Delivers Address to AFL-CIO Industrial Unions Council
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today addressed the
AFL-CIO Industrial Unions Council on the crisis in manufacturing
Trumka, thank you for your kind introduction, but more importantly,
for your great leadership, both as Chairman of the Industrial Union
Council and as Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO. Lets hear
it for Richard Trumka.
hear it for the outstanding presidents of the IUC unions. Thank
you all for fighting for Americans working families. And thank
you for fighting to end the union-busting, family-hurting, exporting
jobs presidency of George W. Bush.
a message for George Bush: America's families are hurting. And you
are not helping. In fact, you are making it harder for American
families to get ahead.
now hear this: The State of the Union address you delivered two
weeks ago was your last! Mr. President, the reckless budget you
offered yesterday was your last budget assault on Americas
to Troops & Labor
last night, I returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, where I expressed
our nations gratitude to our brave men and women in uniform,
including our active duty troops, and National Guard and Reserves
-- so many of whom are patriotic union workers. So I thank you for
your patriotism and I thank you for your service. Their noble service
reminds us of our mission as a nation -- to make a future worthy
of their sacrifice.
in seven Democratic presidential primaries across America, Americans
are standing up for the future they want -- for good jobs, for better
health care, and the best education for their children.
the steelworkers and textile workers of South Carolina . . . to
the auto workers and boilermakers of Missouri . . . from the oil
and chemical workers of Oklahoma . . . to the miners of New Mexico
. . . Americans are voting for change.
three years of seeing their jobs get shipped overseas, they are
voting to send George Bush back to Texas.
Senator Daschle shares my view. You are the beautiful fight. You
are the cavalry to take back the Hill. For the past two years, you
as the IUC have been blowing the whistle about the crisis in manufacturing.
This afternoon, when you, the cavalry, storm Capitol Hill for Americas
workers, everyone will know labor is in the house.
our friends who are involved in the grocery strike in California
cannot be with us here today, they are the face of the labor movement.
They epitomize our fight. So thank you for standing in solidarity
with our friends. And to the anti- corporations, we say: Hands off
healthcare. We all stand behind the grocery workers.
time for Republicans to stop treating America the way anti-union
corporations treat their workers: Rewarding wealth over work, and
putting profits before people. Trying to intimidate unions. And
arbitrarily changing the rules at the expense of workers who play
by the rules.
is the ultimate worker safety issue -- Republicans are dangerous
to Americas workers. And we are here to say today: We are
not going to take it anymore!
election matters because manufacturing matters.
jobs matter to our countrys economic security -- every manufacturing
job creates at least four other jobs.
matters to our national security. We cannot ensure a strong military
and protect the American homeland without a strong industrial and
matters to the financial security of millions of families because
union wages can make the difference between living in poverty and
living the American Dream.
week, the Detroit News told the story of one of your brothers --
Marc Strong, who worked at the Lear Seating company plant in Romulus,
Michigan as a member of UAW Local 174.
2001, Marc and hundreds of his co-workers got the devastating news
that so many union members have received: Their plant was closing
and moving out of the country. They were losing their jobs.
than two years, Marc looked for work. He and his wife had a baby
on the way. Then his unemployment insurance ran out. He sent out
dozens of resumes. For a while, he delivered pizza. The mortgages,
medical bills, they all piled up.
and his wife are $170,000 in debt. They have filed for bankruptcy,
and the bank is foreclosing on their home.
month, Marc finally found a job -- with a competitor of his old
company. Its not a union job yet, but Marc and his co-workers
are in negotiations . . . and it will be a union shop soon. As Marc
country was built on hard work. I know . . . its cheaper to
make [things] someplace else. But I deserve my chance [at] the American
Dream. Someone has to stand up and do something for our country.""
were Marcs words. But today, President Bush is destroying
the American Dream for Marc and millions of workers. With his dangerous
economic plan and distorted budget priorities, President Bush is
undermining the values that define us our country - he is limiting
opportunity, he is evading responsibility and he is destroying community.
for Manufacturing & Workers
here today to say to Marc Strong and to all of you that Marc is
right -- all American workers deserve a chance at the American Dream.
And I am here to say to you that Democrats are standing up
and doing something" for our country and fighting for you and
are fighting for fair trade. We demand our trade laws and economic
leverage be used to level the playing field and open the foreign
markets to the products that you make. We understand the importance
of free markets.
can never say it enough: free trade must be fair trade. That is
why I have opposed unfair trade practices with China for nearly
20 years. And that is why I have repeatedly made it clear to the
Bush Administration that I cannot support a Central American so-called
Free Trade Agreement unless it includes basic and enforceable worker's
rights protections. We must protect the rights of workers!
are fighting for your jobs. President Bush has lost nearly 3 million
manufacturing jobs in just three years. Yet in the State of the
Union address, he happily declared that jobs are on the rise.
In all of December, Americas $10 trillion economy created
a mere 1,000 jobs. Under President Clinton, Democrats helped create
22 million jobs. President Bush losing 3 million jobs, and cheering
the creation of 1,000 a month, when under President Clinton 11,000
jobs were created every working day.
are fighting to help those who have suffered the longest. Republicans
have refused to extend unemployment insurance to the record number
of Americans -- more than 2 million -- who are exhausting their
are fighting for the Apollo project, which has been led by Leo Gerard.
It will create good jobs, gain energy independence, and clean up
are fighting to revitalize the manufacturing base. Led by Congressman
Charlie Rangel of New York, Democrats are fighting for a bipartisan
bill that focuses on those who need help the most -- our manufacturing
of helping special interests cheat the system and giving big corporations
tax incentives to export jobs, Democrats propose tax breaks to keep
American jobs in America.
President Bush cuts taxes for the wealthy, he is cutting overtime
for 8 million workers -- the overtime you need to put food on the
table, to make ends meet, to buy a home and to send your children
to college. Imagine that, tax cuts for the wealthiest, and cut overtime
pay for workers. They just do not understand what it takes to make
the Bush Administration is actually advising companies on how to
avoid paying overtime -- and has the audacity to call it payroll
adjustment. We call it what it is -- a pay cut for working
families. And when Democrats are back in power, and that will be
in about ten months, working families will get the overtime pay
you deserve. We have to win the election to do that.
are fighting to give workers a secure retirement. We are fighting
to strengthen and protect pensions from corporate greed. We will
not let the Republicans raid your pensions.
are fighting for a real prescription drug benefit under Medicare.
The Republican prescription drug bill was a cruel hoax that encourages
employer-sponsored programs to drop retirees and that sets out to
dismantle Medicare. Democrats have introduced legislation to dismantle
this terrible bill.
we are fighting to preserve the fundamental freedoms of Americas
workers. The right to form unions . . .the right to quality health
. the right to bargain collectively . . . the right to
safe workplaces . . . the sanctity of the 40-hour workweek . . .
these rights are non-negotiable. Democrats are fighting to pass
Congressman George Millers Employee Free Choice Act to restore
the freedoms threatened by Republican rule.
are fighting for you and your families. We are proud to stand with
the AFL-CIO and the IUC in this fight. Thank you for the opportunity
to be here, for coming to Capitol Hill, and for everything you do
for Americas working families.
you. And God bless the United States of America."