The following is a statement from Matt Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.Org in response to the recent labor strikes in Iowa and across the country:
Labor unions built America’s small towns and rural communities and now they are once again on the front lines of rebuilding rural prosperity from the bottom up. The path to prosperity in rural America requires strong unions and unwavering support for workplace democracy. We stand in solidarity with all those striking for higher wages and better benefits and we urge Congress and President Biden to pass the PRO Act and the entire Build Back Better agenda to create more good-paying jobs across the United States.
Rural organizing has always been about lifting up working families in rural places which requires workplace democracy everywhere. That’s why we stand in solidarity with all striking manufacturing, healthcare, education, entertainment, and food workers across the United States.
The decline of the middle class is directly tied to the decline in union membership. Despite the slash-and-burn tactics against collective bargaining rights by Republicans across the country in the last decade.
CEOs earned 351 times more than the typical worker in 2020, even amidst a global pandemic, while worker pay and benefits have largely remained stagnant since the 1970s, this wave of strikes by U.S. workers comes as no surprise.
Overworked, underpaid, and undervalued workers are the foundation of our economy. The massive redistribution of wealth from the middle class to those at the top is an unconscionable abuse of working people by large, multinational corporations. It doesn’t matter if you’re white or black, gay or straight, tenth generation or a recent immigrant, our only hope for improving wages and benefits for working people is for us to join together and demanding better treatment from those at the top.
As we support those on the picket lines we will continue to demand bold action from Congress and the White House and ensure voters know which elected officials truly have their backs.
“The mission of RuralOrganizing.org is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.”