organizing Wins: Following the success of a May organizing campaign, 40 new workers at LabCorp in Southern California joined UFCW Local 1428. The new members will join contract negotiations in July.

Telecom Workers Win Big With T-Mobile Scheduling Changes: T-Mobile employees won significant scheduling changes last month that gave workers more power over their own schedules and time-off without the threat of a negative review.

Domestic Workers Secure New Benefits, Rights in Two States: Earlier this month, Connecticut and Oregon agreed to establish new protections and benefits to domestic workers. Oregon’s legislation includes time off and overtime pay, while Connecticut’s would include domestic workers in the state’s anti-discrimination and harassment statutes.

Interns Break New Ground, Form New Union: Interns at the American Federation of Teachers formed the nation’s first non-medical intern union earlier this month, earning a pay raise and a greater voice in their workplace.

Grocery Workers Bag Up New Rights with Union: Workers at Food Front Co-op stores in Portland, Oregon overwhelmingly voted to join UFCW Local 555 earlier this month. The workers will begin negotiations with store management in the coming weeks.

Government Workers Earn Significant Raising Wages Victories: Last month, federal government employees in 13 cities won pay increases thanks to work by AFGE to bring federal salaries in line with local market conditions.

Contact: Anthony DeAngelo (202) 637-5018

 

Thank You To Those Who Voted Against The TPP, However The Fight Is Not Over

Working Families Have Spoken And Washington Was Listening.

Yesterday, the US House of Representatives held a vote on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which failed by a 126 to 302 vote, due to strong opposition from House Democrats.

For months, progressives and labor advocates have been speaking out against the TPP. Senators Warren and Sanders have made their opposition to the TPP a main talking point in all of their recent speeches. They spoke out because the White House was negotiating the TPP in secret. What little information has been leaked on the proposed deal shows that the deal would be harmful to American workers, continuing the failed policies of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Fast Track legislation narrowly passed the Senate however House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi rallied House Democrats against it.

“Nancy Pelosi has always fought for working families and today her leadership on the trade package vote was instrumental in the House voting against another bad trade deal,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “She stood up against corporate interests and as always put first the people who are too often left out of trade agreement discussions. I applaud Rep. Pelosi’s bravery and leadership on this and look forward to working with her on good trade bills.”

“The House leadership tried to use a gimmick to push Fast Track through Congress. In rejecting an extremely weakened Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) package, representatives today stood with working families who want good jobs and thriving communities,” wrote the Communication Workers of America (CWA).

House Democrats like Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) truly understand why it is important to stop this Fast Track legislation.

“Every day, I’m fighting to support New Hampshire workers, small businesses, and family farms, which all deserve a strong say in our nation’s trade policies. I believe the trade promotion authority legislation currently before Congress fails to give these groups a real seat at the table, and fails to include necessary protections for American jobs and workers, which is why I plan to vote against it,” said Kuster in a written statement just days before the vote.

“The New Hampshire AFLCIO is especially proud of Congresswomen Kuster who stood strong in the face of tremendous political pressure to do what was best for New Hampshire workers and workers everywhere,” said Mark MacKenzie, President of the NH AFL-CIO.

It was not just Leader Pelosi who made this vote against the TPP a reality. It was the combined actions of millions of hard working Americans who lobbied their Congressional Representatives to oppose this secret trade deal.

“American workers came together and spoke with one voice about the path their country and economy should follow. We are very grateful for all the activists, families, community leaders, and elected officials who worked so tirelessly for transparency and worker rights in international trade deals,” Trumka said.

“This is a victory for hard-working men and women all across America. In the face of long odds, the American people sent a powerful message that their interests trump narrow political agendas and special interests,” said Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

“Today, we saw elected leaders stand up and make clear that the failed promises of global trade agreements, which only seem to serve irresponsible corporations, must come to an end. More importantly, we have seen what hard-working families can accomplish when we stand together and fight for what is right for both workers and this nation,” Perrone said.

“We keep score. We see the Democrats and the Republicans that stood with us. TAA was the only way to get Fast Track through, and despite the efforts of the President, TAA failed. The subsequent vote on Fast Track itself proved this as we failed to stop Fast Track by a margin of eight votes – just a difference of four votes either way. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi got it right when she said that Democrats have always supported TAA but not as a path to Fast Track,” said CWA past President Larry Cohen, leader of the coalition work on Fast Track.

