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Union Membership Rate Falls to 100-Year Low

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This is from The Daily Signal.

It will be no loss if the unions just fade away.

Look at the trouble Detriot is in due to the unions.

Look at the problems the UAW has caused the big three auto makers.

 

New information from the federal government suggests workers’ interest in unions continues to fall, with union membership reaching its lowest rate in 100 years.

According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today, the union membership rate fell to 11.1 percent, with just 14.6 million wage and salaried workers maintaining membership.

In 2013, the union membership rate was 0.2 percentage points higher, at 11.3 percent.

The rate of union membership has been on a steady decline over the past three decades. It grew slightly from 12.1 percent in 2007 to 12.4 percent in 2008. During President Obama’s first year in office, however, it fell once more.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said in a statement today that though there has been job growth over the past 58 months, many of the jobs created do not provide fair wages.

“A strong recovery must be built on family-sustaining, not poverty-level jobs,” he said. “Today’s news confirms what most of us already knew: workers are finding good union jobs despite political ideologues—and jobs are coming back as the economy slowly rebounds, but neither are nearly enough.”

>>> Fact Checking Obama’s Jobs Claims in State of the Union

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of union membership for public-sector workers last year was 35.7 percent, compared to just 6.6 percent for the private sector.

Of those working in the public sector, government had the highest union membership rate.

James Sherk, a labor economics policy economist at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal that the drop in the rate of union membership can likely be attributed to the antiquated union model.

“They’re selling a product that hasn’t changed that much since the 1930s when America’s labor laws were founded,” he said. “Today’s workers simply aren’t that interested in purchasing what unions have to sell.”

Sherk said that unions have failed to modernize over time and noted that workers are moving away from joining because their contracts are no longer relevant.

Trumka disagreed.

“Today’s release of the annual union membership numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in this economic recovery, people are either seeking out good union jobs or taking matters into their own hands by forming unions to raise wages and ensure that new jobs are good jobs,” he said in his statement.

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AFL-CIO tries to regroup as American support for unions declines

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This is from Fox News Politics.

One reason for the unions decline is union officials greed.

Workers are tried of paying dues to finance the union leaders lavish

trips and life style.

 

It was an unexpected and blunt admission by one of the nation’s most powerful labor leaders: “We are in crisis, and we have to do things differently,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told USA Today last week.

His candid assessment heralds a change in strategy for the one-time labor giant.  It is now seeking to partner with other left-leaning organizations such as the NAACP and the Sierra Club to bolster its influence, and its lagging membership.

The idea would have been heretical in an earlier time when such partnerships meant solidarity under the union label and the obligation of union dues.

Under Trumka’s plan, there is no expectation that new AFL-CIO partners would join the federation.

“Hopefully, sometime,” Trumka told the paper. “First they’ll be partners at the local level. They’ll actually be in the structure of the local labor movement in some places but it will vary.” And as for paying union dues?

“Well, some may, some may not,” Trumka said.

If the strategy smacks of desperation, Cato Institute Senior fellow Chris Edwards says it should come as no surprise.

“Americans have rejected unionism,” Edwards says. “Particularly young people. If you look at the overall unionization rate, it’s seven percent but among young people, it’s just four percent which is remarkable.”

There is no single reason for labor’s precipitous decline. Technology and automation have decimated the ranks of blue-collar assembly workers.So has globalization and abundant cheap labor in the rapidly industrialized third world.

But some of labor’s wounds are self-inflicted. As it has turned to the public sector to make up for its private sector losses, unions have won increasingly generous pay and pension benefits. Those pension benefits are part of the reason that Detroit was forced into bankruptcy this summer, and why other cities are nearing the precipice of financial insolvency.

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday documented the predicament of Chicago, where nine of ten city employees are unionized.  “Chicago has chronically under funded its pensions,” The Journal said.

Chicago’s pension liability grows year by year and reveals a wound that unions inflicted on themselves: electing Democrats to office who legislate favors for the unions which, in turn, finance the campaigns of their legislative enablers.

That cycle recently resulted in Mayor Rahm Emanuel laying off 2,100 Chicago education employees – 1,000 teachers among them.

 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/13/afl-cio-tries-to-regroup-as-american-support-for-unions-declines/#ixzz2buH8foU8

 

Unions suffer steep decline in membership

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This is from Fox News Politics.

Unions suck the lie out of every business the get their hooks into.

The unions devastated the coal industry in Indiana.

They destroyed two small companies in my area of Indiana.

Unions have destroyed Hostess Bakery they would have destroyed the auto industry.

But Obama stepped in and bailed them out.

However they will eventually suck the life out of the car industry.

The nation’s labor unions suffered sharp declines in membership last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday, led by losses in the public sector as cash-strapped state and local governments laid off workers and — in some cases — limited collective bargaining rights.

The union membership rate fell from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent of all workers, the lowest level since the 1930s.

Total membership fell by about 400,000 workers to 14.4 million. More than half the loss — about 234,000 — came from government workers including teachers, firefighters and public administrators.

The losses add another blow to a labor movement already stretched thin by fighting efforts in states like Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan to curb bargaining rights and weaken union clout.

But unions also saw losses in the private sector, even as the economy expanded modestly. That rate fell of membership fell from 6.9 percent to 6.6 percent, a troubling sign for the future of organized labor, as job growth has generally taken place at nonunion firms.

“To employers, it’s going to look like the labor movement is ready for a knockout punch,” said Gary Chaison, professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. “You can’t be a movement and get smaller.”

Unions have steadily lost members since their peak in the 1950s, when about one of every three workers was in a union. By 1983, roughly 20 percent of American workers were union members.

Losses in the public sector are hitting unions particularly hard since that has been one of the few areas where membership was growing over the past two decades. About 51 percent of union members work in government, where until recently, there had been little resistance to union organizing.

That began to change when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a law in 2011 eliminating most union rights for government workers. The state lost about 46,000 union members last year, mostly in the public sector.

Union officials blame losses on the lingering effects of the recession, as well as GOP governors and state lawmakers who have sought to weaken union rights.

“Our still-struggling economy, weak laws and political as well as ideological assaults have taken a toll on union membership, and in the process have also imperiled economic security and good, middle class jobs,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

In Indiana, where a new right-to-work law took effect last March, the state lost about 56,000 union members. The law prohibits unions from requiring workers to pay union fees, even if they benefit from a collective bargaining agreement. Michigan lawmakers approved a similar measure in December.

Another problem for unions is an aging membership that is not being replaced by younger members. By age, the union membership rate was highest among workers ages 55 to 64 (14.9 percent) and lowest among those ages 16 to 24 (4.2 percent).

In New York, the state with the highest union density, nearly one-quarter of the workforce belonged to a union. North Carolina had the lowest at 2.9 percent.

Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members in 2012 had median weekly earnings of $943, while those who were not union members earned $742.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/23/unions-suffer-steep-decline-in-membership/#ixzz2Ir2AQoAf

Union: ‘Bain-style’ killing of Twinkie

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This is from The Politico.

I want to tell fat boy Trumpka Hostess was killed by union greed.

Everything the union leeches attach themselves to ends up dying.

Unions destroyed Hostess not Mitt Romney and Bain Capital.

 

The Bain attack is back.

This time it’s being used against Hostess Brands, the Twinkies and Wonder Bread maker that announced Friday it was closing. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka drew the comparison in a public statement Friday.

“What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor,” Trumka said in a public statement. “Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price.”

Earlier Friday, Hostess Brands announced that it would be closing, which the company said was precipitated by a workers’ strike.

Trumka’s comparing Hostess to Bain comes after an election in which former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was criticized for co-founding Bain Capital.

