National health care -- "What's needed, as our union has long advocated, is a single-payer, universal, comprehensive, national health insurance program that covers every man, woman and child in America. Because we believe health care should be a right, not a privilege for those who can afford it."America is not working for working people. Union busting tactics are on the increase, good jobs are disappearing, health care costs are soaring, and retirement security is being threatened. Here in Michigan workers are living with the ramifications of decisions made by politicians, corporate America and bean counters.
Fair trade -- "Let's just a write the trade agreement on a postcard -- human rights, workers rights, environmental protections, protection from import surges, no currency manipulation and an enforcement mechanism. ... Our trade deficit is $2 billion a day."
Industrial policy -- "In this country, we have the most open market in the world, and we have stood idly by while entire industries have disappeared -- toys, textiles, televisions, computers and the list goes on. Unless we take action, we are going to see a continued decline in manufacturing industries."
Michigan fell 10 places among the states in per capita income to 26th between 2000 and 2006 - the latest available year - as it shed thousands of manufacturing jobs, according to the Michigan Future study.Something needs to be done, but what? AFL-CIO President John Sweeney has some ideas he'll be outlining via live webcast tonight. "Turn Around America" is being sponsored by the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School.
The state's per capita income was 8 percent below the national average in 2006, the worst performance since the Great Depression year of 1933, according to figures for the study prepared by University of Michigan economist Don Grimes.
In the first-ever address by an AFL-CIO president to the influential Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Sweeney will describe why America is not working for working people and what the AFL-CIO will do to create an America that works for all, including increasing member mobilization this election year and working to reform U.S. labor law to give workers a free chance to form unions. Says Sweeney:After his address, Sweeney will take part in an interview and a question and answer session with the audience. You can see the live webcast of the forum on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. at www.iop.harvard.edu/events_forum.html.We have an opportunity not only to restore the voice and vitality of the union movement, but to change the direction of our economy and our country. We’re faced with a fundamental choice: continue down the low road we’ve been taking and end up in a swamp of inequality where corporations and the wealthy always get more, or turn around America and head back up to higher ground where working people get a fair share of the wealth they help create.
(Cross-posted at Blogging for Michigan - A blog so good Republicons had us censored!)