Sunday, February 10, 2008


I went to each candidate's website and pulled their Labor Issue positions to post here. Then I Googled each candidate's name and read all the info about their position on labor. Not surprisingly, the Democrats fared better than the Republicans in this regard, with Obama having the only comprehensive pro-union plan. Take a look, visit their sites, come back and comment.

All the best,



Obama will strengthen the ability of workers to organize unions. He will fight for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Obama will ensure that his labor appointees support workers' rights and will work to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers. Obama will also increase the minimum wage and index it to inflation to ensure it rises every year.

  • Ensure Freedom to Unionize: Obama believes that workers should have the freedom to choose whether to join a union without harassment or intimidation from their employers. Obama cosponsored and is strong advocate for the Employee Free Choice Act, a bipartisan effort to assure that workers can exercise their right to organize. He will continue to fight for EFCA's passage and sign it into law.
  • Fight Attacks on Workers' Right to Organize: Obama has fought the Bush National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) efforts to strip workers of their right to organize. He is a cosponsor of legislation to overturn the NLRB's "Kentucky River" decisions classifying hundreds of thousands of nurses, construction, and professional workers as "supervisors" who are not protected by federal labor laws.
  • Protect Striking Workers: Obama supports the right of workers to bargain collectively and strike if necessary. He will work to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers, so workers can stand up for themselves without worrying about losing their livelihoods.
  • Raise the Minimum Wage: Barack Obama will raise the minimum wage, index it to inflation and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that full-time workers earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs.


Empower our workers and ensure that all Americans contribute their fair share. Hillary will ensure that unions, which have played an important role in forming and sustaining the middle class, are strong. She will also ensure that trade policies work for average Americans. Trade policy must raise our standard of living, and they must have strong protections for workers and the environment. Hillary will:
  • Pass the Employee Free Choice Act so that unions can organize for fair wages and safe working conditions.
  • Appoint a trade enforcement officer within the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and double the size of USTR’s enforcement unit.
  • Overhaul the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program to ensure that workers who have lost jobs because of global competition get the support they need.
  • TAA provides job training, income support, a health care tax credit, and job placement assistance. Hillary will modernize the program to ensure that it is truly helping workers hurt by global trade. First, she will extend TAA benefits to service workers. Today, workers who produce a service rather than a product are ineligible for TAA, leaving everyone from call-center operators to radiologists, without assistance.
  • Second, Hillary will broaden TAA to cover all workers whose plants have moved abroad. Workers are currently ineligible for TAA if their plants relocated to countries with which we have not signed free trade or trade preferences agreements. This outdated rule means that when plants shift from America to low-wage countries like India and China, laid-off workers are ineligible for TAA. Third, Hillary will double funding for TAA’s job training program to $440 million.


Trade and Displaced Workers

  • Lowering Barriers to Trade: John McCain believes that globalization is an opportunity for American workers today and in the future. Ninety-five percent of the world's customers lie outside our borders and we need to be at the table when the rules for access to those markets are written. To do so, the U.S. should engage in multilateral, regional and bilateral efforts to reduce barriers to trade, level the global playing field and build effective enforcement of global trading rules.
  • Competitive American Workers: John McCain understands that globalization will not automatically benefit every American. We must prepare the next generation of workers by making American education worthy of the promise we make to our children and ourselves. We must be a nation committed to competitiveness and opportunity. We must fight for the ability of all students to have access to any school of demonstrated excellence. We must place parents and children at the center of the education process, empowering parents by greatly expanding the ability of parents to choose among schools for their children.
  • John McCain will overhaul unemployment insurance and make it a program for retraining, relocating and assisting workers who have lost a job. The unemployment insurance system needs to be modernized to meet the goals of helping displaced workers make ends meet between jobs and moving people quickly on to the next opportunity. John McCain will reform the half-dozen training programs to approaches that can be used to meet the bills, pay for training, and get back to work. John McCain believes that we can strengthen community colleges and technical training, and give displaced workers more choices to find their way back to productive and prosperous lives.


  • I believe in free trade, but it has to be fair trade.
  • Globalization, done right, done fairly, can be the equivalent of a big pay raise by allowing us to buy things more cheaply.

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