Topics in the News: Unionization

John Hickenlooper on Unionization: (Jobs Oct 10, 2020)
Reverse ruling government workers needn't pay union dues

Q: Support "right to work" laws, prohibiting unions from mandating dues for workers they represent?

John Hickenlooper: No. Called for legislation reversing Supreme Court ruling that government workers can't be forced to contribute to labor unions.

Corey Gardner: Yes. Co-sponsored the National Right to Work Act, repealing bargaining provisions requiring union membership as a condition of employment.

Click for John Hickenlooper on other issues.   Source: CampusElect on 2020 Colorado Senate race

Cory Booker on Unionization: (Jobs Aug 21, 2020)
Unions: This dream ain't free; you gotta work for it

Booker told viewers he was only able to speak on the final night of the party's convention because of a "union job" secured a half-century ago by his grandfather--who "left the Jim Crow South for Detroit, joined the UAW and got a job on the assembly lines during World War II."

"He'd tell us, 'Take another by the hand, and another, and let's get to work. This dream ain't free. You gotta work for it,'" Booker said.

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: on 2020 Democratic National Convention

Joe Biden on Unionization: (Jobs Aug 20, 2020)
Newly empowered labor unions; equal pay for women

With child care and elder care that make it possible for parents to go to work and for the elderly to stay in their homes with dignity. With an immigration system that powers our economy and reflects our values. With newly empowered labor unions. With equal pay for women. With rising wages you can raise a family on. Yes, we're going to do more than praise our essential workers. We're finally going to pay them.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention

Gloria La Riva on Unionization: (Corporations Aug 3, 2020)
Reregulation of the banking and insurance industries

We call for all financial and insurance institutions to be socially owned and operated by a democratically-controlled national banking authority, which should include credit unions, mutual insurance cooperatives, and cooperative state banks. In the meantime, we call for reregulation of the banking and insurance industries.
Click for Gloria La Riva on other issues.   Source: Socialist PSL Platform adopted by 2020 presidential hopeful

Jo Jorgensen on Unionization: (Jobs May 22, 2020)
No required unions; no occupational licensing laws

We favor repealing any requirement that one must join or pay dues to a union as a condition of government employment. We advocate replacing defined-benefit pensions with defined- contribution plans, as are commonly offered in the private sector, so as not to impose debt on future generations without their consent.

Libertarians support the right of every person to earn an honest and peaceful living through the free and voluntary exchange of goods and services. Accordingly, we oppose occupational and other licensing laws that infringe on this right or treat it as a state-granted privilege. We encourage certifications by voluntary associations of professionals.

Click for Jo Jorgensen on other issues.   Source: Libertarian Platform adopted by 2020 presidential hopeful

Don Blankenship on Unionization: (Government Reform May 2, 2020)
Oppose statehood for DC & Puerto Rico

We oppose any effort to confer statehood on the District of Columbia or any representation in Congress comparable to that of an independent state in the federal union. We oppose efforts to confer statehood upon the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or expand statehood beyond the current fifty states. We acknowledge that each state's membership in the Union is voluntary.
Click for Don Blankenship on other issues.   Source: Constitution Platform adopted by 2020 presidential hopeful

Joe Biden on Unionization: (Jobs Mar 27, 2020)
Universal paid sick leave' $15 minimum wage; support unions

I would ensure every worker had paid sick leave and across the board. It should be up to 14 weeks' paid sick leave. The national minimum wage should be $15, but that's not nearly enough. We should make [it] easier to unionize, and take on those companies that spend about a billion dollars a year now trying to prevent people from being able to unionize and taking actions that prevents them from being able to do that.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: CNN S.C. Town Hall amid 2020 primaries

Amy Klobuchar on Unionization: (Jobs Feb 25, 2020)
Union protection of mine workers

When my grandpa was an iron ore miner in the unions, politics made those mines safer. And when my dad needed treatment, it was there for him, and, in his words, he was "pursued by grace." And when my mom got divorced and she didn't have a job and she went back to teaching and that gift of public service got her through. And then when our daughter was born and she couldn't swallow. My motto was that politics is about improving people's lives.
Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: 10th Democratic Primary debate on eve of S.C. primary

Elizabeth Warren on Unionization: (Government Reform Nov 20, 2019)
Million-dollar donors shouldn't get ambassadorships

How did Ambassador Sondland get there [as Ambassador to the European Union]? This is not a man who had any qualifications, except one: He wrote a check for a million dollars. And that tells us about what's happening in Washington, the corruption, how money buys its way into Washington. You know, I raised this months ago about the whole notion that donors think they're going to get ambassadorships on the other side. And I've taken a pledge. Anyone who wants to give me a big donation, don't ask to be an ambassador, because I'm not going to have that happen.

I asked everyone who's running for president to join me in that and not a single person has so far. I hope what we saw today during the testimony means lots of people will sign on and say we are not going to give away these ambassador posts to the highest bidder.

Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: November Democratic primary debate, on impeaching Trump

Cory Booker on Unionization: (Jobs Oct 15, 2019)
Increase union strength to improve workers' conditions

I stood with unions because right now, unions in America are under attack. As union membership has gone down, we have seen a stratification of wealth and income in this country. I'll begin to fight to see union strength in this country spread, to make sure we have sectorial bargaining so that unions from the auto workers all the way to fast food workers can ensure that we improve workers' conditions and make sure that every American has a living wage in this country.
Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate

Pete Buttigieg on Unionization: (Jobs Sep 4, 2019)
Lots of job opportunity in green economy; not all high tech

Q: What would you do to ensure a just transition for displaced workers in the new renewable energy economy?

BUTTIGIEG: A lot of the jobs that are being created in the green economy are also good paying union jobs. A lot of them are good old-fashioned building trades jobs to do the retrofits to get the energy efficiency that we need. We can create tremendous economic opportunity but let's be honest about the fact that this also means transition for a lot of people. My climate plan inclu will support everything from retirement to healthcare to transition assistance.

Q.: How would you use the Green New Deal to bring Americans together and address racial, gender, and socioeconomic disparities?

BUTTIGIEG: This is not only a question of generational justice. It is a question of social, racial, and gender justice. I'm proposing that we fund communities, developing community solutions including issues that are exacerbated or caused by environmental problems.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Climate Crisis Town Hall (CNN 2019 Democratic primary)

Pete Buttigieg on Unionization: (Jobs Jul 30, 2019)
Raise minimum wage, like Scripture tells us

In addition to confronting tech, in addition to supporting workers by double unionization, as I propose to do, some of this is low-tech, too, like the minimum wage is just too low. And so-called conservative Christian senators right now in the Senate are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage, when scripture says that whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker.
Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit)

Bill de Blasio on Unionization: (Jobs Jul 28, 2019)
Working people's bill of rights

I put out a working people's bill of rights. We need to guarantee card check neutrality so it's easier to get into a union. We need to make sure that folks in the gig economy have benefits and wages that are protected. We need to make sure folks can't just be fired in this country without just cause, which is the truth right now. We need to do things like ensure a $15 minimum wage and paid vacation days. Every major country on Earth provides paid vacation days as a matter of law.
Click for Bill de Blasio on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week interviews in 2019

Jay Inslee on Unionization: (Jobs Jun 26, 2019)
Reinvigorate collective bargaining & stand with unions

We've got to realize the people who brought us the weekend, unions, are going to bring us a long overdue raise in America. I've got a plan to reinvigorate collective bargaining so we can increase wages. The next thing I'll do is put people to work in the jobs of the present and the future. We know that we can put millions of people to work in the clean energy jobs of the future.
Click for Jay Inslee on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami)

Pete Buttigieg on Unionization: (Government Reform May 6, 2019)
Citizens United was a disaster for our democracy

Buttigieg says the Citizens United Supreme Court case that opened the doors for corporations, nonprofits and unions to contribute to campaigns should be overturned.

He says dollars have begun to out weigh people. He personally has returned money from Washington lobbyists and has sworn off taking money from the fossil fuel industry or certain political action committees. "Citizens United was a disaster for our democracy," he told CSPAN2.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Indianapolis Star on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Andrew Yang on Unionization: (Jobs Apr 14, 2019)
I'm a huge union fan

I'm a huge union fan. When I sit with union leaders and I say, you know what's going to help your union membership is if you have a dividend of $1,000 a month [as in my flagship proposal] because it ends up making it possible for unions to negotiate much harder, since then they have something they can fall back on? So this is a very pro-union plan. I'm fan of the right to organize.
Click for Andrew Yang on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls

Elizabeth Warren on Unionization: (Jobs Mar 18, 2019)
Unions will help rebuild America's middle class

We need more balance out there in the marketplace. We need for employees to have more power, and that means we need to make it easier to join a union and unions need to have more power once people have joined. Unions built America's middle class. Unions will rebuild America's middle class. That's how we make it happen.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall on 2020 Democratic presidential primary

Bernie Sanders on Unionization: (Corporations Mar 14, 2019)
1970s: State should take over utilities without compensation

After moving to Vermont in 1968, Sanders became an active member of the left-wing Liberty Union Party. Sanders left the Liberty Union Party in 1977. When he launched his campaign for the Senate in 1971, Sanders said state utilities needed to be run by Vermont on a nonprofit basis. If revenues exceed expenditures they could be used to fund government programs and lower property taxes. In 1976, Sanders went even further: calling for the state to seize ownership of Vermont's private electric companies without compensation to investors.

Sanders' rhetoric was strongest during his 1976 campaign for governor of Vermont. "I will be campaigning in support of the Liberty Union utility proposal which calls for the public ownership of Vermont's private electric companies without compensation to the banks and wealthy stockholders who own the vast majority of stock in these companies," he said in a July 1976 press release. "I will also be calling for public ownership of the telephone company."

