Shuler to White House: Let’s Revive Manufacturing
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler joined Vice President Joe Biden and other leaders at yesterday’s meeting of the White House Middle Class Task Force. The topic: restoring our crippled manufacturing sector.
The White House Middle Class Task Force yesterday issued a framework detailing the challenges facing manufacturing, and Shuler delivered a message to the White House that fixing manufacturing must be a priority in building a stronger economy.
Speaking to administration officials as part of a panel with other business and labor leaders, Shuler emphasized the need for government to step up and create policies to encourage manufacturing. In short: We can’t sustain a strong economy based on debt, imports and financial maneuvering.
Shuler praised White House proposals on job training, aid to displaced workers, infrastructure investment and ending the tax incentives that lead corporations to ship jobs overseas. She made the point that the nation needs a strong re-commitment to leveling the playing field for America’s manufacturing industry by enforcing its trade agreements, providing access to credit for small and medium-sized businesses through unused bank bailout funds and stopping the unfair practice of currency manipulation.
One of the ways we can really spur the economy and create jobs, Shuler said, is by making sure manufacturing is part of any policy agenda. Throughout discussions on creating good jobs, Shuler said, we must focus our efforts on young workers, to ensure they have access to sustainable jobs in the manufacturing sector.
Creating good paying, family sustaining manufacturing jobs is at the heart of rebuilding our economy, Shuler said. But, this alone is not enough; we must reform the health care system to lower employer costs and make our nation’s manufacturers more globally competitive and pass the Employee Free Choice Act to empower workers on the job, allowing them to bargain for fair wages and access to the training and development opportunities a union can provide.
The AFL-CIO has proposed a five-point plan to create a short-term solution to the job crunch and get our economy moving again.