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  • Worker Issues Driving Elections As Labor Activates National Campaign - 8-31-16
    Posted On: Aug 30, 2016

    By Doug Cunningham

    At the Wisconsin AFL-CIO conference in Madison, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler said that labor's political effort in the elections is strong. And not just in the top battleground states.

    [Liz Shuler]: "I think the effort is going well. It's strong. We have certainly Tier 1 states that we're focusing more effort on. But we have a campaign and a plan that's really gonna be implemented nationwide - making sure that we get the information out to union members and communities of working class voters so that people know where the candidates stand on the issues that are important to working families."

    Shuler says Trump's rhetoric can play well at first glance to some workers, but labor can blunt that appeal by making sure workers know about Trump's anti-worker actions and positions.

    "Trump has some great ads on TV and certainly the issues around trade resonate with working class voters, But what he says and what he does are two different things. He has been quoted saying wages are too high. He's been quoted as saying  that he loves 'Right To Work'. He makes his own products in countries overseas that are paying pennies on the dollar. So I think what he does and what he says really aren't consistent and we need to make sure that people know that."

    Shuler says jobs and the economy are the issues driving the presidential election and the AFL-CIO's campaign. And that includes a range of worker issues, including women and family issues.

    [Liz Shuler]: "Jobs and the economy definitely drive the campaign. As always people are motivated by their pocketbook. And we've seen inequality as we know in the economy at its height, and people are still struggling to make ends meet and find a way to get a good job. And so that issue - jobs and the economy - still is the driver. 

    But what we call quote unquote women's issues really are women and family issues. Things like equal pay, making sure people have predictable and fair schedules, that they know when 

    they're gonna work and be able to rely on income, making sure that when they go to work and they're sick or a sick family member that they don't have to choose between keeping their job and providing that care. And often - I think it's 40% of private sector workers - don't have paid sick days.

    So it's not really a women's issue, it's an issue that affects everyone and it's a core economic issue."

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