|How Will 'Wave' Election Affect Workers?||
Fighting for Our Future:
Putting Jobs First
From city councils to the U.S. Senate, newly elected officials across the country take office this month in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And while corporate America has restored its profit margins to pre-recession levels, working Americans continue to feel the pinch, battered by job losses, declining wages and rising health care costs.
Unemployment still hovers near 10 percent, with more than 15 million people out of work. And those are only the official numbers. The number of workers who have been unemployed for six months or more keeps rising, hitting 6.3 million in December—a new record.
For IBEW members in the construction branch, the numbers are even worse, running closer to 20 percent nationwide and more than double that in some particulary hard-hit regions.
America's No. 1 priority in the midterm elections was made clear in poll after poll: jobs, jobs, jobs.
That means every elected official has a mandate to cut through the partisanship to focus on jumpstarting the economy and getting America back to work.
There is a heated debate going
on—from kitchen tables to state houses up
to Capitol Hill—about what our country's
priorities must be. Some lawmakers say that high
levels of unemployment are here to stay. They say
we need to focus on cutting programs like Social
Security and Medicaid and hope that more tax cuts
for the wealthiest Americans will do the trick.
Some want to take away our right to a decent wage
and freedom to join a union, driving down working