A Labor Day scorecard released by Rutgers University found most workers in a bad place. 10 percent of workers, according to the report card, are unemployed or underemployed, 25 percent more than only one year ago. The median weekly earnings of workers has not grown in eight years, the federal minimum wage when adjusted for inflation is worth 40 cents less an hour than one year ago. Four percent of part-timers want full time employment, but can’t find it.
By Doug Cunningham
Wisconsin usually goes blue in presidential races, but they have been close. Wisconsin AFL-CIO President David Newby says the work to put Wisconsin in the Democratic column has been underway for months.
[Newby]: “And doing both voter registration but especially having union members talking one on one to other union members. Because we know that that’s the most powerful way that people can organize, talk about the issues and get them away from what’s on the nightly news and talk radio.”
What will many union members be doing as Senator John McCain gives his speech accepting the Republican Nomination for President? Knocking on doors. Jesse Russell reports:
As Senator John McCain accepts his party’s nomination on Thursday night, union members from a cross the country will be knocking on doors and explaining to neighbors why they support Senator Barack Obama. As a lead up, many members have been hosting a sort of “virtual march” by posting videos on YouTube explaining why they support Obama and not McCain. John Brothers is with the Operating Engineers in Kentucky:
[Brothers]: Get out on Sept. 4 and walk in support of candidate Obama and additionally, show our discontent with Senator McCain.
By Doug Cunningham
SEIU’s Anna Burger spent Labor Day in St. Paul for the opening of the Republican National Convention in SEIU’s Take Back Labor Day bus tour. Burger says while Barack Obama has a plan for rebuilding America’s infrastructure and creating jobs, the Republicans are not offering any real solutions to the economic woes of working Americans.
[Burger]: “The reality is that it’s sipping away from working people in this country. We need a strong candidate who will out there on the side of working people as opposed to just the wealthy and the rich.
Burger says SEIU
It’s Labor Day and we certainly won’t find President Bush rubbing shoulders and sharing burgers with electricians, teachers, steelworkers, firefighters or most anybody else who makes up the nation’s working family backbone.
Nope. He was set to be in the Twin Cities addressing the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul, doing his best to boost the candidacy of his “twin,” Sen. John McCain, so the nation can have another four years of Bush rule and policies. But fearing another Hurricane Katrina out-of-touch moment, he cancelled his convention plans when Hurricane Gustav was headed to the Gulf Coast.
Union members are ready for labor walks Sept. 4, the night Sen. John McCain accepts his nomination for the presidency. Many of these activists in Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and around the nation will knock on doors while McCain is giving his speech to let our union brothers and sisters know that McCain will tax our health care benefits, take educational opportunities away from our veterans and privatize our Social Security.
Below and in video clips, union members across the nation tell why they’re walking Sept. 4, and why they’re supporting Sen. Barack Obama for president.
“It’s time you had a partner in the White House,” presidential candidate Barack Obama says in a video Labor Day message to America’s working families.Promising to end tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas, to sign the Employee Free Choice Act and to deliver tax relief to 95 percent of working families, Obama says:
America was built by its laborers, but today our workers are struggling just to get by in an economy that no longer works for them. That’s why we can’t afford four more years of the failed George Bush economic policies—policies that Sen. McCain has proudly embraced and promises to continue.
It’s time we had a president who will stand up for working men and women by building an economy that rewards not just wealth, but work and the workers who create it. It’s time you had a partner in the White House who knows that the struggles facing working families can’t be solved by spending billions of dollars on more tax breaks for big corporations and wealthy CEOs, and that hardworking families need immediate relief….