Last week's failure to override the governor's veto of a labor-backed bill to add arbitration as a means of ending an impasse came within a week of today's holiday set aside to honor those who, as they say, brought us the 40-hour workweek. It's easy to be uneasy.
“I do have a daughter who's 21, and I look at her and her friends, and I am very, very concerned,” says Tim Drea, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO in Illinois. “Crushing student debt for the majority of college graduates, and wages – I'll be honest, starting wages are at a level that I started at in 1979 as a member of the United Mine Workers.”
Drea says despite the arbitration bill ultimately going down in flames, “hopefully, there will be a fair resolution for everybody involved.”
What's more, Drea says, AFL-CIO polling indicates “most people would want to join a labor union if they could,” and laws inhibiting the growth of unions should be changed. “Unions, as such, are not bad, and people see the value in them.”