Democratic National Platform Standing Up for Workers (00310848).DOCX by vCji2faj

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									Moving America Forward | 2012 Democratic National Platform

Standing Up for Workers. When the President took office, the American middle class was under assault.
From 2001 to 2007, we had the slowest private-sector job growth in an economic expansion since World
War II. The typical family saw its income stall and inequality climb, even as the economy grew. And we
had an administration that thought the answer was limiting unions.

Upon taking office, President Obama began the work of restoring an economy built to last that creates
good jobs that pay well. Because the President and the Democratic Party believe in the right to organize
and in supporting America’s workers with strong labor laws, the President rolled back harmful labor
policies designed to undermine collective bargaining rights. The President appointed members of the
National Labor Relations Board and National Mediation Board who understand the importance of
standing up for the rights of workers. He placed his bet on the American worker when he rescued the
auto industry. His administration will continue its fight against the exploitative practice of employers
fraudulently misclassifying workers as independent contractors or white-collar workers to evade taxes
or deny them protections and overtime benefits. As new employment relationships evolve away from
the traditional employee-employer model, we need to make sure our labor laws are modernized and
keep pace with changes in our economy.

The Republican Party would return us to the failed policies of the last administration, vilifying the
American worker, undermining unions, and arguing that everyone should fend for themselves. We
oppose the attacks on collective bargaining that Republican governors and state legislatures are
mounting in states around the country. Democrats believe that the right to organize and collectively
bargain is a fundamental American value; every American should have a voice on the job and a chance
to negotiate for a fair day’s pay after a hard day’s work. We will continue to fight for the right of all
workers to organize and join a union. Unions helped build the greatest middle class the world has ever
known. Their work resulted in the 40-hour workweek and weekends, paid leave and pensions, the
minimum wage and health insurance, and Social Security and Medicare – the cornerstones of middle
class security. We will fight for labor laws that provide a fair process for workers to choose union
representation, that facilitate the collective bargaining process, and that strengthen remedies for
violations of the law. We will fight for collective bargaining rights for police officers, nurses, firefighters,
emergency medical technicians, teachers, and other public sector workers – jobs that are a proven path
to the middle class for millions of Americans. We will continue to vigorously oppose “Right to Work” and
“paycheck protection” efforts, and so-called “Save our Secret Ballot” measures whenever they are
proposed.

We will raise the minimum wage, and index it to inflation. We believe in an America where people
looking for work can find good jobs, where hard work pays, and where responsibility is rewarded. Our
Occupational Safety and Health Administration will continue to adopt and enforce comprehensive safety
standards. The first bill the President signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, we are committed to
passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, and we will continue to battle Republican opposition to efforts to
stop wage discrimination.


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