Naomi Bolden, vice president of CWA Local 2204, tells Democratic Senators that the economy isn't working for working families.
Over this past year my husband got very sick and had to be hospitalized for over a month and a half and is still out of work. His job did not provide any sick leave or sick pay. Because of that situation, he and I are now living paycheck to paycheck. I worry every single day about how I am going work the extra hours -- that take away from quality family time -- just so I can pay my bills.
I know that my story isn't unique. That many, many Americans face the same struggles I and my family have each and every day. We are doing everything right. We work hard. We play by the rules. We try to save for the future. We want a bright and secure future for our children. We want nothing more than the secure middle class lifestyle that our parents enjoyed. But that's not the case today.
Our wages can't keep up with our expenses. Our health care system is broken. I and many middle class families today are just one mishap away from bankruptcy. When you're living paycheck to paycheck it's hard to save for a retirement that you find yourself wondering if you'll ever see. This is not the America that my parents left Italy to come to.
Our economy today seems to be focused on only enriching the corporate CEOs and those on Wall Street. While those of us in the middle class are taking home less today in terms of real dollars than in the 1970s.
We've watched our manufacturing jobs disappear because of misguided trade policies. Many of us believed that service sector jobs, like customer service, would be more secure, but now we're seeing our work offshored to places like Central America and the Philippines. Some of my friends who worked in tech support actually trained their overseas replacements before they were fired.
Instead of policies that would help us in our struggles and that would strengthen the middle class, we see a focus on tax cuts for corporations and issues that won't impact working people in this country. And the policies that would help us -- like raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment insurance, investing in our infrastructure like broadband and making college more affordable -- seem to be blocked.