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: CNN KFile, "Nationalization," on 2020 Democratic primary

Julian Castro on Unionization: (Jobs Feb 15, 2019)
Opposed unionizing city employees

Castro promised not to use the mayor's office to empower unions. While Castro backed the right of non-uniformed city employees to "meet and confer" with the city manager, something unanimously approved by a 2008 council vote, he stressed that "it's non-binding; it's not collective bargaining," and opposed granting such rights to civilian city employees. Nonetheless, he received the endorsements of several local unions, including the San Antonio Police Officers Association.
Click for Julian Castro on other issues.   Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders

Bernie Sanders on Unionization: (Budget & Economy Feb 5, 2019)
US "hottest economy" only applies to the wealthy

[In the 2019 State of the Union speech], and on numerous occasions, Donald Trump has told the American people that the U.S. economy is "the hottest economy anywhere in the world."

Well, that may be true for the members of his Mar-a-Lago country club where the price of admission has doubled to $200,000. For those folks and for the wealthiest people in our nation, Trump is right. The economy is really booming. In fact, for many of Mr. Trump's billionaire friends, they have never, ever had it so good.

But for the middle class and working families of this country, the truth is that the economy is not so great.

Despite what President Trump says, it is not "a hot economy" when 43 percent of households can't afford to pay for housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone without going into debt. That is not a hot economy.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Progressive response to 2019 State of the Union speech

Beto O`Rourke on Unionization: (Government Reform Oct 9, 2018)
End secret spending flooding American elections

Q: Campaign Finance: Require political ads to disclose their largest funders? Stand on Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited political donations from corporations & unions?

Ted Cruz (R): No. Opposes DISCLOSE Act, as it raises "grave constitutional concern for speech protected by the First Amendment." Supports Citizens United as aid to 1st Amendment free speech protections.

Beto O'Rourke (D): Yes. Co-sponsored DISCLOSE Act to "shine light on the unlimited, secret spending flooding American elections," including foreign influence. Supreme Court should end Citizens United.

Click for Beto O`Rourke on other issues.   Source: 2018 Issue Guide on Texas Senate race

Stacey Abrams on Unionization: (Jobs Sep 1, 2017)
For living wage and right to form unions

As Governor, Stacey will promote policies to ensure pay equity and expand paid sick leave. Georgia should require a living wage in every county. Furthermore, the right to form a union and collectively bargain for fair wages and employment conditions is fundamental to workplace fairness. As Minority Leader, Stacey never wavered in her opposition to legislation that would erode the rights of workers to bargain for fair pay and safe workplace conditions.
Click for Stacey Abrams on other issues.   Source: 2018 Georgia Gubernatorial website

Bernie Sanders on Unionization: (Budget & Economy Aug 29, 2017)
Undermining unions led to 40-year decline in middle class

If we are serious about reducing income and wealth inequality and rebuilding the middle class, we have to sustainably increase the number of union jobs in this country. We must make it easier, not harder, for workers to join unions.

Today, just 11 percent of all public-sector workers belong to unions, and in the private sector it is now less than 7 percent. Historically, unions have enabled workers to earn good wages and work in decent conditions because of .collective bargaining. Today, millions of workers are in a "take it or leave it" situation, with no power to influence their wages or benefits.

There is no question that one of the most significant reasons for the forty-year decline of the size of the middle class is that the rights of workers to join together and bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions have been severely undermined.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Guide to Political Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 16-7

Stacey Abrams on Unionization: (Jobs Aug 17, 2017)
For living wage and right to form unions

As Governor, Stacey will promote policies to ensure pay equity and expand paid sick leave. Georgia should require a living wage in every county. Furthermore, the right to form a union and collectively bargain for fair wages and employment conditions is fundamental to workplace fairness. As Minority Leader, Stacey never wavered in her opposition to legislation that would erode the rights of workers to bargain for fair pay and safe workplace conditions.
Click for Stacey Abrams on other issues.   Source: 2018 Georgia Governor website

Elizabeth Warren on Unionization: (Jobs Apr 18, 2017)
Republican majority could ring death knell to unions

I was thinking about all workers, union and non-union. I was going over the numbers in my head, all of which showed that when union membership goes up, all workers do better, whereas when membership drops, they all do worse. I was thinking about how unions expand benefits for all workers, how unions show up in Washington and in state capitols to fight for the bread-and-butter issues that make a difference for all working families.

For decades, Republicans had been fighting unions on virtually every issue that touched working people--the minimum wage, paid family leave, fair scheduling laws, access to affordable health care, Medicaid, Medicare, and on and on. Republicans had also assaulted unions head-on by trying to shut down the National Labor Relations Board, which deals with companies that violate labor laws, and by attacking the Department of Labor's efforts to protect unions.

Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: This Fight is Our Fight, by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, p.242

Cory Booker on Unionization: (Jobs Apr 1, 2017)
Supports unions, except maybe teacher unions

BROKEN PROMISE: : Booker studiously said nothing about his relations with unions during his mayoral campaign and Senate campaign. His job-based accomplishments and campaign statements SOUND vaguely pro-union--or they sound vaguely anti-union, depending on what each voter preferred. That sort of intentional vagueness "muddies the water" and counts as an "broken promise by obfuscation."

ANALYSIS: Booker's actual actions make it clear WHY he was vague: he is generally in favor of union organizing, but has a long antagonistic record with teachers' unions due to his pro-charter school stance. By avoiding union issues, the teachers' union would not have the opportunity to denounce Booker. Booker took plenty of heat for his pro-charter stance--but he was honest about that! He would have taken even more heat if he publicly made the connection--like many Democrats and liberals do - between a pro-charter stance and an anti-union stance.

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: Cory Booker 'Promises Broken,' by Jesse Gordon, p. 70

Bernie Sanders on Unionization: (Government Reform Nov 15, 2016)
Ruling class wants a lack of political consciousness

In 2015 I traveled to South Carolina. In Columbia, we met with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Out of five hundred workers, most of whom were black, only a handful were registered to vote.

A young black man informed me that, to him and his friends, politics was totally irrelevant to their lives. It was not something they cared about or even talked about.

Frankly, this lack of political consciousness is exactly what the ruling class of this country wants. Meanwhile, people who work for low wages, have no health insurance, and live in inadequate housing don't see a connection between the reality of their lives and what government does or does not do. Showing people that connection is a very big part of what a progressive political movement has to do. How can we bring about real social change in this country if people in need are not involved in the political process? We need a political revolution. We need to get people involved. We need to get people voting.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 66

Rocky De La Fuente on Unionization: (Government Reform Nov 1, 2016)
Regulate campaign contributions from corporations and unions

Q: Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?

A: Yes. Having experienced the inequities of our current campaign finance system, I strongly support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions because of the undue influence they often exert.

Click for Rocky De La Fuente on other issues.   Source: VoteSmart Presidential Election 2016 Political Courage Test

Mike Pence on Unionization: (Jobs Jul 14, 2016)
Defended Indiana's "Right-To-Work" law

On Feb. 1, 2012, Indiana set off a cascade of union-busting legislation from Republican statehouses in the Midwest when it became the first state in more than a decade, and 23rd state overall, to enact a so-called "right-to-work" law. The law, barring union contracts from requiring that non-union members pay representation fees, was signed by outgoing Gov. Mitch Daniels, and created a template for future GOP-led attacks on unions in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In separate rulings delivered in Sept. 2013 and July 2014, two judges in Lake County, IN, concluded that the legislation violated "the state constitution's guarantee of compensation for services." Stating unequivocally that "Indiana is a right-to-work state," Gov. Mike Pence appealed the ruling to the state's Supreme Court and won a unanimous decision upholding the law in November 2014. [AFL-CIO, 1/19/12; The New York Times, 2/1/12; The Times of Northwest Indiana, 7/25/14, 8/22/14; Courthouse News Service, 11/10/14].
Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: Media Matters on 2016 Veepstakes: "What Media Should Know"

Barack Obama on Unionization: (Jobs Jan 13, 2016)
We've cut unemployment in half during my term

Obama asserted in his State of the Union speech, "We're in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history... an unemployment rate cut in half." Is that true? That the unemployment rate was cut in half during Obama's term in office? We checked the Bureau of Labor Statistics Unemployment Rate Table:

That chart indicates that unemployment reached a peak of 10.0% in Oct. 2009, eight months after Obama took office. And the current unemployment rate as of Dec. 2015 is 5.0%, exactly half of the peak unemployment rate. So, yes, the president was correct. But voters might interpret his meaning as "an unemployment rate cut in half from when I took office", which is not correct; to be correct, you must use the interpretation "an unemployment rate cut in half from the peak of the recession."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2016 State of the Union: OnTheIssues FactCheck

Donald Trump on Unionization: (Jobs Nov 3, 2015)
Teachers unions are obstacles to improving schools

In our educational system, one huge obstacle is the strength of the teacher unions. Teacher unions don't want school choice because it means a potential reduction in union-protected jobs. Thanks to strong contracts negotiated by the New York City teacher union, it's become almost impossible to discipline a teacher, much less actually fire one.

When there is a legitimate complaint against a teacher in the New York system, rather than having a quick hearing to determine the validity of the complaint, teachers are assigned to an area known as "the rubber room" while they wait for their hearing.

