Dear Chester County Democrat:
Happy Labor Day. We have less than two months until the polls open. And about a month until we start mailing back our Mail-In Ballots!
As you enjoy this long holiday weekend, it occurred to me that not everyone understands why we Democrats respect and honor organized labor.
It has been the hard work of men and women in the labor movement that has given you and me fair wages, good working conditions, health care, and a comfortable retirement. And over the years, labor unions have also been staunch defenders of those rights.
If you do the research and look up our 2020 Democratic Party national platform, you will be assured we are on the right track for every American:
“Americans deserve an economy that works for everyone—not just for the wealthy and the well-connected. But our system has been rigged against the American people….
“Democrats will fight to raise wages for working people and improve job quality and security, including by raising the federal minimum wage so it reaches $15 an hour by 2026….”
I’ll admit today’s job market and unemployment figures are gloomy. But our party platform has a strategic plan to get American workers prospering again. Nine points (of many more) that strengthen labor unions while preventing management abuses include:
• repealing so-called “right to work” laws, which allow people to “opt out” of paying union dues or their “fair share” while still requiring union representation
• supporting prevailing wage laws so that government contracts do not undercut workers’ negotiated wages
• enacting OSHA safety standards for government employees who are currently exempt and enforcing them for all sectors of the workforce
• ensuring equal pay for equal work for all regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, race, or religion
• giving domestic workers and farm workers the same rights as other workers
• strengthening whistle-blower and anti-retaliation protections
• doing away with non-compete clauses, no-poaching agreements, and mandatory arbitration to resolve violations of employment laws
• holding executives personally accountable for interfering in workers’ efforts to organize
• protecting all private-sector workers’ right to strike without fear of coercion, interference, and undue delay
In a nutshell, “The right of workers to come together and form a union is under attack. We must unrig the rules that block workers from having the union they want….”
Ah, we can’t. They never wrote a 2020 platform. Our colleagues on the right did not care to put their ideas into writing. Instead, they refer interested parties (like, obviously, American workers) back to their 2016 platform.
In an interview with Peter Baker published in the New York Times on Aug. 27, “Mr. Trump rattled off a list of what he has done and would continue to do…” Furthermore, he says:
“But so I think, I think it would be, I think it would be very, very, I think we’d have a very, very solid, we would continue what we’re doing, we’d solidify what we’ve done, and we have other things on our plate that we want to get done.”
Got that? The 2020 Republican platform clearly has one plank: loyalty to Trump. But what did they say back in 2016, before the GOP became the POT (Party of Trump)?
It’s all carefully coded, but it opposes federal minimum wage legislation and manifestly aims to reduce union members’ rights, including federal employees, where it would “expedite the firing of bad workers” (i.e, those who fail a loyalty test to the president and his agents?), and it expressly says: “We support the right of states to enact Right-to-Work laws.”
On this Labor Day weekend, let us celebrate organized labor. As our friends at the AFL-CIO posted online: “This Labor Day, let’s honor the hard work of our union brothers, sisters and friends, and fight for the political candidates who will put America’s workers first.”
We have 57 days before Election Day. And we have an impressive roster of candidates who will put American workers first, starting with the Biden/Harris ticket and Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan and ending with our eleven Harrisburg-bound State Senate and State Representative candidates.
We are seeing Biden lawn signs popping up across the county. If you are in need of a Biden bumper sticker, we will happily mail one for every $25 donation (or more) to Chester County Democratic Committee. Every dollar raised in the coming weeks will help our ongoing efforts to Get Out The Vote in every precinct.
Donate online here. If you prefer to mail a check, make it payable to “CCDC” and send it to our headquarters at 37 S. High Street, West Chester, PA 19382.
Thank you for all you do. Stay safe this holiday weekend.