The union leader took the workers’ the side, saying Hostess’ leaders and policies were “wrecking America.”

“These workers, who consistently make great products Americans love and have offered multiple concessions, want their company to succeed,” Trumka said in the statement. “They have bravely taken a stand against the corporate race-to-the-bottom. And now they and their communities are suffering the tragedy of a needless layoff. This is wrong. It has to stop. It’s wrecking America.”

The closure of Hostess, based in Irving, Texas, means the company will lay off its 18,500 employees. In 2009, Hostess came out of bankruptcy thanks in part to private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings, which made a $130 million investment, CNBC reported Friday. Hostess filed again for bankruptcy in January, and its debt was later purchased by investment firms, including two hedge funds: Silver Point Capital and Monarch Alternative Capital, according to a CNN Money report.

Last week, thousands of Hostess union member employees went on strike because of cut wages and benefits, The Associated Press reported Friday.

Hostess has said the company was unprofitable, in part due to union workers’ demands. (The workers who went on strike were members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.)

Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh fired back at Trumka on his radio program Friday.

“[Obama] gets to blame Romney, Bain Capital and the Republicans for the fact that the company’s failed. And at the same time he gets to blame capitalism, crony capitalism. That’s Trumka’s word here. Crony capitalism, Bain-style, Wall Street vultures,” Limbaugh said, according to a show transcript. “See, you and I, we sit here, we hear that, we say nobody is gonna believe that, until we stop and realize that over half the country already thinks it.”

Limbaugh said that Trumka was rehashing the same old attacks that unions and the left have used against Romney, fitting a story line most of the public is already familiar with.

“Trumka didn’t have to even tell his voters, they already know. He was just confirming it for ‘em. Al-Qaeda’s alive, Twinkies are dead,” Limbaugh said.

The kicker?

“But Osama was killed by Obama, and Hostess was killed by the Republicans,” Limbaugh said.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83979.html#ixzz2CW1ifjhU

 

Joke petition on White House website: It’s time to nationalize Twinkies

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This is from Hot Air.

In spite of what the writer of this story says it is not a joke.

The Obamabots want Hostess taken over just like GM ans Chrysler.

Obama owes his soul to the unions so it would not surprise me if he does.

You know, if Hostess had gone belly up a week before the election, I think O might have considered it. What better “gift” could he have given America to earn votes than the gift of sugar and fat encased in a bland spongy tube? Michelle would have been steamed, but whatever. She’d have four more years to get over it. And the beauty of it is, Twinkies are so simple that not even our vast federal bureaucracy could screw them up. They’d still taste more or less the same. They’d just cost six dollars a pop or whatever from now on, once O eventually caved to demands from the bakers’ union:

Hostess management said work rules from existing labor agreements made it hard to improve productivity and spend money efficiently. For example, some rules required different workers to deliver bread and cakes, the company said.

Unions had made concessions during Hostess’s first bankruptcy, accepting lower wages and changing delivery systems that saved the company $80 million a year. The second go round, the unions initially balked at further steep cuts.

Hostess’s investors plowed another $60 million into Hostess last year but wouldn’t provide more without new labor givebacks. Investors lost money as a result of Hostess’s fall, according to people close to the investment firms.

Top Obama crony Richard Trumka had a characteristically sober take on the bankruptcy today, blaming“Bain-style Wall Street vultures” — evidently, his press release was written before the election — but read this piece from John Carney at CNBC for a comprehensive take. The company’s been in and out of bankruptcy for years; the hedge funds that rescued it last time couldn’t make the numbers add up given the recession, growing health consciousness among Americans, and, yes, union demands. (MKH had a nice run-through of the subplot between the Teamsters and the bakers’ union earlier.) Result: Twinkies, RIP?

