Statement from IUPAT General President Ken Rigmaiden on the presidential election:
After four years of rising division in American households, inciting racism and hate throughout the country, and an effort to undermine any gains made by American workers, the IUPAT stands ready to go work with the incoming administration to heal the wounds created by the Trump presidency. The time to unify has finally come.
The resounding victory of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris, also reopens the door to advocacy, organizing and collective bargaining for millions of workers, whose rights in the workplace have been quietly undermined throughout the current administration.
Union voters delivered this election for Biden and Harris, but make no mistake, a “pro-labor, pro-worker administration” is defined by having a permanent seat at the table in crafting worker and economic policy while strongly advocating for legislation that protects and enhances workers’ right to collectively bargain.
Now the IUPAT, its members and allies, welcome the opportunity to work with and hold accountable the president-elect and vice president-elect as they deliver a long overdue workers’ first agenda. To bring workers, families and communities together, our collaborative work in the immediate future must begin with re-unifying all Americans as a collective whole under the values we have always claimed to represent. We must continue the work of ensuring opportunity for all and once and for all put an end to systematic oppression of any community.
Further, we must pass the HEROES Act and the STEP Act to provide relief to workers, including those in the Tradeshow Industry, who are experiencing lost wages, healthcare and housing due to the pandemic. In order to ensure an accelerated, sustainable recovery, we must combine our efforts to call on Congress to pass and Biden to sign the Moving America Forward Act, which will provide the investment in jobs that Americans will need and the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act early in 2021 to ensure that those are good jobs by empowering every worker who wants to form or join a union is able to do so.
Campaign promises are only as good as turning words into action. If workers are to gain ground in this country, that time to act is now!
Ken Rigmaiden, General President, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades