Connect! Unite! Act! is a weekly series that seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups meet regularly to socialize, but also to get out the vote, support candidates, and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers that be. Visit us every week to see how you can get involved!
What I have always loved about this series is that it has provided a way for our community members to connect with each other and to work on issues that matter to all of the Daily Kos community. Daily Kos has a lot of important work that happens every day. We engage our partners, we write what we feel, and we work to do everything we can to make each day better than the one before it. That is why in today’s Connect! Unite! Act! I’m going to talk about Action!
AFL-CIO is just one of the large group of unions pushing for the PRO Act, a way to help workers organize. Wonder why it is important? They tell us about it.
Question: Why is the PRO Act necessary? Answer: Workers in America today are not getting a fair shake. Our basic labor law, which is supposed to protect the rights of workers to form a union and bargain collectively, is broken. In recent decades, employers have been able to violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) with impunity. An entire union-busting industry now works nonstop to block working people from exercising our rights. Today, in more than 40% of all union organizing elections, employers are charged with breaking the law.
They lie. They threaten and coerce. And they routinely fire union supporters. Workers are forced to attend mandatory meetings with one item on the agenda: union-bashing. These messages of fear and intimidation come from the very people who control our paychecks, how much time we can spend with our families, and whether we will have a job tomorrow. And the penalties for employers who engage in this illegal behavior are inconsequential.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve witnessed firsthand the way in which union members are treated, as Frito-Lay employees in Topeka, Kansas, told horrific tales about management mistreatment and lack of fair wages.
Connect! Unite! Act! is built to address these issues. It goes beyond writing about a problem—it deals with one of the core values of Daily Kos, which is acting on our beliefs and working to make things better.
So in many diaries you likely see a box on your right-hand side that specifically says: “Take Action.” There is truth to the old axiom that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. That squeaky wheel shouldn’t be, at any point, workers finding themselves worked to death, and so petitions like this one help you make contact and join with others—uniting.
Labor unions are a key component to Democratic success. They represent the working class instead of billionaires and what they provide isn’t just campaign donations; it is reflected in manpower needed to help get voters to the polls, inform the voter base, knock doors, and engage.
Keith Aubrey’s construction job forced him to work long stretches without a day off, even in rain and lightning, all for a measly paycheck and health benefits so lousy he could barely afford to see a doctor.
After getting laid off during the pandemic last year, Aubrey resolved to seize control of his destiny and landed a union manufacturing position that changed his life.
COVID-19 showed Americans that it’s no longer enough to scrape by on jobs that just barely pay the household bills. They need family-sustaining wages that will cover child care costs, health care providing high-quality coverage in emergencies and other essential benefits that unions routinely deliver for their members.
As the nation emerges from the pandemic, more and more workers find themselves at the same turning point that Aubrey did.
People are discovering that they are being priced out of a decent living, burdened with debt and runaway billionaires in management who are far more interested in fun jaunts to space than paying good wages to their employees.
Our Connect! Unite! Act! team is here to provide support and guidance to new and existing volunteer leaders of each regional and state group, helping them with recruiting, organizing, and executing social and action events. We invite you to join in this effort to build our community. There are many ways to pitch in. If there isn’t a group to join near you, please start one.