Nothing is more prevalent in the American Mind right now than job security. At a time when many are reeling from the COVID-19 shutdown, returning to work and rebuilding financially, choosing a leader dedicated to boosting the incomes and financial security of hardworking Americans is essential. At the same time, policies are needed to strengthen unemployment insurance (UI), COBRA subsidies to help workers who have been laid off or lost their jobs as well as assistance needed to help families facing economic hardship as a result of the pandemic.
Promoting and enacting policies that promote the creation and retention of manufacturing jobs in the United States. In the U.S., 2 million jobs were lost between 1980 and 2000 and 5.5 million jobs were lost between 2000 and 2017. When manufacturing stays in the U.S., autoworkers aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit. The tens of thousands of UAW members employed in the agricultural implement sector who manufacture combines, tractors, and products needed by our emerging biofuel industry will benefit as well. Even before the pandemic hit, it was clear that policies were needed to reinvest in the U.S. worker and incentive companies to maintain and create good manufacturing jobs in the U.S.
Expanding “Buy American” promotions. Create incentives to use taxpayer monies to support American products and jobs. Include labor and U.S. build and content requirements in all programs that provide subsidies for companies. Taxpayer dollars should be used to promote good jobs in the United States.
Enacting trade and tax policies that also strengthen middle-class manufacturing jobs and hold companies that turn their backs on U.S. workers accountable. The 2017 “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” (TCJA) lets companies pay lower U.S. taxes on profits earned offshore than on products made in the United States.
Preventing the outsourcing of U.S. jobs overseas. It is estimated that about 300,000 jobs are outsourced each year.
Strongly support the Protecting the Right to Organize Act’s (PRO Act). The bill would amend some of the country’s decades-old labor laws to strengthen workers’ right to collectively bargain for better wages, a secure retirement, and health and safety on the job.
Manufacturing contributes 11.4% to the overall GDP and the domestic auto market is a critical component. In 2018, 17.2 million light vehicles were sold and nearly 900,000 people worked in auto and auto parts manufacturing alone. In 2019, the news was not good as manufacturing turned south and entered what Federal Reserve data shows is a recession, or six-month slump. This slump is far from the only problem we have in our manufacturing sector.
Not only autoworkers stand to benefit from good manufacturing policies. The tens of thousands of UAW members employed in the agricultural implement sector who manufacture combines, tractors, and products needed by our emerging biofuel industry as well as tens of thousands of UAW members in the heavy-duty truck industry, and those working in the auto supplier network all stand to benefit from a national manufacturing strategy.
THE ASSAULT ON LABOR
The manufacturing base in this country has been weakened over the last several decades by misguided policies and changes in our economy, and labor’s strength has been eroded by anti-labor policies and legislation.
Companies are increasingly shifting good manufacturing jobs overseas and continue to be rewarded for doing so because of loopholes in our tax code.
Many of the jobs being created are in fields like retail, food service, and temporary staffing, where hourly wages are often low, benefits few and far between, and a union voice is usually absent.
There must be policies that hold employers accountable for using temporary workers instead of full-time workers on a large scale.
Incentivizing Offshoring Our Jobs. TCJA, passed in late 2017, has been a dream bill for companies intent on offshoring jobs as it encourages corporations to ship jobs overseas. The federal corporate tax rate was cut from 35% to 21%, and U.S. company profits from manufacturing in foreign countries are taxed at only half that rate, and sometimes not taxed at all. The more physical assets (like manufacturing plants) a company moves to a foreign country, the less in U.S. corporate taxes they pay. That is a large incentive to offshore plants, and our jobs that go with them. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office admitted this fact, warning that the TCJA “may increase corporations’ incentive to locate tangible assets abroad”.
The long-term economic effects of the pandemic remain to be seen, but its initial impact has been felt in record job losses. Between February and April 2020, more than 25.3 million Americans filed for unemployment.
During the first nine months of this year, the number of factory jobs rose 0.2%, while total employment rose four times as fast.
WHAT'S AT STAKE IN THIS ELECTION
Budget and tax policies that promote the creation and retention of manufacturing jobs in the United States.
The expansion of “Buy American” requirements so taxpayer monies are used to support American products and jobs.
Enacting trade policies that strengthen middle-class manufacturing jobs, prevent the outsourcing of U.S. jobs overseas, and benefit workers.
The ability of workers to unionize and protect wages and benefits.
Protection of retirement security.
DEMOCRAT – Joseph Biden and Job Security
Biden is proposing a plan to grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class – the backbone of the American economy – by strengthening public and private sector unions and helping all workers bargain successfully for what they deserve.
Biden on jobs: “States have decimated the rights of public sector workers who, unlike private sector workers, do not have federal protections ensuring their freedom to organize and collectively bargain. In the private sector, corporations are using profits to buy back their own shares and increase CEOs’ compensation instead of investing in their workers and creating more good-quality jobs. The results have been predictable: rising income inequality, stagnant real wages, the loss of pensions, exploitation of workers, and a weakening of workers’ voices in our society.”
Biden’s Promise to the American Worker
Biden released a series of plans to ensure that the future is “made in all of America” by all of America’s workers and create jobs for U.S. workers. The heart of his plan will help rebuild manufacturing, the auto industry, new technology and a cleaner environment in the United States.
Check the abuse of corporate power over labor and hold corporate executives personally accountable for violations of labor laws.
Strongly support the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act).
Encourage and incentivize unionization and collective bargaining.
Ensure that workers are treated with dignity and receive the pay, benefits, and workplace protections they deserve.
Aggressively pursue employers who violate labor laws, participate in wage theft, or cheat on their taxes by intentionally misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
Ensure federal dollars do not flow to employers who engage in union-busting activities, participate in wage theft, or violate labor law.
Penalize companies that bargain in bad faith.
Make it easier for workers who choose to unionize to do so.
Provide a federal guarantee for public sector employees to bargain for better pay and benefits and the working conditions they deserve.
Create a cabinet-level working group that will solely focus on promoting union organizing and collective bargaining in the public and private sectors.
Empower the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to fulfill its intended purpose of protecting workers.
Reinstate and expand protections for federal employees.
Expand long overdue rights to farmworkers and domestic workers.
Extend the right to organize and bargain collectively to independent contractors.
Support candidates who:
Advance budget and tax policies that promote the creation and retention of manufacturing jobs in the United States.
Promote, enforce and expand “Buy American” requirements so taxpayer monies are used to support American products and jobs.
Enact trade policies that strengthen middle-class manufacturing jobs, prevent the outsourcing of U.S. jobs overseas, and benefit workers.
Support workers ability to form unions.
Support the PRO Act.