#IVITEB – I’m voting in this election because…

#6 – Workers’ Rights & Protections

I’m voting in this election because… Donald Trump and his cronies are dismantling workers’ rights and protections faster than they can collect contributions from corporations.

Workers are the foundation of this nation and its economy. They – we – deserve better.

That’s why the top three workers’ issues for IV Words are adoption of a federal $15/hour minimum wage (which will create multiple individual and societal benefits), the stagnation of wages over the past four decades, and the right of all workers to unionize, including domestic workers, farm workers and independent contractors.

To say Trump opposes all of the above is a gross understatement. He hates them and a host of other workers’ rights and protections as only a fat cat can.

And he’s been doing a lot about it.

It’s difficult to describe the deterioration of the plight of workers under Trump any more clearly than Margaret Poydock does in her Sept. 17, 2020, post on the Economic Policy Institute’s “Working Economics Blog”:

Image of baristas at work for workers' rights post
U.S. workers deserve a $15/hour minimum wage.
Photo by Daniel Norris via Unsplash.

“From President Trump’s first day on the job, his administration has systematically promoted the interests of corporate executives and shareholders over those of working people. The current administration has rolled back worker protections, proposed budgets that slash funding for agencies that safeguard workers’ rights, wages, and safety, and consistently attacked workers’ ability to organize and collectively bargain.”

Trump’s demolition lackey is Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, who is merrily carrying out marching orders that align nicely with his life’s work of getting rid of government regulations, regardless of whether they’re good or bad for Joan and John Q. Public.

Eyal Press, in an Oct. 19, 2020, piece in The New Yorker, wrote of Scalia:

“Like many other Cabinet officials in the Trump Administration, (he) had credentials that suggested an antagonism toward the agency he was appointed to run. The official role of the Labor Department is ‘to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States.’ As an attorney, Scalia had spent decades helping corporations gut or evade government regulations, including worker protections.”

Not surprisingly, Trump and Scalia have been carrying out their anti-labor agenda behind the scenes while Trump has held the American media and public in eternal distraction with absurd political antics, head-scratching foreign policy moves, denunciations of allies, praise for enemies and calls for baseless investigations into political rivals. And let’s not forget the continuous stream of lies.

Speaking of which, in an Oct. 9, 2019, Jacobin magazine piece, Paul Prescod wrote:

“Donald Trump’s bait and switch with American workers is his greatest fraud of all. While uttering meaningless platitudes about fighting for workers, he is setting back the labor movement in ways that previous administrations could never do.”

Clearly the majority of U.S. unions, and especially those that represent regular, blue-collar workers, have a multitude of reasons to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden. Which they’ve done.

Besides that, Joe has a plan for labor.

Biden’s plan includes the $15 per hour federal minimum wage, protections for unions and new organizing rights for labor segments that haven’t had them before, along with a host of other ideas and initiatives that will benefit workers and the people who organize them. It’s worth reading.

So I’m voting in this election because… Biden has a plan that will create good, prevailing-wage jobs, advance the economy overall and improve the lives of the workers who form its foundation.

Please join me.

#VoteBidenHarris
#VoteBlueDownBallot

* Be sure to read the other posts in the #IVITEB series on IV Words. Despite the numbering system, they are not in any particular order.

#1 – The Climate Crisis
#2 – Women’s Rights
#3 – Policing, Criminal Justice & Incarceration Reform
#4 – I Am a Progressive
#5 – Guns Are Killing U.S.
#7 – Voting IS Our Duty
#8 – Attacks on Press Must Stop
#9 – Not Better Off. Not By a Long Shot.

Black outlined graphic indicating copyright 2020 Martin C. Fredricks IV

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