Nation’s Biggest Union Boss Issues Litmus Test For Supporting Democrats

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

The nation’s biggest union boss, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, has given Democrat candidates a stern warning: You’re either with us, or you’re against us.

Beginning his speech to House Democratic candidates earlier this week, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called June’s Janus decision by the U.S. Supreme Court—which gave government workers the right to voluntarily choose whether they financially support unions—an ‘insult to injury’ before he gave the Democratic hopefuls the nation’s largest labor federation’s list of demands for the mid-term elections.

According to Trumka, unions have a laundry list of demands that Democrats must advocate in order to get union backing.

To earn and keep our support, you have to be an advocate for our agenda. More than anything, that means helping us pass the Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act so aspiring union members can organize freely and fairly. It means health care as a fundamental right, the expansion of Social Security and guaranteed pensions. It means trillions of dollars so we can build the best infrastructure in the world with union labor and prevailing wages.

It means trade deals that actually work for working people and a tax code that invests in American jobs and American workers. And it means comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship that reunites our families and ends the terror in our workplaces and our communities. [Emphasis added.]

While most of the ‘demands’ are self-explanatory, from a more simple policy perspective, the unions’ are pushing for:

  • Companies to become unionized without secret-ballot elections, vis a vis ‘card check,’ as well as government-appointed arbitrators to dictate first contracts;
  • A single-payer healthcare system;
  • A government bailout for failing multi-employer pension funds;
  • “Trillions of dollars” in federal infrastructure (to be done with union labor),
  • To legalize those undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.

As in past elections, unions will likely withhold their endorsements from candidates who do not commit to passing the unions’ agenda.


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