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This Week in the War on Workers

— The Republicans in the Senate as well as those in the GOP-controlled House are continuing their year-long fight to hold the FAA hostage in order to put the screws to what’s left of America’s middle class. The battle comes to a head today:

As the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization legislation moves toward a Senate vote early this week, a rising chorus of voices is making clear their opposition as the horrendous impact on workers becomes clear. Among the problems: the FAA legislation is a “compromise” in name only, would set a dangerous precedent by amending 75 year old labor law, and would inflict significant harm on union organizing efforts.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the damaging FAA Reauthorization bill 248-169 despite strong opposition from Democratic House Members. If the Senate passes the legislation it will move to the President’s desk. Earlier in the year, the White House threatened to veto a bill with union-busting provisions.

To contact your senator on this issue, click here.

— The Minnesota Republican version of ALEC’s anti-middle-class “right to work” bill, has, like their version of ALEC’s voter suppression bill or “voter ID” bill, been rejected by both Governor Dayton and the public. So, just as they’re trying to do with the voter suppression bill, the state Republicans are trying to get it on the ballot to be voted on as an amendment to the Constitution, because that way Governor Dayton can’t block it with a veto:

In a seemingly unending stream of constitutional amendments, State Senator Dave Thompson & Representative Steve Drazkowski held a press conference to publicize an anti-middle class amendment that would force union workers to pay for their non-union co-workers’ representation.

“This is yet another desperate attempt from Senator Thompson, Representative Drazkowski, and out of state special interests to publicize a bill that has bi-partisan opposition in the Legislature,” said Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson. “Minnesota consistently outperforms anti-middle class ‘Right to Work’ states like Mississippi and Alabama. Why would anyone want to enact something that is bad for working people and bad for business?”

Facts about Minnesota vs. Anti-Middle Class “Right to Work” States:

  • Minnesota’s December unemployment rate was 5.7%, the average unemployment for states with anti-middle class “right to work” laws was 7.5%.[1]
  • Minnesotans earn more than people in anti-middle class “right to work” states. Median annual Minnesota personal income is $31,445. Personal income drops to $26,381 in anti-middle class “right to work” states.[2]
  • 9.6% of Minnesotans do not have health insurance. The uninsured rate shoots to 16.6% in anti-middle class “right to work” states.[3]
  • Minnesotans are more educated, with 91.6% of adults with a high school diploma and 31.5% with a college degree. In anti-middle class “right to work” states, 81.5% of the adult population has completed high school and 21.4% have a college degree.[4]
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