Jean Hosted by Union Organizations
April 19, 2006
I was honored to be given time to speak to three labor union organizations this month:
  • The Southern Maine Labor Council in Portland on April 5
  • The AFL-CIO board meeting in Augusta on April 19
  • The Maine Labor Council United Steelworkers convention in Bangor on April 27
As the daughter of a steelworker, and as a member of the National Writers Union, I was in familiar territory. And the groups seemed receptive to my labor priorities, which include national health care, a minimum wage that is a living wage, the tightening and enforcing of OSHA standards, the stabilization and portability of pension funds and Social Security, and the withdrawal from harmful trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and the World Trade Organization.

Some disagreement was apparent in the solution I offered to the illegal immigration problem. Rather than building a border wall, jailing or deporting illegal immigrants, I think we should focus on the employers, clamping down on those American employers who are breaking our labor and tax laws by hiring undocumented workers. We need to remove the impetus that is now driving immigrants across the border illegally - the promise of a job in America's underground economy.

As for filling those jobs that undocumented workers now have, a living wage and national health care (top key issues in my campaign) would do that -- would make it possible for Americans and legal immigrants to take those jobs.