Democrats Stand with American Workers

This Labor Day, politicians across the country will make speeches and release statements praising the efforts and sacrifices American workers have made to our country. They will talk about the debt we owe American workers and their families, and about respect and gratitude for those who form the backbone of our economy. They will make promises, shake hands, and they will stand before crowds to celebrate Labor Day.

But when they return to Washington, and when it comes time to vote, many of these same Representatives will forget the promises they made and their words of gratitude. What matters most is their actions, not their words. Will they raise the minimum wage? Will they protect pensions? Will they stand up for workers' rights? Will they do what they can to stop outsourcing and the flow of jobs overseas? Will they vote against trade agreements that are neither free nor fair, like CAFTA or the Oman Trade Agreement? Or will they block a fair vote on the minimum wage, sit on their hands while executives with golden parachutes cut promised benefits, and endorse policies that reward corporations for shipping jobs overseas?

President Bush continues to claim the economy is strong and getting stronger. And maybe it is - for those at the top. But American workers haven't seen the benefits. Median salaries are shrinking, the number of uninsured is climbing, and despite this "stellar economy," Americans who work full time can't make ends meet. This week, the Census Bureau released the 2005 data on income, poverty, and health care. It confirmed what American families already know -- that Americans have not fared well over the first five years of the Bush Administration. Since Bush took office, there are 5.4 million more people in poverty, 6.8 million more without health insurance, overall median household income has declined by $1,300, and wages as a share of income this year are at their lowest level since at least 1928.


House Democrats believe that the best way to support America's workers is through better wages, pension protections, and laws that enforce workplace safety and workers' rights. We believe that we should invest in American workers by training them to be competitive in the 21st century global economy. We believe that Labor Day should not be the only day that we show appreciation for American working families.

This Labor Day, House Democrats continue our call for a New Direction for America, putting workers ahead of special interests. We pledge to prohibit the Congressional pay raise until the nation's minimum wage is raised, end tax giveaways that reward companies for moving American jobs overseas, make college tuition permanently deductible from taxes, cut student loan interest rates, stop any plan to privatize Social Security, enact real pension reform to protect employees' financial security from CEO corruption and mismanagement, including abuse of the bankruptcy laws and expand personal savings incentives. Hard-working Americans deserve nothing less.