Happy Labor Day to you and your family.
Here in Detroit and Michigan, we know about the importance of the American labor movement. Many of the landmark victories for American workers happened here. Most of us have had a family member in a union — or are members ourselves. Thanks to organized labor, our region helped set a strong standard of living for working families nationwide.
In our region, we embody the values of hard work and perseverance. It is how we roll.
Living in Michigan my entire life and growing up in Detroit, my family has always known hard work. In addition to my years as a public servant, I spent my career working for the United States Postal Service. My husband put in decades of hard work as a UAW employee at Ford Motor Company.
Thanks to the leadership of labor pioneers that fought for decent wages and working conditions, my husband and I were able to raise our children. We’ve been able to dote on our beautiful granddaughter. In short, we’ve been able to enjoy a strong quality of life here in Michigan, just like so many other families.
Unfortunately, that pathway forward for working families continues to be under attack.
The attempts to roll back gains by the American labor movement have been relentless. So much of the benefits we have come to take for granted were the result of hard-fought battles by labor unions to improve working conditions. Yet, the rights of workers to collectively organize and bargain are being eroded. In Michigan, of all places, that erosion has been especially devastating.
A race to the bottom ultimately benefits none of us. We need to move forward and make further gains for American workers.
While only a few months into my first term as a Member of Congress, I’ve made it my mission to fight for our working families in Detroit and Michigan. Workers around our nation are working so hard to get ahead; they deserve a Congress that will make it easier for their family to prosper, not add further roadblocks.
Here are a few of my recent efforts supporting American workers:
– Co-founding the Congressional Investment in America’s Skilled Workforce Caucus
– Fighting for resources to equip our Michigan workers to succeed
– Introducing the ‘Workforce Development for the Advancement of Manufacturers Act’ (H.R. 1970)
– Promoting the idea of tax credits for employers that provide employees with training programs
– Holding ‘Make it in America’ Initiative hearings with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer in Detroit
– Joining brothers and sisters at area labor union gatherings in fellowship
– Co-sponsoring legislation to increase the federal minimum wage
– Opposing harmful trade agreements
There is still so much more to be done. With the current composition of Congress, the odds of moving certain pieces of legislation are daunting — but nothing worth doing is rarely easy. After all, here in Detroit we know about persevering. I’ll continue fighting for Detroit and our region. I’ll continue fighting for working families.
On this Labor Day, I want to say thank you to those in organized labor. You helped make my family’s life better. Furthermore, you’ve helped make every American worker’s life better regardless of whether they were ever a union member.
Our nation is stronger because of the caliber of our workforce — and because of the efforts of labor unions. Again, thank you.
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, Michigan’s 14th District
Fighting for Michigan. Fighting for Us.