Our Priorities

Working people want to go to work to good jobs, with fair pay and good benefits, and where we are free to negotiate for better wages, safer workplaces and fairer treatment. And we want to come home from those jobs confident we haven’t been exposed to COVID-19.

We want a fundamental right to health care and a secure retirement. We want fair tax and trade policies that actually work for America’s working people. We want comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. And we want serious investment in our nation’s infrastructure, public education system and the public services that make our communities and country great.

The labor movement fights for a better life for all of America's working people. We want our elected leaders to do the same and advance legislation that builds a fairer economy and a more just society for everyone.

Better Wages and Full Employment

A good job provides not just wages and benefits, but a sense of self-respect. Good jobs bring people out of poverty and provide them and their families financial security. Not only should everyone who wants to work have a job, but that job should be safe and provide a fair wage that allows working people to support themselves and their families.

Fair Financial System

Our financial system should support the American economy, protect the public from predatory lending and other exploitative financial products, and provide fair services to working people. Our economy works best when corporations act responsibly toward their employees, their customers, the environment and local communities. Good corporate governance should hold CEOs accountable and limit runaway CEO pay.

Fair Trade

International trade is a vital part of the modern economy, but it should create jobs and raise wages here in America. For too long, Congress has clung stubbornly to trade rules that generate corporate profits at the expense of good jobs for working people. Trade deals should be enforceable and enforced, put an end to currency misalignment and manipulation, and improve the rights and working conditions of all working people.

Freedom to Join Unions

All workers should be able to join a union without interference from their bosses and without endless legal wrangling. That is how the system is supposed to work. But in reality, corporations use scorched-earth strategies to prevent workers from unionizing, blatantly breaking the law to stop organizing drives and thwart collective bargaining.

The National Labor Relations Act is outdated and desperately needs to be modernized and expanded to protect the rights of all working people--private and public employees alike. All of us should have the right to freely negotiate for higher wages and better working conditions and Congress should pass legislation to make this a reality.

Health Care and Retirement Security

Quality health care and a secure retirement should be basic rights for all Americans. No one should be afraid to see the doctor or purchase the medications they need because they can’t afford it. Americans also should be confident that their retirement, including Social Security, Medicare and their pension, is secure.

Quality Education and Career Training Programs

Few things have a greater impact on a child than a quality education. We have a responsibility to ensure every child in America can go to a good public school. Those schools should be safe and have the resources they need, with reasonable class sizes and teachers who are supported.

Beyond K-12, higher education and career training should be widely available and affordable without leaving young people in debt. Skills and career training programs are a vital alternative for young people, and need to be expanded.

Safe and Inclusive Workplaces

All workers deserve to work without fear and to be treated with fairness and respect at work. That means ensuring no worker is subjected to discrimination, harassment or violence, including immigrants, women, people of color and LGBTQ workers. It also means strengthening workplace fairness and safety laws and ensuring no worker has to risk deportation for standing up for their rights on the job.

Tax Fairness

The only way to create a fairer and more just society is for corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes. Tax subsidies for outsourcing and offshoring jobs hurt American workers and America’s bottom line, and must be eliminated.

Work–Family Balance

Working people should be able to balance their jobs and families without being forced to make impossible choices between financial security and the well-being of their family. Good jobs should provide decent benefits, including overtime pay, and paid sick and family leave. Legislators should back their pro-family rhetoric with laws that give working people more control over work schedules, restore overtime protections and advance paid family and medical leave.

Workplace Health and Safety

The right to a safe job is a fundamental worker right. Every worker should be able to go to work and return home safely at the end of the day. Worker safety is not optional; it should be a top priority for every employer in this country. Employers should not put profits over the safety of their workers.

No one should have to choose between risking their life or a paycheck. Far too many working people are forced to make that choice and risk exposure to COVID-19. The Senate must pass the HEROES Act, which will help protect workers from infectious diseases and give working people much needed relief. It also is imperative for Congress to strengthen the Occupational Safety and Health Act to expand coverage to all workers, toughen enforcement and penalties, and bolster anti-retaliation protections for workers reporting injuries, illnesses and unsafe working conditions.