CWA President Chris Shelton said, “I’ve never been prouder of our union and the work CWA members do. We’ll continue to fight back and build the movement we need.”

Organized labor relied heavily on their progressive allies, like CREDO Action to help spread the word of the dangers of passing this “NAFTA on steroids,” Fast Track legislation.

“The failure of the White House to win a key vote to advance Fast Track Authority for the TPP shows that the millions of Americans who spoke out against job killing trade deals are making a big difference despite an all out effort by Wall Street lobbyists, the Chamber of Commerce, and the White House to ram this through,” said Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director at CREDO Action.

However the fight over the TPP is far from over. House leadership has already stated that they will hold another vote on the Trade Authorization Assistance package early next week.

“This fight is not over,” Zaheed continued. “CREDO will continue to fight against Fast Track and any treaty that puts the rights of multinational corporations over the rights of the American people.”

We need our elected leaders to stay strong against the fierce lobbying arm of Wall Street and Big Business.

“We must fully defeat Fast Track, so that Congress can work for trade deals that give working families at least as much standing as corporations. We need 21st century trade that works for all of us, not just investors and multinational corporations,” wrote the CWA.

“Our broad coalition of Americans — representing millions of union members, environmental activists, immigrant rights advocates, people of faith, students, public health and consumer advocates, community leaders and so many more — will keep up the fight until Fast Track is defeated,” CWA concluded.

The New Hampshire Labor News would like to thank all of the Representatives who chose to stand with working families in opposition to this disastrous trade agreement. We the people have spoken and we thank you for listening! We hope that you will continue to stay strong in your opposition and defeat this disastrous trade agreement once and for all.

AFL-CIO Launches Ad Denouncing NY Rep. Kathleen Rice’s Fast Track Betrayal

Rep. Rice Caves to Corporate Interests, Disregards Working Men and Women

(Washington, DC) – Today, the AFL-CIO launched a six-figure ad buy that includes this TV ad in the New York City media market calling out Rep. Kathleen Rice for changing her stance on Fast Track. Rice, whose congressional district is the most union dense in the nation, had publicly stated at least twice her opposition to Fast Track.

“Which Kathleen can we trust,” the ad asks at the beginning. The ad then shows two examples of Rice saying she opposes Fast Track trade agreements because they cost American jobs. The ad ends with the question, “Should we ever trust Kathleen again.”

“Congresswoman Rice’s about-face on Fast Track is a complete betrayal not only to the constituents in the 4th Congressional District on Long Island but all working men and women across this country,” said Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO. “The Labor Movement believed in the Congresswoman, as did her constituents, when she promised to make the needs and concerns of working men and women a priority. She has unfortunately buckled to the pressure from corporate interests and has made a conscious decision to vote for Fast Track legislation that will harm working people, our families and the economy.”

Organizations that have been battling Fast Track from the beginning are concerned not only with shipping U.S. jobs overseas, but the threat to food safety, increased pollution and rising prescription drug prices are also disappointed in Rice.

“In flip-flopping with her recent support for a lousy secret trade deal, Representative Rice hasn’t just betrayed her own public statements and the constituents she promised to protect. She’s also increased the threat of unsafe food and pollution for all Long Islanders. It’s critical that the people Rice has sworn to serve know the truth about her sudden, callous sell-out of their health, safety and economic security,” said Alex Beauchamp, Northeast region director at Food & Water Watch, an advocacy group.

“We are outraged that Representative Rice would break a promise she made to Long Island working families and support Fast Track of the Trans Pacific Partnership,” said Working Families Party State Director Bill Lipton. “At a time when our middle class is being hollowed out and corporations are an increasingly dominant force, it is disturbing to see Rep. Rice betray her constituents and vote for a policy to further empower corporations to set the rules for both our economy and our democracy.”

“Congress can stop this Fast Track bill and prevent more massive, secretive corporate giveaways. But Democrats who side with corporate interests over the interests of regular Americans need to know their vote will​ not​ be forgotten or forgiven. Rep. Rice has changed her mind – but it’s not too late to change it back and do the right thing for her constituents.” Said Justin Krebs, campaign manager, MoveOn.org Civic Action.
This is just the beginning of the advertising onslaught. The ad buy also includes digital ads in Politico, Roll Call and The Hill.

Hundreds of vocal members rallied at Rice’s district office Monday evening.

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