January 24, 2020
Leslie is joined by United Steelworkers (USW) President, Tom Conway.
The two discuss Mitch McConnell’s Do-Nothing, Anti-Worker Senate.
Here are some important points that Tom and Leslie brought up when analyzing some of the most important bills for workers that have landed in Mitch McConnell's 'graveyard' in the Senate, where over 400 bills from the U.S. House are waiting to be voted on.
In the past year, the U.S. House passed a slate of bills that would help U.S. workers, including:
- the Butch Lewis Act, that would enable the federal government to help save the pensions of about 1.3 million hard-working Americans;
- the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, which would require employers in the health care and social service fields to implement violence-prevention plans;
- and an increase to the minimum wage, raising it from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2025. Congress hasn’t raised the minimum wage in over a decade.
Each of these bills is urgently needed, to help ensure fair wages, keep workers safe and safeguard workers’ right to a dignified retirement. However, the do-nothing Senate continues to ignore these bills and more than 400 others that would help millions of Americans. There has been no effort to compromise and no intention to hold a vote. Republican Senators, led by Mitch McConnell, are simply abdicating their responsibilities to help the American people. By refusing to legislate, the Senate sends a message to the American people that they don’t care about urgent issues like workplace safety, troubled pension plans or fair wages.
Next month, the House is expected to vote on another key bill that would improve the lives of working people: the PRO Act.
The PRO Act is a sweeping labor law reform bill that strengthens worker power by eliminating penalties for union organizing, among other protections for workers. This is especially important in an era of unprecedented attacks on workers’ rights.
Senate Republicans could help a lot of Americans by prioritizing workers over wealthy donors and greedy corporations. It just chooses not to. In November, workers have a choice too.
If anyone wants call their Senators and Representatives and tell them to support pro-worker legislation, they can look up their congresspeople and get their phone numbers by going to www.house.gov or www.senate.gov.
The website for the USW is www.USW.org. Their handle on both Twitter and Instagram is @steelworkers.The USW urges passage of the PRO Act. To help promote passage of the Pro Act, please post about it on social media using the hashtag #ProActNow.
Tom Conway was elected by the International Executive Board to succeed retiring International President Leo W. Gerard as leader of the United Steelworkers (USW), the largest industrial union in North America, effective July 15, 2019.
Previously, Conway served as International Vice President, a position he held since March 1, 2005, and was re-elected to four separate times.
During his 14-year tenure as International Vice President, Conway became the union’s most experienced contract negotiator in steel, aluminum, oil and other major industries where USW members work, often directing bargaining during crises.
Tom is a United States Air Force veteran and grew up in a union family in New Jersey. His father was an active member of the International Union of Operating Engineers. His mother worked in a brush factory, where she successfully organized a union and negotiated labor contracts.
You can read Tom's weekly blog at www.usw.org/blog.
This post is sponsored by cerity.com (Worker's Comp Insurance)