Labor Day - 9/6/2021
Today, we honor how the labor movement fights for an America that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.
And the best way to celebrate Labor Day is by keeping up the fight.
We are in a moment unlike any in history. During the worst pandemic in American history, frontline workers have kept our country going — keeping America fed, keeping public transportation running, and taking care of sick family members. America has rung bells and held up thank-you signs — and it’s been very sweet.
But, even today, frontline workers are still waking up worried about contracting this deadly virus at work. We have made progress. But we still need enforceable health and safety protections for every worker in a shared workplace — and that’s a fight I’m in all the way.
Also, let’s be blunt: Even as so many people praised them, frontline workers still had to fight against exploitation. Look at all the corporations that use misclassification of their workers to evade their legal obligations and to deny their workers basic rights. Look at the companies that wouldn’t follow through on worker safety. The companies that used every trick in the book to block a union from organizing.
Enough. It is time to fight. It’s time to fight for basic dignity, fair play, fair pay, good benefits, and safe working conditions. It’s time to fight for the chance to organize for all workers. It’s time to call out every corporation that prioritizes profits over its people.
We fight corporate greed. We fight to strengthen our labor movement. We fight to create an economy that works for everyone. Unions built America’s middle class, and unions will rebuild America’s middle class.
Corporate America has money and time. They hope they will wear us down. Hope we’ll get exhausted and scattered fighting one battle after another. But I’ve got news for corporate America: We are fighting, and we are fighting smart.
Fighting smart means busting our tails to pass the PRO Act to put a stop to union busting — so workers can come together to get a square deal and exercise their right to organize.
Because organizing means jobs that pay a living wage, provide good health care, ensure safety from injury and illness, deliver a decent pension after a lifetime of hard work, and treat workers with respect. Organizing is the heart of union power and the heart of worker power.
One other thing about organizing: Organizing is about justice. Straight up: workers of color make more money when they have a union. The numbers are really staggering: families of color with a union behind them build wealth five times faster than families of color without a union. So, yes, we fight for the PRO Act because we believe in racial justice.
I know we’re coming out of some hard years for workers. Trump and his Department of Labor were openly anti-worker, anti-union, and pro-corporation. But now, we have some victories to celebrate.
We have a union-card-carrying Secretary of Labor from Boston, Marty Walsh. We have a president who respects unions and is fighting to create good jobs. And we have a National Labor Relations Board that’s ready to fairly represent workers.
Our system has long been rigged against workers. But right now, the door is open a crack to make the system a little more fair. And I’m hitting that door as hard as I can, fighting for workers’ safety, wages, benefits, and rights.
And I am honored to be in this fight right alongside you.
Thanks for being a part of this, and Happy Labor Day,