Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Senate Republicans Vote to Silence Working Americans

Senate Republicans Vote to Silence Working Americans

Senate Republicans voted unanimously last week for elections that are competitions of cash, with candidates who amass the most money empowered to shout down opponents.

The GOP rejected elections that are contests of ideas won by candidates offering the best concepts.

Forty-two Republican Senators on Thursday opposed advancing a proposed constitutional amendment called Democracy for All. It would have ended the one percent’s control over elections and politicians. It would have reversed the democracy-destroying Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions by permitting Congress and state legislatures to once again limit campaign spending. Republicans said no because they favor the system that indentures politicians to wealthy benefactors. 

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Fast Food Franchise Owners Ask Congress For Help To Stop Worker Campaign For Wages, Union

Alan Pyke

Alan Pyke Deputy Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

Fast Food Franchise Owners Ask Congress For Help To Stop Worker Campaign For Wages, Union

The fast food industry is hoping that a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill can blunt the momentum that fast food workers have gained through nearly two years of strikes and multiple lawsuits.

The International Franchise Association (IFA) is flying fast food store owners and other franchisees into Washington on Tuesday to drum up congressional opposition to a recent legal decision that could make corporations liable for how franchise employees are treated. The trade group expects more than 350 business owners from both the franchisee and franchisor sides of the business model to show up at its event this week, according to The Hill. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and former Republican Governors Association head and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour are scheduled to speak to the group, and the paper reports that top Senate Republicans will introduce legislation targeting federal labor regulators in general later this week.

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Republicans Unanimously Block Equal Pay Bill

Bryce Covert

Bryce Covert Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

Republicans Unanimously Block Equal Pay Bill

After allowing the Paycheck Fairness Act to move forward last week, Senate Republicans turned around on Monday evening and unanimously voted to block the bill, which would ban salary secrecy and tighten rules to try to narrow the gender wage gap.

The vote came weeks after the Republican National Committee claimed that “All Republicans support equal pay.” Senate Republicans have unanimously shot the bill down multiple times over the past four years.

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Obamacare and Family Values: Parents Get to Stay Home With Children

Dean Baker

Dean Baker Co-Director, Author, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Obamacare and Family Values: Parents Get to Stay Home With Children

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was pushed primarily as a way to extend health insurance coverage. This was, and is, an important goal.

However, another important aspect of the ACA is its impact on the labor market. The vast majority of people who are below Medicare age get their insurance through their job. This meant that tens of millions of people felt tied to a job because this was the only way they could get insurance for themselves and their families.

A key feature of Obamacare is that by allowing people to get insurance through the exchanges, workers would no longer feel tied to their jobs in the same way. Workers that wanted to look for jobs that may be a better fit, or wanted to try to start their own business, or just hated their boss, could now take this step without worrying about losing insurance for themselves and their families.

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Make Sure You Can Vote on Election Day!

Make Sure You Can Vote on Election Day!

Union Matters

How the Poor (a.k.a. Working Class) Can Save Capitalism

It sounds like the ultimate oxymoron, but it’s not.  Rather, it’s the title of a thoughtful, well-received book: How the Poor Can Save Capitalism, by John Hope Bryant.

Bryant serves on the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans; his book has been called brilliant and inspiring.  In it, he makes a solid case that helping the poor and working-class is the best way to improve America’s economy in general.

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