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Issue Position: A Staunch Pro-Labor Platform…

Issue Position

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A Staunch Pro-Labor Platform…

"I believe the labor movement and workers rights are fundamental building blocks of the nation's success. Healthy and vibrant unions have indisputably built the middle class and have promoted strong families through economic security. We must strive to maintain and strengthen a participative, democratic society - and empowerment in the workplace is a necessity. I will continue to work for labor's cause with energy, enthusiasm, and success."

- Jamie
…The Strongest Record to Support it

* A 100% pro-labor voting record
* Former unionized worker with UAW Local 2320
* AFL-CIO "Special Friend of Labor" Designation in 2004 and again in 2006
* Endorsed by the AFL-CIO in all 3 State Representative Elections - 2002, 2004, 2006
* Member of the State House coalition to enact labor's Working Families Agenda
* Stood by labor in supporting an increase of the minimum wage to $8.00/hr - despite leadership pressure to support $7.50/hr
* Stood by labor in supporting a return to an 85-15 health care payment ratio for state workers - despite leadership pressure to support 80-20
* Has publicly advocated for Governor Patrick's proposal to close corporate tax loopholes - despite the Speaker's push to defeat it

The Jamie Eldridge Plan:

Protect and Strengthen the Right to Organize

Promote Fairer Wages

Secure Retirement for All Workers

Make International Trade Fair

Provide Universal Health Care

Improve Workplace Safety

Protect and Strengthen the Right to Organize

Our nation's labor laws were originally written to provide a level playing field between employers and employees and to allow the greatest freedom of choice. Sadly, the balance has been shifted, making it nearly impossible for workers to join a union without coercion and legal delay. We must act now to give unions, and all working people, a fair chance:

* I support the Employee Free Choice Act to allow workers for form a union by card-check procedure.
* We need immediate NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) and FLRA (Federal Labor Relations Authority) reform to eliminate case backlogs and appoint unbiased judges.

Promote Fairer Wages

It has become increasingly hard for low-wage workers to earn enough money to live with justice and dignity. Our national minimum wage is far below the last generation's levels when adjusted for inflation. This is a problem that brings all workers' salaries down. To further compound the problem, powerful corporations like Walmart are getting away with forced overtime and other anti-labor practices while raking in immense profits. Washington must renew its commitment to sharing prosperity among all citizens.

* I support a significant and immediate increase in the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation.
* I will fight to protect pro-union and prevailing wage rules for government contracts.
* Overtime pay should be paid in real dollars, not flex-time [DC1] .
* We must investigate and end forced overtime practices and other wage and hour violations that companies like Walmart routinely engage in.

Secure Retirement for All Workers

Americans who work hard their whole lives deserve retirement security. We are the wealthiest nation in world history, and nobody should have to work into old age for fear of poverty. Companies like United Airlines have declared bankruptcy and terminated pension plans for thousands of workers.

* Social Security must not be privatized or depleted of funds.
* I am proud to have the endorsement of the National Council of Social Security Administration Field Operations Locals, representing over 25,000 Social Security Employees.
* I support defined-benefit pension plans that allow workers to know exactly what they'll have in retirement.
* The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation must be reformed and strengthened so workers are not left in lurch when companies declare bankruptcy.

Make International Trade Fair

NAFTA and other trade agreements have not delivered as promised. We face the largest trade deficits in history and our district is one of the areas expected to be hit hardest by tech jobs moving offshore.

* NAFTA, CAFTA and other trade agreements must include worker and environmental protections, including the right to organize.
* We should negotiate trade agreements individually, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach.
* Congress must be engaged in trade negotiations and not simply act as a rubber stamp by "fast-tracking" authority to negotiate.
* I will act to support workers affected by job loss due to trade by strengthening job training programs, income support, and job-search assistance.

Provide Universal Healthcare

Employers are faced with burgeoning healthcare costs and passing the burden onto employees. Businesses and unions face financial instability as a result, and the Bush administration's half-measures will not solve the problem.

* A universal, single-payer healthcare system will provide all Americans with elite and accessible healthcare, and save money for workers, employers and government.
* While developing a single-payer universal healthcare system, we must ensure that individuals can always choose their own doctors and reform efforts do no harm.

Improve Workplace Safety

One of the great accomplishments of the labor movement has been increasing safety and health standards in the workplace, and instituting strong guidelines to protect this. The current administration has tried to undo many of the protections workers and their families depend on.

* We need to strengthen OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), not gut it. This begins with adequate funding to meet its goals.
* Strengthening OSHA also means strong guidelines to ensure that workplaces truly are safe.

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