Rep. Veasey & Blue Collar Caucus Hosts AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

Jul 20, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the Congressional Blue Collar Caucus met Wednesday with Richard L. Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, to discuss the needs of blue collar workers and how House Democrats can make it clear that they will continue to serve as their champion in Washington. Trumka, a national leader in the fight for workers’ rights and economic justice, began the discussion with remarks on the modern challenges of labor rights and the ongoing effort by Democrats to respond to the needs of working class families.

“We have to do better for blue-collar workers in America. And the Democratic Party has to do a better job reaching out,” said Mr. Trumka. “So I greatly appreciate the House Blue Collar Caucus for hosting me. We had an important discussion about how best to advance a pro-worker legislative agenda on everything from infrastructure to trade. I look forward to a continued dialogue and a long-term partnership with the caucus co-chairs and members.”

The Blue Collar Caucus, founded in 2016 by Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33) and Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-13), seeks to address the growing economic strain felt by working families and reignite a Democratic platform that champions job growth, economic opportunity and workers’ rights. Fifteen members of the caucus representing districts across the country attended the meeting for a frank discussion about issues ranging from infrastructure to preventing companies from shipping jobs overseas, and how the Democratic Party can lead the way legislatively on these and other critical economic issues.

“Fighting for good-paying jobs has been a top priority since my first day in Congress. From rebuilding our country’s infrastructure to making sure we restore America’s position as a manufacturing leader, this work could not be accomplished without the skills and labor of blue collar workers,” Congressman Veasey said. “It is important that their voices are heard in Washington and their right to fair pay, health care, and economic security is protected against continued assaults against their livelihood. I was eager to hear firsthand from Richard Trumka, a long-time champion for workers nationwide and a leading advocate for America’s blue collar families, to learn how Democrats can work alongside the men and women who build our nation every day to shape a future that works for everyone.”

“Blue collar workers built this country and its economy from the ground up,” said Congressman Boyle. “Now, too many of them feel that we’ve let them down. They need to know that they have strong voices here in Washington advocating for them every day, fighting for their fair shot at an economy that works for them, and confronting those in Washington that have let wages fall, let jobs and benefits disappear, and let communities crumble to the benefit of the wealthy and well-connected. I’m thrilled to have had this meeting with Richard Trumka, one of the strongest and most consistent champions for Americans workers, and my fellow Democrats who are taking that fight to Congress on behalf of our nation’s blue collar families.”

The AFL-CIO represents 12.5 million working men and women through 55 national and international labor unions. By working with industry and labor leaders like Trumka and providing a strong Democratic voice for workers in Congress, the Blue Collar Caucus aims to fight wage stagnation, job insecurity, offshoring, and harmful trade policies. By confronting the challenges facing modern American manufacturing alongside those who know it best, Caucus members will continue to hold the Trump Administration accountable to blue collar workers and advocate for innovative policy and industry solutions to empower the American workforce amid technological and economic changes.

Current Members of the Blue Collar Caucus include: Marc Veasey (TX-33) (Co-Chair), Brendan Boyle (PA-13) (Co-Chair), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Rick Nolan (MN-08), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Tim Ryan (OH-13), John Garamendi (CA-03), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Matt Cartwright (PA-17), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Dan Lipinski (IL-03), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Brian Higgins (NY-26), John Yarmuth (KY-03), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Dina Titus (NV-01), Paul Tonko (NY-20), John Larson (CT-01), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Luis Gutierrez (IL-04), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), and Dave Loebsack (IA-02).