The nomination of Katherine Tai for U.S. Trade Representative is a positive step. Tai led negotiations over NAFTA 2.0 for the Democratic majority in Congress, helping to strengthen provisions in the new agreement that protect Mexican workers’ ability to form independent unions and negotiate for better pay and benefits. However, it remains to be seen how much Tai, and the Biden administration, are committed to policies that raise the wages and working conditions of workers in all countries.
UE Political Action Updates
The 2021 Medicare for All Strategy Conference, co-sponsored by the Labor Campaign for Single Payer, will be held online on January 23 and 24, 2021. All UE local leaders are urged to consider attending. The early-bird registration price of $35 is only available until December 18, so we urge you to register as soon as possible.
Since the pandemic began, more than 60 million Americans have filed for unemployment. Congress must act now, or millions more workers will lose their jobs without a safety net to catch them. Make plans to join the December 1 Day of Action for #ReliefNow by calling your senators at (202) 224-3121 to demand relief. Or join in-person events in Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston sponsored by the Association of Flights Attendants.
Biden’s victory owes more than a little to the efforts of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, whose presidential bid UE endorsed at the 2019 convention. Despite being forced out of the race after the Democratic Party establishment coalesced around Biden, Sanders brought his grassroots campaigning style to the general election, echoing UE’s message that although Biden is a flawed candidate, it was critical to defeat Trump. UE members and officers participated in a number of Sanders’ campaign events.
As the presidential election draws near to its conclusion, there is growing concern around our nation that our current president will not accept the results if he is not re-elected. If this does happen, we encourage all UE members to be prepared to defend our country’s democracy.
As the Senate holds confirmation hearings for Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee in four years, it is clear that Trump’s most enduring legacy will be his court appointments. If Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed, and especially if Trump wins another term (or successfully retains the office despite losing the election), that legacy will be even worse for working people than it already is.
As COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in the U.S., a new study demonstrates that the Trump administration’s pro-business agenda of rolling back workplace safety enforcement by OSHA has been a major contributor to COVID-19 spread and death. Researchers at Harvard’s School of Public Health found that coronavirus-related complaints to OSHA are strongly correlated with deaths 17 days later. In other words, workers have been reporting unsafe conditions to OSHA, OSHA has failed to take action, and workers have died as a result.
The Senate’s refusal to pass comprehensive COVID-19 relief hit tens of thousands of workers in the airline industry yesterday, as major airlines began furloughing workers. Call your Senators at 202-224-3121 and demand that they pass the relief working people need NOW!
Despite President Trump’s claims that his administration is making “extraordinary progress in reversing the tide” of offshoring jobs, the facts are that offshoring has continued unabated during his administration. An August 2020 report from the Economic Policy Institute demonstrates a net loss of nearly 1,800 factories between 2016 and 2018 and 740,000 manufacturing jobs since February 2020.
At the 2019 UE Convention, UE delegates declared that “it is critical that working people remove the anti-labor and racist Trump from office.” While Trump’s inflammatory tweets often make headline news, his attacks on workers have received much less press attention.