Working people in unions stand for an inclusive economy that lifts wages, improves working conditions and grows the middle class. We believe in the dignity of work and that everyone has a right to share in our collective prosperity. The labor movement fights for a better life for all of America's working people. This includes fighting to elect candidates who reflect and uphold our values.
What Working People Want
Working people want our elected leaders to think big and lead the fight against social and economic injustice. Today, two families control more wealth than nearly half of our population. One family is spending nearly a billion dollars to influence this election cycle. Meanwhile, more than 60% of America's households have little margin for error and are just one missed paycheck from economic calamity. This is not the America our children should inherit. We can and must do better.
Better Wages And Benefits
The key to addressing wage stagnation and growing inequality is rebuilding working people’s bargaining power. That begins with full employment. There should be a good job in America for everyone who wants one.
It’s time to rewrite the rules to raise wages for all working people and to make our government a partner in creating better lives for ourselves and our children. Working people deserve new rules that ensure the right to join together to demand better wages and working conditions without the fear of getting fired or facing employer retaliation—whether we work at Walmart or Nissan or Uber or in the public sector in Wisconsin or the private sector in Mississippi. And we want teeth in these laws, so employers can’t delay and defy the rules for years while working people wait for relief.
Our laws must reflect the fact that most parents work and that many people care for aging parents. We stand for equal pay for equal work for women. We stand for every working person having paid sick days, paid family leave and predictable schedules. All people—including those who work for tips—deserve a $15 an hour minimum wage indexed to the cost of living.
National Infrastructure Investment
America must invest in our national infrastructure to build the foundation for a 21st century economy. This means trillions of dollars of new investments in our transportation, water, communications and energy systems—including universal broadband, high-speed rail and a smart electrical grid. Rebuilding our infrastructure at the necessary scale will create millions of jobs. With Buy American and Buy America standards built in, along with the extension of prevailing wage standards, project labor agreements and responsible contracting rules, we can ensure that these are good, middle-class jobs, free from exploitation.
Promote America's Manufacturing
Our country can and should promote manufacturing in America again. We must change our trade rules to prioritize the interests of the American people, instead of global corporations. Labor opposes all agreements that give new rights to foreign corporations, allow currency manipulation to continue, encourage the offshoring of jobs and profits and repress peoples’ rights and wages. That is why we strongly oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership and reject a lame-duck vote. We want to eliminate all incentives, including tax loopholes, that encourage companies to offshore jobs and profits.
It’s time to invest in our communities again, starting with publicly financed preschool. We want every child to have a first-rate education that includes access to a college education or vocational training, regardless of family income.
Our seniors deserve to retire with dignity. We stand for strengthening and expanding Social Security. We will fight any cuts to Social Security or Medicare. People younger than 65 should be able to participate in Medicare, and we support a public health insurance option. We are committed to health care for all people and, ultimately, a single-payer system.
We expect promises to pensioners to be sacred. Private companies should not be able to use bankruptcy to renege on their obligations, and public employees’ pensions cannot be used to balance budgets. We want the health care excise tax repealed and the assault on good employer-provided benefits stopped.
Wall Street Reform
Working people in unions want new financial rules. We demand that the earnings of Wall Street traders and hedge fund managers be taxed at the same rate as other professionals. We will push to break up too-big-to-fail banks and to restore the wall between government-insured banking and high-risk private investment banks. It’s time to encourage productive investments in job-creating businesses instead of speculation, excessive CEO pay, stock buy-backs and offshore profit-hoarding. We will fight for a Wall Street speculation tax on the trading of stocks, bonds and other financial products in order to reduce high-frequency trading and risky speculation—and to raise funds for infrastructure and public goods.
Social And Economic Justice For All
It is time for equality at work and in our communities. Everyone deserves this, without regard to who they love or how they look. And the families of the millions of hardworking immigrants who do our toughest jobs deserve full citizenship, nothing less.
Racism and classism have no place in our justice system. We should expand diversion programs, provide those who are imprisoned with skills training and restore their voting rights upon release.
In our America, we respect each other, we take care of each other and we invest in the common good. We are stronger together. We the people, who do the work and create the wealth, should share in the affluence we help create. This is the America the labor movement expects to build with a victory in November.