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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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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Michigan Says, 'Sorry We Slapped Your Wrist Too Hard': Winners and Losers of the Week

Michigan Says, 'Sorry We Slapped Your Wrist Too Hard': Winners and Losers of the Week

In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.

Winners: Michigan teachers, who massively rejected a big push from the extreme right-wing Mackinac Center for Public Policy for them to opt out of paying union dues under new "right to work" rules in the state. 

Runners-Up: The cities of Sequim and Shelton, Wash., which fought back local right to work efforts funded by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

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New Website Keeps You on Top of Southern California Carwash Workers' Fight for Justice

Mike Hall

Mike Hall Senior Writer, AFL-CIO

New Website Keeps You on Top of Southern California Carwash Workers' Fight for Justice

We’ve been reporting on the fight for justice for Southern California Carwash workers—and their Community, Labor, Environmental, Action Network (CLEAN) Carwash campaign's many victories—since the carwasheros launched their campaign. Now with a new website, you can keep up with the latest developments in the workers’ campaign.

Here are some of the new features:

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Pass the Democracy for All Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

Pass the Democracy for All Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

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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