CWA President Chris Shelton's Statement on Biden's Win: The Work of Healing Our Country Can Now Begin
Washington, D.C. — The following is a statement from Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton:
Now that most of the votes have been counted in Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin the result is clear – voters have elected Joe Biden President of the United States. Kamala Harris will make history as the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to serve as Vice President.
This election, held during a global pandemic and under a President who has refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power, has been like no other. Yet Americans responded with resolve, voting in record numbers.
CWA members mobilized to educate and turn out voters. We made phone calls, sent text messages, and spread the word on social media and through conversations with friends, family members, and coworkers. We fought for every vote as if our lives depended on it, because they did.
The work of healing our country can now begin and we can move forward together. Our priorities are clear. Congress must reconvene and immediately pass pandemic relief legislation that restores and expands payroll support programs, enhances unemployment insurance, and provides critical support for state and local governments. This cannot wait. Each day that passes puts more working people at risk for losing their jobs, their health insurance, and their homes.
The Biden Administration won't lie to the American public about the COVID-19 pandemic. Joe Biden will listen to experts and act quickly to enact a plan to defeat the virus and prevent thousands of American deaths. He will respect the freedom of the press and end White House attacks on the media and on the truth.
The Biden Administration will restore regulations that protect and empower working people. Working people need a pro-worker National Labor Relations Board and National Mediation Board that support collective bargaining and the freedom of workers to join together in a union to improve their working conditions. We need a Secretary of Labor who will safeguard workers during and after the pandemic, prosecute wage theft, and secure retirees' pensions and retirement funds. We need the White House to ensure that government contracts support good jobs.
We need banking regulators that rein in predatory practices and keep Wall Street in check. We need an economic agenda that raises incomes and restores the middle class. We need trade policy that is conducted through negotiation, and that puts the interests of working people first, not one that is based on favoritism and midnight Tweets. We need a Federal Communications Commission that recognizes that good telecommunications jobs are in the public interest and that a diverse media landscape is essential to our democracy.
As the great Frederick Douglass said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand," and corporate power has become entrenched in our country. The results of this election make it possible for us to win the justice we seek. I am confident that through our collective effort, we will prevail.
About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, and manufacturing.