PART 3: CREATING JOBS, DEFENDING DEMOCRACY
By ED FINKELSTEIN
“A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about being able to look your kid in the eye and say, ‘Honey – it’s going to be OK,’ and mean it.” With those comments, President Joe Biden made it clear in his State of the Union speech on Feb. 7 that he is, and will continue to be, the most pro-union, pro-worker president in recent memory.
In Part 1 of this report we outlined the President’s accomplishments for improving our economy, deficit reduction, fighting inflation, uniting the world against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; in Part 2, his fight for equality, fairness, protecting the vote and most importantly to our readers, his incredible infrastructure package that funded more than 20,000 projects that includes over 2,000 projects in Missouri and Illinois.
In this issue, we’ll review additional accomplishments in the past two years:
- Introducing the critically-need PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize) which will restore the original intent of the National Labor Relations Act, eroded by corporate interests, to protect workers throughout the organizing process and beyond. As AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said in praising the President’s efforts to pass this bill, “(It will) stop bosses from dragging their feet on negotiating a first contract with a union, protect our right to picket or go on strike, prohibit captive audience meetings, eliminate (the so-called) “right-to-work” and so much more. The act was passed by the Democratic House of Representatives last year but is stalled by Republicans in the Senate.
- Bringing jobs back: “Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back, because of the choices we made in the last two years. This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives. (We’ve) created more jobs (12 million) in two years than any president has ever created in four years” which includes “creation of 800,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs, the fastest growth in 40 years. “Where is it written that America can’t lead the world in manufacturing again?” the President stressed.
- Protecting workers rights by banning non-compete clauses in contracts “… so companies have to compete for workers and pay them what they’re worth. For example, 30 million workers had to sign non-compete agreements when they took a job. So a cashier at a burger place can’t cross the street to take the same job at another burger place to make a couple bucks more. Not anymore.”
And in his enthusiasm to promote union labor, he introduced union ironworker Sara Gwin-Maye, a 30-year member of Cincinnati Ironworkers Local 44 now working on building a new bridge over the Ohio River – a $1.6 billion project funded by the President’s new Infrastructure Law.
- Violence in America: “There is no place for political violence in America. In America, we must protect the right to vote, not suppress that fundamental right. We honor the results of our elections, not subvert the will of the people. We must uphold the rule of the law and restore trust in our institutions of democracy.”
- Fundamental Democracy: “There’s one reason why we’re able to do all of these things: our democracy itself. It’s the most fundamental thing of all. With democracy, everything is possible. Without it, nothing is.”
- No safe harbor: “We must give hate and extremism in any form no safe harbor.”
- Support of police: “Give law enforcement the training they need, hold them to higher standards, and help them succeed in keeping everyone safe.” However, he added, “When police officers or departments violate the public’s trust, we must hold them accountable.” This included an executive order for all federal officers banning chokeholds, restricting no-knock warrants and other key elements of the George Floyd Act.”
The President offered strong praise for police: “We know police officers put their lives on the line every day, and we ask them to do too much. To be counselors, social workers, psychologists; responding to drug overdoses, mental health crises, and more. We ask too much of them. I know most cops are good. decent people. They risk their lives every time they put on that shield.”
- Gun safety: “Passing the most sweeping gun safety law in three decades that includes things that the majority of responsible gun owners support, like enhanced background checks for 18- to 21-year-olds and red flag laws keeping guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others. But we know our work is not done.”
STILL TO COME
The final segment in this series of outlining the accomplishments of the Biden Administration over the past two years will cover their accomplishments in health and strengthening world alliances against America’s potential enemies.
About this series
In the hyperbole that abounds in Washington where Republicans are constantly using smokescreens and outright lies to downplay the Biden Administration’s accomplishments, President Joe Biden used his State of the Union speech Feb. 7 to outline the Democrats’ incredible accomplishments the past two years.
In this series we highlighted the administration’s accomplishments:
• Part 1 – improving our economy, deficit reduction, fighting inflation, uniting the world against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
• Part 2 – Fight for equality, fairness, protecting the vote and most importantly to our readers, his incredible infrastructure package that funded more than 20,000 projects that includes over 2,000 projects in Missouri and Illinois.
• Part 3 – Successful efforts at creating jobs, protecting workers’ rights and defending Democracy.
• Part 4 – Meeting the challenges of health care and America’s challenges around the globe.