A message from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa

McCain and Bush: Anti-union synergy

Although Sen. John McCain is running to be elected our next president, his proposals to help our country are stuck in the past. McCain's prescription to treat our ailing economy is standing by the job-draining North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, and adopting President Bush's failed policies.

Both McCain and Bush support anti-union laws that make it harder for workers to unionize. They want to privatize Social Security. They have no meaningful plan to deal with our country's health care crisis. And they dismiss the good-paying manufacturing jobs we lost due to NAFTA with no plans to replace them.

We need to elect a new leader who is willing to break with Bush's failed policies.

Since Bush took office, not only are we working harder for less, but 2 million more of us are out of work and 11 million more lack health care insurance. We have had slow wage growth, skyrocketing costs for gasoline and health insurance, and four straight months of job losses. Foreclosure is a looming possibility for millions of families.

Yet McCain believes we don't need to significantly change course. He credits Bush for overseeing "great progress economically," but he fails to mention that for the first time since World War II, we have experienced sustained national economic growth while personal incomes have dropped. And, let's not forget that if President Bush had his way, Amtrak would have received zero funding.

Unlike the Democratic presidential candidates, McCain is opposed to renegotiating the so-called free trade agreements that have resulted in 3.7-million U.S. manufacturing jobs being lost in the past 10 years. These are the same pro-business policies that have helped make it so difficult for working-class Americans to make a living.

Being a union member creates opportunities for workers to build power. Our new president must recognize this and push to sign the Employee Free Choice Act which will allow workers to build a union free from an employer's anti-worker campaign.

Working-class Americans deserve elected officials who understand the American dream: to work a full-time job and earn wages and benefits that will support them and their families.

 

© 2008 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen