IDC Pushes Labor Protections As Anti-Trump Measures
Members of the Independent Democratic Conference on Friday backed a package of measures designed to enhance and bolster labor protections in New York.
At the same time, the IDC formally declared their opposition to a constitutional convention in 2019, which voters will decide via referendum this year.
“As a longtime labor organizer and as a student of history, I am well aware of the importance of the labor movement in building the middle class in this country,” said Sen. Marisol Alcantara, a Manhattan Democrat elected last year.
“It is past time that we stopped talking about how to manage the decline of organized labor and started talking about how to revitalize it for the changing conditions of the 21st century. I will fight to ensure dignity and a living wage for all New York State workers, and will stand strongly against any attempts by the federal government to undermine unions.”
The measures are designed to protect New York laborers against a potential expansion of right-to-work laws nationwide. There are 28 states that have right-to-work statutes, which labor unions have vehemently opposed.
“The attacks on labor across this country through right-to-work laws has had a devastating effect on the lives of workers,” said IDC Leader Jeff Klein. “Now, with Vice President Mike Pence, a staunch defender of these laws, in the White House we have seen a push to expand them nationally by Congress. We will not stand by idly. The IDC will oppose any law that attempts to disenfranchise labor unions in this state and I urge my colleagues at the national level to do the same.”
The proposal was framed as an effort to push back against the “anti-worker” policies of President Donald Trump’s administration, which comes as the IDC itself has been accused by liberal advocacy organizations and some fellow Democrats for enabling Senate Republicans in Albany.
The IDC has grown to eight members in recent weeks, but the Senate Republican conference has 32 members with the addition of Brooklyn Democrat Simcha Felder, who sits with the GOP in the chamber.
The measures include calls for federal lawmakers to block RTW legislation and prohibit state funding to organizations like the National Right to Work Foundation that backs implementation of such laws.
A constitutional convention, which voters can determine every seven years through a statewide referendum, has been opposed by labor unions who worry labor protections and collective bargaining rights could be altered.