Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the Senate Democratic Caucus met with several union leaders, including CWA President Chris Shelton, before holding a Capitol Hill news conference to announce the Democratic "Better Deal" plan to restore bargaining rights for working people.
In the meeting with Democratic Senators before the news conference, Shelton thanked those elected officials who stand up against the offshoring of U.S. jobs, for paid sick leave for working people, and for holding corporations to their responsibilities to workers.
"The good news is that 17 Senators of this caucus didn't just give those principles lip service but actually took a public stand in support of them by joining with us to lift up workers at AT&T and all workers in this sector. We thank you if you were one of those brave and principled 17 Senators to join Senator Merkley (D-Ore.) in his letter to AT&T management.
"Unfortunately, we are disappointed that in a caucus of 48, 31 Members chose to not stand on those principles with their 17 colleagues and help us hold the line against the offshoring of American jobs, and the further erosion of quality and family supporting jobs in the customer service and retail sectors. We hope that as we continue this struggle that we can get every Democratic Senator to make it clear that she or he will actually stand with us and fight with us to protect and improve these jobs."
The Democratic "Better Deal" plan maintains that government should work for working people, not just millionaires, billionaires, and special interests. Strengthening the ability of working people to join together and negotiate with wealthy corporations is the key to making this happen. The "Better Deal" plan includes reversing the assault on the workplace freedom and rights of public and private sector workers; combating the practice of employers using outsourcing and subcontracting to flout labor laws, and strengthening the NLRB's enforcement of crucial worker protections.
Shelton said, "With Republicans at every level of government working overtime to strip away the freedom of working people to negotiate for better wages and better jobs, working men and women need the Democratic Party's 'Better Deal.' Only by joining together in unions can working people stand up to the CEOs and corporate lobbyists who are keeping wages stagnant, sending jobs overseas and weakening our communities. We commend the Democratic Party leadership for fighting to restore workplace freedom and the ability of working people to stand together for their share of the economic pie."
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer outlines the "Better Deal." House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other elected joined the news conference.