Well, no, not really. Here’s the CEO of Hostess talking about the bankruptcy and the value of the company’s brands. Someone’s obviously going to buy the rights to Twinkies and start making them again, especially with nostalgia-fests like this now populating newspapers to goose demand once they return. (As I said earlier in the Greenroom, I had a craving for one today for the first time in years.) They’re the indestructible food. They’ll be back. Exit question: Twinkies or Chocodiles?

Trumka Promises More than 2,000 Union ‘Poll Monitors’ in Battleground States

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This is from CNSNews.

These union goons will cause voter intimidation and voter suppression.

States should treat these thugs like the U.N.observers and arrest them if need be.

But sadly states like Ohio are intimidated by these union thugs.

We need to break these thugs strangle hold on companies and states.

 

(CNSNews.com) – AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said his unions plan to have 2,000 “poll monitors” in states such as Ohio, who will be linked with lawyers around the country as a way to prevent voter suppression.

During a media conference call on Thursday, Trumka recalled being at an early voting site in Las Vegas where he saw “challengers inside,” and said AFL-CIO will have poll monitor “rapid response teams” at voting sites.

“We’re going to have over 2,000 people that are going to be available as poll monitors that’ll be connected to a number of lawyers around the country. So that if they [the opposition] attempt to deny them the right to vote, or hassle them we’ll be able to have a rapid response team that will respond immediately to that and protect them,” Trumka said.

 

“That will be up in the core states like Ohio where we think there could be problems and so we’ll challenge those everywhere we can and protect the votes,” he said.

Trumka said AFL-CIO has a call-in number for voters to report instances of voter suppression.

“We’re encouraging people to report any problems to our 1866-OUR-VOTE number,” he said. “We want to ensure that working family voters know how to get information about elections in their state as well as who to call if they have trouble on Election Day.”

Also on the call was AFL-CIO Political Director Michael Podhorzer, who along with Trumka discussed AFL-CIO’s final campaign efforts leading up to Election Day, particularly in battleground states such as Ohio.

 

Union leader strives to ease Obama’s “white guy problem”

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This is from Reuters.

Will the AFL-CIO thugs be breaking the legs of Republican voters?

What will happen to the union members that vote Republican.

I was one of the union Republican voters.

I went to the union meetings and listened to the BS.

There were several Republicans in my local.

The DemocRats and the unions are getting desperate.

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama made history in his 2008 election victory as the first black U.S. president, but he risks achieving another, less welcome, first if he wins again in November.

Obama is on course to become the candidate with the lowest support from white male working class voters to win a U.S. election if he triumphs over Republican Mitt Romney on November 6.

Polls show support for Obama from white males without college degrees at under 30 percent, well below the 39 percent he had when he defeated Republican John McCain four years ago. While he has overwhelming support from Hispanics and blacks and does well among women, the Democratic president needs to shore up his backing among those men.

Richard Trumka, the most powerful U.S. union leader and an important bridge between the White House and blue-collar America, sees two solutions to Obama’s problems: mount labor’s largest voter outreach effort ever, and keep up the attacks on Romney’s business record.

“We’re absolutely going to do good work on the ground, mobilizing workers. We will have 400,000 volunteers this cycle,” Trumka, a former coal miner who is president of the 12-million-member AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. labor federation, told Reuters.

“We’ll be involved in 32 battleground states, up and down the ballot from Barack Obama, the House races, the Senate races, the state house and senate races,” he said.

The union’s main focus will be six states – Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida – where polls show the presidential race is close. In the 2008 election, more than 250,000 union volunteers took to the streets.

Trumka said constant ads and speeches by Obama’s campaign targeting former executive Romney’s business record and refusal to release more than two years of tax returns should win over more working-class men.

“A lot of arguments are going to resonate with our members,” Trumka said in an interview during a trip to Las Vegas to speak at union conventions. “Outsourcing because they know that he was the leader, his firms were the leader, in outsourcing. That will have a big, big jog.”

And he said blue-collar workers, who are fighting for their jobs and benefits in a difficult economy, will be outraged over Romney’s refusal to release more tax returns.

