AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka described the measuring stick organized labor would use for evaluating support for political candidates in next year’s federal elections.
Speaking April 28 at AFL-CIO headquarters two blocks from the White House before an audience that included press and representatives from various unions, Trumka stated the AFL-CIO would consider supporting candidates who will raise wages, invest in the future and provide an “authentic voice” for the causes of working people.
“We are not satisfied with words. We want action,” he declared.
Trumka’s address was a continuation of the AFL-CIO “Raising Wages” campaign launched in January. That effort also includes the organization’s “Common Sense Economics” program, which shows union members and their allies how to fight back against laws and legislation designed to limit the voice of working people.
“Since 1978, CEO pay has increased 1000 percent. During that same time, for 90 percent of us, pay has gone down. This is a violation of the American Dream.”
Trumka said workers were “being held down on purpose” as the wealthy have been rewriting laws and regulations that keep wages down while increasing corporate profits.
“Workers are hungry for a path to a prosperous 21st Century. Raising wages is the first step,” he added. “People who do the work should share in the wealth they create.”
He noted the AFL-CIO’s doors would be open to any candidate who will work to transform the economy and stand side-by-side with working families. “Workers want to know whose side these politicians are on. We want candidates who will deliver on the American Promise and we won’t settle for less.”
Trumka announced the next Raising Wages summit would take place in Iowa in May, with others scheduled later this year in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina – the first four states to host either presidential primaries or caucuses.
In her introduction of Trumka, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler said, “We have been working too hard for too little for too long.”