Today’s episode of America’s Work Force Union Podcast features a replay of one of our best performing episodes of the month. This is a replay of our Labor Day special edition featuring an interview with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and statements from various labor voices.
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. Along with union approval ratings being at their 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 as disposable during the height of the pandemic. They were not given increased protections, did not receive hazard pay and struggled to get the proper personal protective equipment. These workers were required to show up to work everyday in order to keep our economy on life support and were treated as less than valuable.
Trumka said if the HEROES Act were to be passed by the Senate and signed by the president, it 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. He said state and local governments should purchase American-made products in order to keep manufacturing domestic. Furthermore, Trumka said as jobs are created there will be more union jobs, which will offer better wages, benefits and healthcare.
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.