And they wait. They sit in empty classrooms or converted closets and do nothing--but still get paid their whole salary. Some teachers spend several years waiting. No wonder they call it the rubber room--the whole concept is insane.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 55

Bernie Sanders on Unionization: (Jobs Mar 21, 2015)
Corporate opposition makes union organizing difficult

Union workers who are able to collectively bargain for higher wages and benefits earn substantially more than non-union workers. Today, corporate opposition to union organizing makes it extremely difficult for workers to join a union. We need legislation which makes it clear that when a majority of workers sign cards in support of a union, they can form a union.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential campaign website,

John Kasich on Unionization: (Jobs Feb 11, 2015)
2011: Public employee union reforms overturned by voters

Unlike Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Kasich was defeated in his clash against public employee unions during his first term. Kasich's efforts to reform state labor laws were overwhelming reversed by voters in a 2011 ballot initiative.
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Robert Costa in Wash. Post on 2016 Presidential hopefuls

Bernie Sanders on Unionization: (Budget & Economy Jan 15, 2015)
Comprehensive 12-step agenda for moving America forward

Agenda for America: 12 Steps Forward
  1. Rebuilding Our Crumbling Infrastructure
  2. Reversing Climate Change
  3. Creating Worker Co-ops
  4. Growing the Trade Union Movement
  5. Raising the Minimum Wage
  6. Pay Equity for Women Workers
  7. Trade Policies that Benefit American Workers
  8. Making College Affordable for All
  9. Taking on Wall Street
  10. Health Care as a Right for All
  11. Protecting the Most Vulnerable Americans
  12. Real Tax Reform
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 12 Steps Forward, by Sen. Bernie Sanders

Joe Biden on Unionization: (Jobs Sep 1, 2014)
Labor unions have built the middle class and built America

Vice President Joe Biden rallied hundreds of union workers, saying he believes all American workers deserve a "fair share" as corporations grow. Speaking at the annual Labor Day parade in Detroit, Biden lamented average Americans' limited access to fair wages: "A job's about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity, it's about your place in the community, it's about who you are. It's about being able to look your kid in the eye and say, 'Honey, it's going to be ok.' That's what a job is about," Biden said. "You can't do that unless you get a fair wage."

During his impassioned address, Biden credited labor unions for building the middle class, and thus "building the United States as we know it. If the middle class is doing fine, everybody does fine," he said. "The wealthy get very wealthy, and the poor have a way up."

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Huffington Post 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Elizabeth Warren on Unionization: (Jobs Apr 22, 2014)
Say the word long and loud: "Union!"

Unions across the country were losing ground, as fewer workplaces were unionized. But unions were also losing ground politically. More than one president of a local union told me that other politicians would come to them for money and endorsements. But when they left the union hall, those same politicians spoke only in code, never saying the word "union" in their speeches. I think it mattered that in speeches and rallies and roundtable discussions, I said the word, long and loud: "Union!"
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: A Fighting Chance, by Elizabeth Warren, p.260

Elizabeth Warren on Unionization: (Jobs Apr 22, 2014)
Unions fight for their workers; not like corporate lobbyists

The way I saw it, unions had helped build America's middle class. They fought for better wages and reasonable hours. They fought for safer factories. They fought for pensions and retirement security. They fought for health care coverage. And every one of those benefits spread to other workers--union and non-union--which made the whole middle class stronger and more secure. And when the squeeze was on, unions showed up to fight for Social Security, for Medicare, for a higher minimum wage, for equal pay for women. They fought for the values that keep us strong.

Often enough during the campaign, I would hear the phrase "corporate and labor influence in politics," as if "corporate" and "labor" were somehow two sides of the same coin. Really? Does anyone believe that an army of lobbyists fighting for tax loopholes and special breaks for one corporation is the same as the unions fighting for Social Security and equal pay?

Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: A Fighting Chance, by Elizabeth Warren, p.260

John Kasich on Unionization: (Jobs Nov 18, 2013)
No strikes allowed for public employees

Gov. Kasich passed collective bargaining reform legislation that outlawed strikes for public employees, banned arbitration, implemented merit pay for teachers, and gave cities and school boards greater flexibility. Thousands of union activists stormed the Ohio state capital to protest the changes about the same time as the protests in WI.

One big difference between our bill and the bill in Ohio was that we exempted firefighters and police officers from our collective bargaining reforms. Kasich had not. This allowed the unions to cast Kasich as an enemy of public safety.

Kasich never got a chance to implement his reforms. Kasich's opponents simply needed to gather 230,000 signatures to trigger a referendum. By July 2011, they had gathered 1.3 million. That meant his reform law was immediately suspended and put on the ballot, where it was repealed before the changes could take effect. Ohio voters never got an opportunity to see whether or not the reforms had worked as Kasich promised.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Unintimidated (Walker), p.156-7, on Ohio Voting Record SB5

Barack Obama on Unionization: (Budget & Economy Jul 18, 2011)
OpEd: Undermined message of restraint with new "investments"

Pres. Obama spoke boldly of the need for spending restraint in his 2011 State of the Union Address. "Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means," he declared. "They deserve a government that does the same." However, in the very same speech Obama undermined this message by advocating a host of new federal spending measures--using the euphemism "investments"--to speed up our economic recovery.

