AUFC Celebrates Labor Day and the Movement That Built the Middle Class
Washington DC (September 7, 2015) – Americans United for Change President Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement in recognition of Labor Day:
“This Labor Day we pay tribute to the hard-working men and women who are driving the economic recovery, and we celebrate the labor movement that built the middle class in this country brick by brick. All American workers, not just union members, benefit from the contributions of the labor movement. From establishing weekends, paid vacation and sick leave, work safety standards, overtime pay, workman’s comp, and Social Security, to today’s fights to raise the outdated minimum wage and overtime pay threshold – unions continue to play a leading role in lifting more Americans into the middle class.
“When people come together to negotiate with their employer, they’re in a stronger position to take home a fairer slice of the economic growth that they helped create. And so it’s no coincidence that as union membership has declined in recent years, the income inequality gap has widened, with Corporate CEOs hoarding all the fruits of the labor sector’s increased productivity. There’s no mystery why wages in Right-to-Work (for Less) states are over 3 percent lower than those in non-RTW states. Paying workers less for more hours has been the goal all along of the Koch brothers and outsourcing CEOs behind the anti-labor movement. For the Republicans in Congress and running for President who are openly hostile to unions, Labor Day will be an awkward one for explaining to voters why they want to take away their ability to bargain for better wages, improved health benefits and retirement security. Far-right Governors like Scott Walker, who actually compared unions to ISIS, pride themselves on chipping away at the protections and paychecks of working and middle class Americans. And now they want to drag the U.S. Supreme Court into their political plans with a case called Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association, which would make our economy even more out of whack.
“Despite years of the Koch-fueled, ALEC-organized, Republican-executed attacks against collective bargaining rights, there are clear signs of a union comeback. What’s got to be concerning to the Kochs are the trends: Recent polling showing that income inequality is a top voter concern and, that nearly 60 percent of Americans and a majority of millennials, regardless of political affiliation, support labor unions. Americans are increasingly recognizing the importance of unions to creating an economy that works for everyone, a trend that will only continue as long as the headlines continue of the rich getting richer off their work while their wages remain stagnant. Perhaps that’s why they are trying to drag the Supreme Court into their political schemes to weaken America’s middle class even more.”