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Democrats need to fight harder for unions if they want to win

Organized labor has been an important part of the Democratic coalition since the implementation of the New Deal in the 1930s, and the party has relied on union support ever since.

But if Democrats don’t make many empty promises and unfulfilled promises to unionists, they will face a rude awakening. Those voters will stay at home, or as many did in the 2020 election, vote Republican.

Undeniably, the upcoming midterm elections will be tough for Democrats. Regardless of the ruling party’s tendency to often struggle to win seats in Parliament, analysts are predicting a dire outcome in November. As inflation picks up, a war in Europe raises prices at gas stations and The consequences of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic are still present, voters are frustrated – and they will likely blame the party that runs both Congress and the White House.

Biden and Democrats did not sit on their hands. On the contrary, they have approved a massive COVID aid package, a historic infrastructure package, and have demonstrated steadfast international leadership in the face of Russia’s gratuitous war of aggression in Ukraine.

But when it comes to unions – whom Democrats support simply cannot win without – Democrats have failed to deliver on most of the promises they made in the election. 2020. Congress failed to pass the Protection of the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a sweeping bill that would expand labor protections related to employees’ rights to organize and bargain collectively in workplace, as Biden promised during his campaign. Even when the president announced an executive order requiring union labor to be used in new infrastructure projects, he refused to issue additional executive orders that would have imposed the same policies. the labor policy his union modernization task force demanded.

Mixed messages of support for unions struck again earlier this month. In a speech to members of the North American Construction Union (days after the historic consolidation of an Amazon factory in New York), President Biden reflected on his administration’s role in the protect unions. He say, “By the way, Amazon, here we come. Watch the clock. But right after the speech, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was strong Step back what the president said: “What he’s not doing is sending a message that he or the US government will be directly involved in any of these efforts or take any direct action.” .”

This is not how the Democrats should treat a significant part of their coalition, and one that is popular with Americans.

While the number of official union members fell by less than one percent last year, union petitions are up 56 percent this year and approval of labor unions is at its highest level since. since 1965.

Correspondingly, much of the organized labor and strike action has been taking place in battleground states where Democrats need to win elections. If Democrats can back these efforts with pro-labor legislative victories before November, they have a great chance of contesting the ballot in rural communities.

“In addition to policy victories, Democrats need to show solidarity by standing with prominent workers on the hotline.”

Here’s the deal, though, people in rural America are just as complex and diverse as voters anywhere. And like most people, rural union workers could see right through the facades as politicians showed up to demand votes — promising things they couldn’t or wouldn’t deliver.

Democrats, in many of these cities, are still rebuilding the credibility they lost when former President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – shipping millions of workers well-paid union work abroad. Trump and Republicans have repeatedly beaten Democrats to this defeat when it comes to pitching to rural voters.

But when Democrats appear before rural communities to stand with union workers, good things happen. For example, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders met with striking union coal workers in Alabama who were fighting against private equity firms that were cutting their benefits and wages. Some of these workers often vote Republican, like Riley Hughlett, a participant in the strike. Hughlett told NPR he’s grateful that Sanders raised money for their strike fund. “The man walked up, I was shocked but at least it shows he’s a nice guy,” Hughlett added.

Rural union workers are willing to listen to Democrats, but if they don’t deliver results for union workers, they won’t make any electoral progress in rural communities. As Republicans continue to push anti-labor propaganda in these places, claiming that Democrats only care about people living in “green cities,” any shortfall will be lost by workers. Rural unions interpret as indifference.

To ensure that union support for midterm Democrats is not only secured — but also attracts key new voters — President Biden needs to show results.

The administration must work with Congress to sign the PRO Act into law and implement, by executive order, the policies its union modernization task force recommends — such as mandating contracts federal dollars must not be spent on vandalizing unions, along with another recommendation to ensure that the “anti-union campaign activities of federal contractors are publicly disclosed. ”

These moves will clearly demonstrate to union workers not only that Democrats value their votes, but that they will fight for them. It would also encourage more workers to join unions, which Democrats can then legitimately gain credit for.

In addition to policy victories, Democrats need to show solidarity by standing with prominent workers on the hotline.

In New York, the first successful unionization of an Amazon warehouse inspired other Amazon workers around the country to form their own unions. That’s the problem.

It won’t be easy, but if Democrats show up and make it clear that they support union workers not only in words – but also in action – they can prevent a Party landing. Republic this November. And they will regain a constituency that they should never have lost to neglect in the first place.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/democrats-need-to-fight-harder-for-unions-if-they-want-to-win?source=articles&via=rss Democrats need to fight harder for unions if they want to win

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