Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO joined America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on Labor Day 2020 to address various labor-related issues across the U.S.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Labor Related Issues
Trumka said the platform adopted by the Democrats is the most progressive platform he has seen in his lifetime.
“It rivals the platform of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and it was spawned and sponsored by Democratic candidates – Joe Biden, Harris, Bernie Sanders and by a bunch of others like Elizabeth Warren,” he said.
Trumka proudly announced collective action is higher now than at any point over the past 50 years. He said besides approval ratings are the highest point in the last half century, more collective bargaining is taking place, as over 60 million people indicated they would join a union today if given the opportunity.
Trumka discussed the coronavirus pandemic and the lessons it taught Americans. Despite frontline workers being considered essential and called heroes, they were treated like they were disposable during the height of the pandemic. They were not given better protections, did not receive hazard pay and struggled to get personal protective equipment so in order to safely perform their jobs. These workers were required to show up to work everyday in order to keep our economy on life support and were treated like they were less than valuable.
Trumka said the HEROES Act, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, would have been the best course of action to help people affected by the pandemic. However, Senate Republicans refused to come to the table and consider this legislation. Democrats were willing to meet in the middle with Republicans on the stimulus package, but no compromise was reached.
In order to stimulate the U.S. economy, Trumka said Americans need to buy American-made products. This will create more jobs and stimulate the economy. State and local governments should purchase American made products in order to keep American manufacturing onshore. Furthermore, Trumka said as jobs are created, there will be more union jobs which will offer better wages, benefits and healthcare. This will positively help everyone in the industry.
Labor Day 2020
Finally, Trumka explained what Labor Day 2020 will mean for U.S. workers. This year, Labor Day represents an opportunity to change the direction of the country.
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