Friday, August 30, 2013

Conyers: To Truly Celebrate Labor Day We Must Emphasize Full Employment and a $15 Minimum Wage

Rep. Conyers to March in Solidarity Alongside UAW and AFSCME on Labor Day

(DETROIT) – This weekend, Detroit will celebrate Labor Day with two marches, one by the United Auto Workers (UAW) and another by the Detroit Chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). These marches down Michigan Avenue will honor the hard work and dedication of workers across the country. These marches also come on the heels of employees  in the fast food and restaurant service industry who went on  strike yesterday in more than 60 metropolitan areas, calling for fair wages and the fundamental right to organize. Concurrently, Ford Motor Company announced yesterday the relocation of a Ford Fusion production plant to Flat Rock, Michigan that will create 1,400 well-paying jobs for the Detroit metropolitan area. Reflecting on these events in the time leading up to Labor Day, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
"As we prepare for the Labor Day weekend marches and festivities, I applaud the resilience and organization of the labor movement. Over the past week alone, we have witnessed fast food workers around the Nation going on strike for decent wages, and the UAW garnering hard-earned jobs for the Detroit community. It is my sincere hope that these developments indicate a better future ahead for organized labor that will put more people to work,” said Conyers.

“In the aftermath of the Great Recession, millions of Americans continue to struggle through unemployment or underemployment. As we march, it is critical that we continue to advocate for a full employment economy. This can be best accomplished by continuing to grow support for H.R. 1000, the ‘Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act.’ Through two public trust funds, this legislation is designed to both rehire individuals who seek to work and to provide training for the many new types of jobs being created. Now more than ever this country needs public service workers, in fields ranging from highway improvement, to waterways infrastructure, and at schools in all grade levels.

“As President Obama declared in his speech at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, ‘The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it doesn’t bend on its own.’ In celebrating the hard-fought gains by organized labor this weekend, I call for a renewed commitment not only to the rights of workers already employed, but for all who seek to join them. I look forward to participating in the weekend’s festivities, and to continuing the long march towards economic justice.”

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