This was the same argument Obama used to justify his exorbitant $800 billion "stimulus" program. Although that spending binge failed to improve the economy, with unemployment rising from 7.6% when the stimulus passed to roughly 9% today, it looks like Obama's prescription is more of the same. A few weeks after his State of the Union speech, Obama proposed a budget with yet another record deficit--one exceeding $1.65 trillion. Unsurprisingly, as I write these words, the federal government hit its debt ceiling, sparking demands from the Obama administration to raise the ceiling even higher.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Freedom Agenda, by Sen. Mike Lee, p. 2-3

Deval Patrick on Unionization: (Government Reform Apr 12, 2011)
Show up & vote, to claim a stake in government

During my 1st primary campaign, I made a campaign stop at the Local 26 Union Hall in Boston. Local 26 represents about 5000 workers in the hospitality industries. There were the working poor.

Midway through my speech I stopped, put away my notes, and just looked at them. "I want to say something else to you," I said. "I want you to know, I see you." The room got so quiet. "I know you work places where people look right past you. I know that." I paused, took in the entire crowd, and spoke slowly. "I. And I appreciate you."

"The reason I want you to come and vote is that I want your government to see you. And that's not going to happen unless you claim a stake in the government. I want you to come and vote for me. But if you don't come and vote for me, that's okay, I understand. But you have to show up, because this is your claim. So stop leaving it to the pundits and the pollsters to tell us whose turn it is, who's supposed to be next, and who's going to win. It's your turn."

Click for Deval Patrick on other issues.   Source: A Reason to Believe, by Gov. Deval Patrick, p.166-168

Barack Obama on Unionization: (Corporations Nov 23, 2010)
OpEd: Bailouts of GM & Wall Street are crony capitalism

Since the financial crisis, government is now picking winners and losers. Through the purchase of large chunks of Chrysler and General Motors, the bailing out of Wall Street banks, and putting union cronies ahead of other creditors in bankruptcies, government is taking over more and more of the role that the free market has traditionally played in America. The problem is that when government is calling the shots, it's politics that matters, not good ideas, hard work, or perseverance.

It's called crony capitalism, and it's something I fought against as governor.

Our reforms helped reduce politicians' ability to play favorites and helped clean up corruption. "Big Oil", including executives and lobbyists of BP, Exxon, Conoco-Phillips, and others, didn't pal around with me, but, then, that was a mutual decision.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p. 84-85

Michael Bennet on Unionization: (Jobs Oct 24, 2010)
Opposes Employee Free Choice Act & card-check

Buck also pressed Bennet to clarify his position on a union-organizing bill on which the Democrat has given only vague answers. Bennet said that he opposes the main thrust of the Employee Free Choice Act--allowing a majority of employees to form a union by signing a card instead of holding a secret ballot vote. "I think that the secret ballot rules shouldn't change," Bennet said. It was Bennet's most specific position to date on that bill, which has passed the House but stalled in the Senate.
Click for Michael Bennet on other issues.   Source: CBS-4-Denver coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate debate

Barack Obama on Unionization: (Government Reform Sep 2, 2010)
Citizens United decision: major victory for Big Oil

Teddy Roosevelt must have been spinning in his grave in January 2010 when the Supreme Court, in Citizen's United v. Federal Election Commission, voted 5-4 to extend the right of free speech to corporations and unions, lifting any limits on so-called independent expenditures on political campaigns. President Obama called the decision "a major victory for Big Oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies, and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans."

This decision will allow the giant pharmaceutical companies and the factory farm conglomerates to spend unlimited amounts of money to get their water carriers into office and defeat the all-too-rare candidates who actually stand up for the public good. It has now become even easier to auction off our democracy to the highest bidder.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Third World America, by Arianna Huffington, p.133-134

John Kasich on Unionization: (Government Reform Jun 15, 2010)
Separating church and state is goofy misinterpretation

I said, "Karl Marx put it out that God was phony. Anybody in the Soviet Union who practiced religion was subject to arrest and imprisonment."

One of my Bible study members wondered if that type of thinking was behind our apparent attempt to separate matters of church and state. For the longest time, this has been one of my pet peeves, because I've always thought it was one of the goofiest misinterpretations of our founding fathers' intentions. Our founders didn't say that government should be somehow separate from religion, or that religion was in any way unconstitutional or un-American. In fact, up until the late 19th century, there were state-sponsored churches in this country. The men who drafted the Constitution were in no way frightened or put off by religion. They were just careful to ensure that our government should not force people to believe a certain way or put any kind of stamp on their faith, so it's funny to me how the impulse behind it has been co-opted over the years.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Every Other Monday, by John Kasich, p.195-196

Barack Obama on Unionization: (Jobs Oct 13, 2008)
FactCheck: Yes, wants to limit secret balloting for unions

The Statement:In a speech at Virginia Beach, McCain took on Obama’s stance on unions: “Obama is planning to take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections,” he said.

