• Advertisement

Labor Reacts to Selection of Tim Kaine


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.”

AFT President Wiengarten Says; Republicans’ Irresponsible Actions That Could Lead to a Shutdown

Weingarten: “What they are threatening to do puts at risk the futures and the dreams of kids all over this country. We need to ensure the welfare of the nation’s neediest kids and reclaim the promise of public education for all children.”

WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the Republican congressional actions that could lead to a government shutdown:

“Some extremists who have the ear of the House Republican leadership are making a mockery of our democracy, and in so doing, may cause our economy to spin out into another recession. As a former civics teacher, I find this appalling. What they are threatening to do puts at risk the futures and the dreams of kids all over this country.

“We need to ensure the welfare of the nation’s neediest kids and reclaim the promise of public education for all children. A government shutdown, for example, could immediately cut an estimated 19,000 Head Start and Early Head Start spots across 10 states. The effects of the shutdown would compound the billions of dollars in sequestration cuts that affected programs for students with disabilities and disadvantaged students and early childhood education services for low-income children. We need to spend less time talking about a needless shut down and more time figuring out how to end sequestration in 2014 in its entirety.

“The far right wing’s craven political brinkmanship is reckless and irresponsible. A shutdown would be terrible for our fragile economy. A brief shutdown would put about a million federal employees out of work; that is enough to undo the last six months of job growth in the private sector. A shutdown of up to a month would reduce real GDP by an estimated 1.4 percentage points in the fourth quarter, while a two-month shutdown would put the economy back into recession. The last recession drove 2.7 million children into poverty.”

Labor and Community Activists Protest Senator Ayotte’s Vote on Gun Reform

One of the most controversial debates going on in Congress and throughout the country is the issue of gun reform legislation. Even among the NH Labor News fan club there is great and contentious debate. People have asked me, why is a labor union blog talking about gun reform? I along with members of the American Federation of Teachers feel that the gun issue is an issue labor should be talking about. It is a workplace safety issue.

It has been four months since 20 first graders and six educators were murdered at Sandy Hook elementary school. Those heroic educators were members of AFT. That direct connection has push AFT directly into the gun reform issue.

As all of you are probably aware the US Senate held their first vote on common sense comprensive gun reform legislation. Time and time again, in poll after poll American citizens overwhelmingly support universal background checks on all gun sales. The bill like so many in the Senate was filibustered by the Senate GOP. The vote, which was 54-46 failed to pass the 60 vote threshold to beat the filibuster.

After the vote, AFT President Randi Wiengarten released the following statement:

“Make no mistake—the NRA and the gun manufacturers won out today over the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of our children, families and communities. A government by the people and for the people must serve the American people and not the gun lobby.

“The tragic question facing us now is how many gun deaths will it take before Congress lives up to its basic responsibility to protect and serve the American people? Twenty-six children and teachers gunned down in Newtown, Conn. Thirty-two students and faculty killed at Virginia Tech. U.S. Rep. Gabby Gifford shot outside a supermarket. Thirteen students and educators brutally murdered at Columbine High School. Twelve people gunned down in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Nearly 3,500 Americans killed by guns since Dec. 14—more than 50 of them children. The time for action is now.

“We applaud Sens. Manchin, Toomey, Feinstein, Blumenthal, Schumer, Kirk and Lautenberg for their leadership, as well as the other senators who voted for commonsense gun safety legislation today. AFT members admire their courage for standing up and doing what is right for our children and families.”

This vote drew ire from the local community, especially here in New Hampshire. NH GOP Senator Kelly Ayotte was one of the Senators who voted against this common sense legislation. This vote also showed the absolute disfunction of the US Senate. The filibuster rule must be changed. No other place does 46 votes beat 54.

Today I joined with other labor activists, former union members and community activists to show our distain for Senator Ayotte’s vote against universal background checks on all gun sales. Some of the people in the crowd including a State Rep who retired from New Hampshire Department of Health and Humans Department has seen gun violence first hand. She has been an outspoken advocate against domestic abuse and gun violence for as long as I have know her. In a recent rally by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns rally in North Carolina, Kit Grunelle highlighted the fact background checks help protect women of domestic violence. Background checks stop gun sales to those who have protective orders against them. “In states where a background check is required for every handgun sale, 38 percent fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

Background Check VoteWe are calling on all Americans to contact their US Senators this week. See how your Senator voted. If they voted for the bill, call them and thank them for standing up for the safety and security of the American people. If they voted against the bill call them and tell them how disappointed you are in their vote and that you want them to reconsider their position. If they do not change their position explain to them that you will not be able to support them in their next election campaign. You can reach your senator by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

We need to focus our efforts by focusing on the facts, not NRA propaganda. Background Checks do not impede our second amendment rights. It is a minor inconvenience at most that will help to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and the mentally ill.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten’s Statement on New Gun Control Proposal

AFT Logo

Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on proposals to reduce gun violence and create safe schools and communities: 

“The tragic events of Newtown must serve as a clarion call for immediate action to keep our communities safe from gun violence and ensure schools are the safe sanctuaries our children need to learn and grow. We applaud President Obama and Vice President Biden for heeding this call for action with a series of common-sense, balanced proposals that will make our nation safer, including:

Banning the sale of the kind of large ammunition clips that were used to massacre 26 children and adults and injure others at Sandy Hook Elementary School;Expanding background checks before purchasing a gun and cracking down on those who lie on background checks;Cracking down on illegal gun trafficking;Banning assault weapons that have no other use but to kill a large number of people quickly;Enforcing current gun laws and investing in research around combating gun violence; andInvesting in mental health services.

“Schools across our country are in desperate need of resources to create safe, secure and nurturing learning environments, and we are glad the president has recognized that need. Some schools, due to their remoteness or following horrendous tragedies such as the massacre in Newtown, may decide that appropriately trained police officers are necessary. Other schools may decide instead that more school guidance counselors, social workers and psychologists are needed. These decisions should be made by individual school communities following safety audits.

“Under no circumstances should educators have the responsibility of being armed, and schools should not become armed fortresses. The role of educators is to teach and nurture our children, not to be armed guards.

“In times of great tragedy, Americans have always come together to grieve, to support one another, and to act—to put aside what divides us and take collective action to heal and move our nation forward. Too many of our children have had their lives cut short and their futures denied by gun violence—in their schools and in their communities. We have a set of effective proposals and now we must find the political will to get it done.”

Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: http://twitter.com/rweingarten

  • Subscribe to the NH Labor News via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 12,612 other subscribers

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement