‘We have to send a loud, clear message: “right to work” is wrong for workers and wrong for America’
In remarks at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton reiterated her commitment to fighting for working families as president and defending labor unions from Republican attacks.
“I can’t imagine how we could run our country if we didn’t have people like you, and the members you represent, working on our behalf every day,” Clinton said. “That’s why it’s so outrageous when Republican governors steamroll public employees and stomp on workers’ rights. In Wisconsin, the cradle of the labor movement, Scott Walker has ripped the heart, he’s ripped the heart, out of public-sectors workers’ right to bargain collectively for better wages and benefits. In Illinois, Bruce Rauner has been holding the budget hostage for months, endangering public colleges and universities, hurting families, and demanding outrageous concessions from public-sector unions.”
“And even though workers’ rights won the day in the Supreme Court in the Friedrichs case, make no mistake—we haven’t seen the last of efforts to use the courts to undermine your rights,” she said. “So I promise you this: I will be by your side in this fight every step of the way. When I am President, working people will always have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House. Because I believe that when unions are strong, America is strong.”
Clinton highlighted Trump’s plan to repeal Wall Street reform laws passed in the wake of the Great Recession. “I predict that Donald will try to con you with tough talk about Wall Street. Don’t believe him,” she said. “Donald Trump wants to tear up Dodd-Frank and let Wall Street run wild again.”
Clinton also highlighted Trump’s hiring of a union-busting firm, his consistent practice of shortchanging contractors – driving some out of business – and a consensus among economists that his policies would plunge us back into a recession.
“Unions helped build the strongest middle class in the history of the world. You pioneered the basic bargain that made our country great. You know what it is: if you work hard and do your part, you should be able to get ahead and stay ahead,” she said. “And you’ve been on the frontlines of the fight for affordable health care, safe working conditions, fair schedules and fair wages. And I know you’re not just fighting for your members, as important as that is – you’re fighting for all working families.”
“I’m proud to be in the trenches fighting alongside you to raise wages, protect pensions, and keep the ‘public’ in ‘public sector.’ That includes ending private prisons and detention centers that profit off our criminal justice and immigration system,” Clinton said. “And we have to send a loud, clear message: ‘right to work’ is wrong for workers and wrong for America.”
“We will pursue a bold, progressive agenda that lifts our country up. So that no one is left out or left behind,” she said. “AFSCME helped to make our 2016 Democratic platform a strong vision. It’s wonderful to be with people who want to build America up, not tear Americans down.”
A transcript of Clinton’s full remarks to the AFSCME Annual Conference is available here.