Frank Mathews, Administrative Director of Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 4, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss a number of life altering pieces of legislation and how Congress’ actions could benefit working families for decades to come.
He also discussed the CWA’s awarding of the Red Boxing Glove award, the Union’s highest legislative award, to Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) in honor of their fight for working families.
An exciting time in labor politics
Congress has the chance to pass life-altering legislation for working people over the next two months — possibilities that seemed far-fetched only a year ago in the dark days of the pandemic, Mathews said.
The PRO Act, pro-worker legislation that makes it easier for workers to organize, passed the U.S. House, but is likely to get held up by the Senate’s filibuster.
A number of issues in the PRO Act can be moved to the budget reconciliation bill because they address the country’s budget and are attached to dollar amounts, however. These issues could then be passed with a simple majority vote through the reconciliation bill, he said. These issues include making union dues tax deductible and increasing company fines for labor violations.
It is the voting rights legislation, such as the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, where the rubber hits the road, said Mathews. He believes the necessity of passing this legislation will eventually convince a majority of Democrats to abandon the filibuster, which could lead to the passage of both bills as well as open up possibilities for the PRO Act.
The next two months will be the most exciting electoral period for labor in decades, he said. The American public elected this Congress to power for a good reason — and it is wrong to allow 10 Senators in the minority to gridlock the entire Senate.
CWA awards Red Boxing Glove Award
Both Rep. Ryan and Rep. Pocan received the Red Boxing Glove award, CWA District 4’s highest legislative award, given only eight times in the last decade. The award honors their efforts in supporting the PRO Act, union members and working families, Mathews said. The award is an actual set of boxing gloves, signed by CWA members, to symbolize the fight for workers.