The AFL-CIO does not break down its membership by race, but the majority of its members are white and more men belong to unions than women.

“The fact that he has offshore secret bank accounts will fly with our members, because they’ll assume that he’s taking advantage of those tax loopholes and doing it offshore and that’s why he won’t give the tax returns,” Trumka said.

Unions, already battling Republican state governments trying to curtail their negotiating rights, are throwing everything they can at the 2012 election.

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that lifted many campaign restrictions, union organizers this year can spend union funds to try to politically influence the general public. Worker’s Voices, the AFL-CIO’s Super PAC, will take advantage of the ruling to send volunteers to knock on doors, urging votes for Obama.

SLIGHT SHIFT SIGNIFICANT

“Will we get every one of them? No. But will we make a difference in our areas? Yes, we will. Voting for their own economic interests generally trumps any kind of clichés, hidden agendas or anything else. They vote in their own economic interest,” Trumka said.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll last week showed that constant criticism by the Obama campaign and its allies of Romney’s business tenure and personal finances may be harming the Republican’s ratings.

More than one-third of registered voters said that what they had heard about Romney’s taxes and his time at Bain Capital, which critics say was responsible for sending a number of U.S. jobs overseas, had given them a less favorable impression of him.

But the former Massachusetts governor has a huge lead with non-college-educated males in other polls.

Romney regularly bashes “union bosses” as he campaigns and he also has been hammered by Democrats for opposing Obama’s rescue of the U.S. auto industry.

“There’s no reason that there should be a white male, or a white, voter gap,” said Trumka, who called the auto rescue “a magnificent thing.”

A Washington Post survey last month showed Romney ahead by 65-28 percent among male voters who had not attended college, while a Quinnipiac University poll had him leading with 56 percent and the Democrat with 29 percent of that group, down from 32 percent earlier this year.

That compares to the 39 percent that Obama won in 2008. High unemployment now harms Obama with whites in Rust Belt states, but even in his historic election victory four years ago non-college-educated white men were Obama’s weakest demographic.

He is not alone among Democrats in struggling with what used to be some of the party’s core voters. But with white male voters’ share of the electorate dropping, Obama can still win the election if his numbers rise in that group even by a relatively small amount.

“Obama doesn’t need to carry the white working class vote, but he doesn’t want to lose it overwhelmingly,” said Herb Asher, a political scientist at Ohio State University. “If you have a close election, and it makes a small difference, that’s the difference between defeat and victory.”.

Republicans have triumphed among white working class males for more than three decades, partly by making the most of cultural differences with Democrats on issues like abortion rights, gun control and affirmative action.

But Romney has had his own troubles with working class male voters. He routinely lost them during the primaries, as his fellow Republicans accused him of being a “vulture capitalist.”

A Gallup poll this month found that one in five voters – including one in five independents – was less likely to vote for Romney because of his wealth. And the Obama campaign has stressed the Democrat’s bailout of U.S. automobile makers, which they said saved thousands of jobs.

Doug Ripple, 45, an Insulators’ union member from Dayton, Ohio, said he knew people who had doubts about Obama, after years of struggling in the weak economy. But he said Romney seemed too much in favor of the rich to win his vote. “Obama’s for the working class. We’re not billionaires.”

A quarter of AFL-CIO members did not vote for Obama in 2008.

“Some of this I think was pure racism,” said Trumka. “Some of them would be gun owners, some of them would be right-wing. Some of them would be … died-in-the-wool Republicans.”

Democrats acknowledge that Obama is unlikely to capture the white male vote, but say he can be re-elected if he minimizes the damage because of his huge edge with black and Hispanic voters.

In 2008, whites accounted for about three-quarters of U.S. voters, blacks represented about 12 percent, Hispanics about 7.5 percent and Asians 2.5 percent. The percentage of minority voters is expected to be greater this year.