The Facts:McCain is referring to a plan supported by labor unions. Currently, workers must get at least 30% of their colleagues to sign an authorization form to ask for union representation--then hold a secret-ballot vote to finalize it. The change Obama supports, part of the Employee Free-Choice Act, would let a union be recognized by the National Labor Relations Board immediately after the majority signs the authorization. Supporters of the change say it would cut down on the ability of employers to pressure their workers to vote against a union.

The Verdict:True. McCain accurately represents Obama’s stance, although they disagree on the merits of the plan. Organized labor backs Obama’s position, while business groups & some non-union workers support McCain’s.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: CNN FactCheck on 2008 presidential race

Barack Obama on Unionization: (Corporations Jul 1, 2008)
Regulate institutions for what they do, not what they are

In his Cooper Union speech, Obama discussed regulatory changes he would recommend to better regulate Wall Street:
  1. If you can borrow from the government, you should be subject to government oversight and supervisions.
  2. Capital requirements should be strengthened, particularly for complex financial instruments like some of the mortgage securities that led to our current crisis.
  3. We need to streamline a framework for overlapping & competing regulatory agencies.
  4. We need to regulate institutions for what they do, not what they are. Over the last few years, commercial banks and thrift institutions were subject to guidelines on subprime mortgages that did not apply to mortgage brokers and companies. It makes no sense.
  5. We must remain vigilant and crack down on trading activity that crosses the line to market manipulation.
  6. Finally, the American people must be able to trust that their government is looking out for all of us--not just those who donate to political campaigns.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obamanomics, by John R. Talbott, p. 87-88

Barack Obama on Unionization: (Jobs Jul 1, 2008)
Employee Free Choice Act: right to organize harassment-free

Obama has real plans to strengthen American's ability to organize into unions. From his campaign policy statement:
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obamanomics, by John R. Talbott, p.118-119

Mike Gravel on Unionization: (Government Reform May 2, 2008)
FISA was created to check abuse of power

The 1968 Senate Church committee estimated that more than half a million Americans had an intelligence file. At the urging of his Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld, and Chief of Staff Dick Cheney, Western Union, RCA, and ITT participated in the spying but didn’t have to testify to the committee.

“Domestic intelligence activity has threatened and undermined the Constitutional rights of Americans to free speech, association and privacy,” the Church Committee’s final report said. “It has done so primarily because the Constitutional system for checking abuse of power has not been applied.“ The Congressional investigations resulted in laws prohibiting the assassination of foreign leaders and the creation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). The executive branch is supposed to get permission from this special court before it can engage in surveillance. We saw how effective this law was after September 11, 2001: not very.

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: A Political Odyssey, by Mike Gravel, p.195-196

Mike Gravel on Unionization: (Jobs May 2, 2008)
Communists helped unions end child labor & set 8-hr workday

The Communist Party had been involved in organizing major labor unions since its inception in 1919. Let me say it: the pressure exerted by these unions ended child labor and won the eight-hour work day. But the Smith Act of 1940, signed by FDR, made it illegal to advocate the violent overthrow of the government. That gave the unions authority to purge Communists from their ranks, making Communism pretty much a spent force in America. In addition, American workers bought into the explosion of consumerism, not Communism, as the way to improve their lives in post-war America. McCarthy’s hysteria was based largely on his own lust for power and notoriety, as he exploited television as a new factor in American politics. He also exploited the fear that spread with the Soviet’s explosion of a nuclear device in 1949.
Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: A Political Odyssey, by Mike Gravel, p.106

Barack Obama on Unionization: (Jobs Feb 2, 2008)
Fight attacks on workers’ right to organize & strike

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Campaign booklet, “Blueprint for Change”, p. 10-15

Hillary Clinton on Unionization: (Budget & Economy Jan 28, 2008)
The economy is not working for middle class families

Tonight President Bush claimed that the state of our union is strong. But for too many American families, the true “state of their lives” is one of economic anxiety and uncertainty.

After seven years of stagnant wages, declining incomes and increasing inequality, our families are working harder and harder and still falling behind. President Bush had one final chance tonight to acknowledge what the American people have known for years: that the economy is not working for middle class families. Unfortunately, what he offered was more of the same--a frustrating commitment to the same failed policies that helped turn record surpluses into large deficits, and push a thriving 21st century economy to the brink of recession.

We need a President who understands the urgent economic challenges our families face and who will work as hard for middle-class families as they work for America. I intend to be that President for the American people.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Response to 2008 State of the Union address

Barack Obama on Unionization: (Corporations Aug 26, 2007)
Hold corporations responsible for pensions & work conditions

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Presidential campaign website, “Flyers”

Hillary Clinton on Unionization: (Jobs Jun 20, 2007)
Stand up for unions; organize for fair wages

Let’s make sure the people who work hard every day can actually support their families and save for the future. That means standing up for our unions again--understanding that there’s a connection between unions and the middle class. When I’m president, we’re going to stand up for unions. We’re going to make sure they can organize for fair wages and good working conditions. And we’re going to appoint people to the Department of Labor who are actually pro-labor for a change.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference

Barack Obama on Unionization: (Jobs Oct 1, 2006)
Owes unions who endorsed him; that’s why he’s in politics

The leaders of service workers unions broke ranks & chose to endorse me over [my opponent], support that proved critical to my campaign. It was a risky move on their part; had I lost, they might have paid a price in access, in support, in credibility.

