Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton this week linked fair pay for workers with the right to unionize during a campaign trip to Ohio, stating union membership is essential to building a stronger middle class.
Her address Tuesday in Toledo concentrated on the economy and her plans to help workers, but also included a few swipes at her GOP foe, business mogul Donald Trump. To encourage people to vote for her, she told the crowd that: “Honest work deserves honest pay.”
After the audience replied “Yeah!” Clinton declared that: “We believe everyone should have the right to join a strong union that will always have your back,” a statement that produced loud applause.
She later elaborated, stating “We need to support new organizing strategies for employees who too often have never had the benefit of collective bargaining, and we have to resist the assault on workers’ rights.”
Clinton immediately followed that declaration by adding, “Let’s say loudly and clearly: Right to work is wrong for workers and wrong for America.” So-called RTW, pushed by big business and its GOP allies – including Trump – lets workers use union services without paying for them, and it’s designed to bankrupt unions.
Low-wage workers seeking a decent living also drew Clinton’s backing. She openly supported raising the minimum wage, the Fight for $15 campaign, eligibility for overtime pay, pursuit of corporate wage theft, equal pay for equal work, and paid family leave and child care for all “so you don’t have to live in poverty.”
All of those goals, she said, help workers deal with “kitchen table issues. ... You know, the ones that keep you up at night, like the cost of childcare and college and prescription drugs and so much else.” Clinton said they’ll be her focus if she wins the White House in November.
Clinton’s main theme was how to create more good jobs with rising incomes so the U.S. can fulfill a promise that if people are willing to work, they should be able to get ahead. She called that bargain personal for her as the granddaughter of a factory worker.
As this election has shown, workers are again under attack. Not only has Trump come out in a favor of RTW, but the issue is a top one in the Missouri governor’s race. Virginians will also vote on whether to enshrine the anti-worker law into the Commonwealth’s constitution.
There is a way for everyday Americans to win, however – vote!
- Press Associates, Inc., contributed to this report.