Obama easily won the White House in 2008 despite his relatively weak support from whites. But his campaign is trying to keep him from slipping more with white working class voters by persistently depicting Romney as an out of touch elitist.

“What you do is, you make Romney a space alien,” said Jeremy Mayer of George Mason University in Virginia, by defining him as a man who outsources jobs to China and hides his money overseas.

“If you can make Romney look like the guy who is firing the white working class, then you can stop the bleeding,” he said.

 

AFL-CIO Demands ‘Second Bill of Rights’–Including ‘Rights’ to ‘Full Employment,’ ‘Living Wage,’ ‘Healthy Future’

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This is from CNSNews.

Little Dickie Trumka say he demands a Second Bill of rights.

Well Dickie boy you are not in any position to make any demands.

Your unions are slowly being weeded out of businesses.

Unions squeeze the life out of a company while you get rich.

People are tired of paying dues that end up in DemocRat coffers.

Your business destroying days are getting numbered.

(CNSNews.com) – AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says his organization is pushing for a ‘Second Bill of Rights” for the United States of America.

The first Bill of Rights, sponsored by Jamed Madison in the U.S. House of Representatives, protected, among other things, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, the free exercisie of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the right not to have one’s private property taken by the government unless for a public use and with just compensation.

Trumka and the AFL-CIO are calling for a new bill of rights that would guarantee “full employment,” a “living wage,” and a “healthy future.”

Under the current system, Americans are free to create businesses, and thus jobs, and to freely compete for workers with the wages and benefits they can afford and wish to offer. As America is currently constituted, Americans who do not start their own businessess but nonetheless want to work are free to work for any business that will hire them, or not work for a business they do no wish to work for. Americans are also free to negotiate–including collectively in labor unions–for whatever wages and benefits they can get.

Under a “Second Bill of Rigths” as proposed by the AFL-CIO, it is unclear how the government would guarantee a “right” to “full employment,” a “living wage” and a “healthy future.”

Trumka intends to push both the Democrats and Republicans “the Second Bill of Rights” at their national conventions this summer.

“America’s Second Bill of Rights is a broad-based statement of what the American people need and what they deserve. If some of it sounds redundant, it is because we once took many of these rights for granted,” Trumka said last Thursday at the National Press Club.

Trumka was joined by Edwin D. Hill, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, to announce the “Workers Stand with America” rally in Philadelphia, Pa., on August 11. The event is intended to “refocus attention on the needs of middle class working Americans and to urge elected officials and leaders from both parties and every part of the nation to stand with them.”

“We plan to put new energy behind insisting that the power structure in America pay attention to the needs of the men and women whose labor drives this country,” Trumka said.

He outlined five main tenets of the Second Bill of Rights, which, in addition to the “right to full employment and a living wage,” and “the right to a secure and healthy future,” also includes the “right to full participation in the electoral process,” the “right to a quality education”; and the “right to a voice at work.”

The idea of a Second Bill of Rights was inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1944 State of the Union address, which called for greater “economic rights” including employment through a living wage, collective bargaining, housing, education, medical care, among many things.

Hill said that Big Labor will pressure both major political parties to add this Second Bill of Rights to their respective party platforms.

“Republicans and Democrats need to hear what people are saying, and to break through the gridlock and the attacks on the rights of workers at all levels of the government,” Hill said.

He added: “We want to hold all the leadership positions, hold everyone in leadership positions and that includes private and both public sectors, accountable to the American people.”

Trumka, meanwhile, tried to downplay the fact that the “movement” is union-led, saying he welcomes non-union participants who share the same goals as the union organizers.

“This is not a union bill of rights. And our campaign and our rally on August 11 is not just for union members,” said Trumka. “Are you with us? Are you with the Second Bill of Rights?”

Earlier that morning, Hill met with Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who agreed to speak at the August 11 event and support the cause. No Republican has agreed to support the Second Bill of Rights or speak at the “Workers Stand with America” event at this time.

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