Congressman DeSaulnier Brings Together Members of Congress and Workers to Kick Off the “Future of Work, Wages, and Labor”

January 23, 2017
Press Release

Walnut Creek, CA – Congressmen Mark DeSauliner (CA-11) and Mark Pocan (WI-02) hosted the first in a series of regional events to launch the “Future of Work, Wages, and Labor,” an initiative to help identify ways to proactively grow and invigorate our workforce. The event also featured Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-13), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Jared Huffman (CA-02), and Eric Swalwell (CA-15). The two-part event on Tuesday began with presentations by leading researchers at UC Berkeley on trends in the work and marketplace and was followed by a town hall with the local workforce.


“Working families have been hit hard and the incoming Administration is sure to enact policies to double down on that pain. We need to do everything we can to help Americans earn a fair wage, provide for their families, own homes, and retire with dignity. I thank my friend, Congressman Mark Pocan, and my Democratic colleagues for joining me to address the obstacles facing the American workforce, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee for hosting us in her district. Congressman Pocan and I look forward to taking our initiative on the road to Congressional districts nationwide, because our hardworking families deserve to have their voice heard,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.


“Long before Donald Trump began talking about a rigged economy, Congressman DeSaulnier and I began investigating the ways conservative policy makers have been stacking the deck against workers in favor of big businesses and wealthy campaign donors,” said Congressman Pocan. "Whether it is the erosion of worker voice, the evaporation of retirement security, or the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, hard-working families have been suffering the consequences of conservative policies for nearly four decades. We have seen the GOP’s war on workers in Wisconsin under Gov. Walker, and President-elect Trump seems to be taking a page out of Walker’s playbook by sticking it to the people who elected him. I’m proud to be joined on this trip by so many other members of Congress, and I look forward to working with Rep. DeSaulnier and our colleagues to create a comprehensive set of policies to help working families get ahead.”


“Thank you to Rep. DeSaulnier for his continued efforts focusing on the future of labor, wages, and work in the era of Trump,” said Congresswoman Lee. “In the wealthiest nation on earth, it is a disgrace that so many of our families struggle just to afford necessities. We must continue working to build a strong economy with good paying jobs, the right to organize and bargain, and paid family leave. As Chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity, I will continue working to ensure all workers can earn a fair and living wage to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.”


“Working men and women remain the backbone of the American economy,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “I thank Mark for his leadership in convening this dialogue on the future of work, wages and labor in this country. These conversations are critical to understanding and developing innovative policies and programs to support and strengthen our workforce. Michigan is home of much of the modern labor movement and we know how important this work is to protecting and growing the middle class and creating job opportunities for all Americans.”


“Today, we listened to workers from multiple industries discuss the challenges and opportunities they face each day. From my start as an IBEW electrician, through my career as a business agent and AFL-CIO leader, I’ve seen how anti-worker policies have made challenges grow and opportunities dwindle. America’s working families need a strong labor movement, and we must unite from coast to coast and throughout the heartland to defend workers and ensure every American has the opportunity to earn a fair wage and get a fair shot at success,” said Congressman Norcross.  


"Our workforce is the backbone of our economy, and I am proud to stand alongside our labor community to create good, high-paying jobs right here in California,” said Congressman Thompson. “Everyone deserves the dignity that comes from making a living and providing for their families.  America was built by working people, and it is vital we listen to their concerns and work together to develop new solutions.”


“We have to make a stand for the American worker. With wages stagnant, unions facing more barriers to organizing, and outsourcing and offshoring still too prevalent, the U.S. workforce has many questions; we must make sure we’re providing the right answers, and not just grandiose but empty promises of a return to yesteryear,” said Congressman Swalwell.