These are unnerving times for American workers, who work more, but earn less. While corporations post record profits, the middle class is shrinking. Not since the time of the Great Depression, has income disparity been this great. While CEOs make millions and corporations make billions, Americans making the minimum wage are struggling to make ends meet. America is becoming a land of low paying jobs and the we are losing the opportunity to achieve the American dream.
It is clear that strengthening labor unions is a pathway to rebuilding our middle class. The expansion and contraction of the American middle class during the past century is in direct correlation to the expansion and contraction of public and private union jobs available to American workers. At the height of America’s middle class expansion during the last century, Union jobs and income tax rates for the wealthiest Americans were at the highest levels in history.
While the right to form a union and engage in collective bargaining is enshrined in U.S. and international human rights laws, unfortunately, for too many workers it is a right that exists only on paper. Workers who join together to form unions face intense employer opposition and harassment. Labor law is in dire need of reform to return its original intent of allowing workers to come together and form unions and to bargain collectively with their employers over working conditions, wages and benefits.
When elected, I will publicly support workers who are forming unions by reaffirming the importance of unions to our communities and by taking actions on behalf of workers such as contacting employers and urging them not to interfere with employee free choice, issuing public statements in support of workers, honoring picket lines as I always have done, sponsoring public forums and otherwise supporting union organizing. I will support efforts to improve and defend labor law and oppose efforts to undermine agencies that protect workers’ rights like the National Labor Relations Board and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.I will support raising the minimum wage. Please support me with your vote on June 3.