So I owe those unions. When their leaders call, I do my best to call them back right away. I do not consider this corrupting in any way; I do not mind feeling obligated toward home health-care workers or toward teachers. I got into politics to fight for those folks, and I am glad a union is around to remind me of their struggles.

However, there have been strains. I have proposed experimenting with merit pay for teachers, for example, and have called for raising fuel-efficiency standards despite opposition from the United Auto Workers. I like to tell myself that I will continue to weigh the issues on the merits. I hope I can always go to my union friends and explain why my position is consistent with my values and their interests.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p.118-119

Howie Hawkins on Unionization: (Jobs Jun 30, 2006)
Supports Fair Labor Laws

Fair Labor Laws. Repeal Taft-Hartley. Majority card-check union recognition.
Click for Howie Hawkins on other issues.   Source: 2006 Senate campaign website,, “Issues”

Barack Obama on Unionization: (Jobs May 2, 2004)
Obama will strengthen unions and workers’ rights

Obama will do everything in his power to fight the Bush Administration’s crusade against unions and, instead, build support to strengthen workers’ rights.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2004 Senate campaign website,

Mark Sanford on Unionization: (Budget & Economy Nov 4, 2000)
Incumbents spend more tax funds the longer they’re in office

A well documented but little discussed study by the National Taxpayers Union showed that regardless of party, the longer a person is in office, the greater his tendency to spend the taxpayers’ money. It’s not that representatives become evil people--just that they’re human. Basic biology teaches how remarkable adaptable human beings are to the world around us. Unfortunately, Washington is a place where large sums of money become rounding errors. Over time, congressmen become accustomed to the large sums and the inevitable rounding errors that are part and parcel of the political process. And while being in Washington may change the lawmaker’s perspective, what doesn’t change is how hard folks at home must work to send that same money to Capitol Hill. For me this always meant less is more when it comes to term limits. The fewer number of years in office, the less time to grow accustomed to the idea that $50 million is a rounding error.
Click for Mark Sanford on other issues.   Source: The Trust Committed to Me, by Mark Sanford, p. 17

Donald Trump on Unionization: (Jobs Jul 2, 2000)
Unions fight for pay; managers fight for less; consumers win

It’s probably more refreshing to deal with the Teamsters than the AFT or NEA. At least the leaders of the Teamsters don’t blow smoke. The construction unions I deal with want more in the pay envelope for their rank and file. That’s what they tell you every time you sit down at the table. You can respect that-even as you push back to cut the best deal from your perspective. That’s the American way.

What we all want is monopoly-dominance in our chosen line of work that allows us to call the tune. No one really wants to compete-they have to in order to survive. Everyone pursues monopoly, the system prevents it, and the results is the world’s most competition-intensive economy. Who wins? Consumers do. They get more choice and more quality at lower cost.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 78-79

Jesse Ventura on Unionization: (Jobs Jan 1, 1999)
Supports prevailing wages but not living wages

When bidding out government contracts, the prevailing wage supports unions and what unions stand for. It makes sense for the government to set a fair wage for government work. It’s good business.

A living wage, on the other hand, does nothing but make government grow and the economy suffer. With a mandated living wage, the government dictates to businesses what they have to pay their employees. If the government tells your employer to pay you more, guess who’s going to get [more tax revenue out of the additional pay]? The government! And what happens when government gets more money? It grows! We have to avoid policies that blindly make government grow.

Moreover, there’s evidence to show that a rise in the living wage costs jobs. I think this issue should be left up to the employee. If you don’t think a job pays enough, don’t take it! it’s called individual choice. No one makes you take that job or accept a wage you don’t think is suitable.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p. 48

Jesse Ventura on Unionization: (Jobs Jan 1, 1999)
Strongly pro-union; and a union member

[Running-mate] Mae Schunk and I are very strongly union: She’s Teachers’ Union, I’m Screen Actors Guild. But in spite of our pro-union positions, we couldn’t get one single union endorsement. We had tons of support among rank-and-file union people, but none of the upper echelons were interested in us. The union officials were in the Democrats’ back pocket.

We were on our way to speak at Hibbing Community College when the union goons showed up. When Mae and I started to walk into the auditorium, they formed a line across the entry to stop us. I walked up to the biggest one; I got nose to nose with him, looked his straight in the eye, and said quietly, “I suggest you get out of the way.” He stepped aside and let us in.

But the goons were so disruptive once we got inside that it was impossible for us to speak. They scared the students away and kept shouting us down. I shouted back, “Mae and I are vested union members. This is how you treat union brothers and sisters?”

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p.228-9

  • Additional quotations related to Unionization issues can be found under Jobs.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Jobs.
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