Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Unions Should Hold Off On Endorsements

What has the Democratic party and the last two Democratic presidents done for labor? Bill Clinton promised labor law reform, but when elected he wasn’t at all interested. However, he did give labor North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the union presidents were furious, but with some schmoozing and attending White House galas they soon forgot unions were thrown under the bus and all the money they donated. Then along came Barak Obama, who promised the Employee Free Choice Act, also called card check, and it never happened. Both he and Clinton had control of Congress at the beginnings of their administrations, but now it looks like Obama will give us the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), instead. This trade agreement is even worse than NAFTA. NAFTA and TPP are perfect examples of why labor needs to hold their endorsements until there is a solid commitment from the presidential candidate. Hillary Clinton is an extension of Bill, a corporatist and beholden to Wall Street and big business, an oligarchy and not concerned with 99 percent. In contrast, Bernie Sanders so far is the only one willing to stand with labor, supports a $15 minimum wage, free education, raising the minimum wage and Social Security, is concerned with climate change and hasn’t forgotten his roots. Both Clinton and Obama did good things for the country, they both screwed over the working people and it is these people who drive the economy, not the retirees and young. If Bernie Sanders will give labor new and better labor laws and card check, labor could start rebuilding the middle class and put cash in the pockets of spenders to buy products. Every election season, union presidents jump over themselves to try to be the first in line to endorse the establishment’s Democratic nominee without getting anything in return. It is time for this practice to stop. Let’s ask the rank and file membership who they want to support, like the Communications Workers of America, and what the Sheet Metal union SMART is doing. The best bet in my opinion is an endorsement and vote for Bernie Sanders for president. With Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren as vice president and Robert Reich in a cabinet position, all the ails of this country—wealth and lifestyle inequality, degraded infrastructure, failing education system, greedy pharmaceutical companies, bankrupt federal agencies, like the Food and Drug Administration, student debt, our prison industry, climate change, our military industrial complex, the National Rifle Association and many others the GOP has inflicted on our country, bringing it to its knees in the interest of greed and their moneyed overlords.