By Sahid Fawaz
President Donald Trump is no friend of unions.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo knows that and vows to have labor’s back if the Trump administration attacks workers and their unions.
“Today as the federal government continues its efforts to compromise and undermine the rights of union workers, New York is doubling down on its commitment to protect them.
Since January, this new administration and new Congress have taken measures against organized labor, reversing decades-old policies that have benefitted millions of workers and our national economy as a whole.
In New York we understand that unions are responsible for building the middle class and creating economic growth that reaches all Americans. At a time of stagnant wages, evaporating pensions, and swelling household debt, unions continue to offer a pathway to the middle class and a means of reclaiming the American Dream.
That’s why, in New York, we have a long and proud tradition of fighting for union workers’ rights.
We are, after all, the state of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and New Deal Secretary of Labor Francis Perkins, who did more for the American worker than perhaps anyone else in American history.
We were the first in the nation to establish a Department of Labor in 1901, 12 years before the federal government did so. And, a little over a century ago, within months of the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory fire, we were the first state to enact laws protecting workers.
Today, under my administration, we’ve continued to lead the nation in standing up for unions and workers’ rights.
We became the first state to pass a $15 minimum wage, a law that impacts more than 2 million workers and marks a major milestone in our efforts to restore economic justice to working families.
We fought for and passed the nation’s best paid family leave law — because we refuse to force people to choose between caring for a loved one and receiving a paycheck.
And we are taking on any business that seeks to exploit its workers. In the last three years, the Joint Enforcement Task Force has recovered and returned a record-breaking $109 million in unpaid wages to 84,000 workers, sending a powerful message to exploitative businesses that they have nowhere to hide.”
For the rest of Governor’s Cuomo’s column, visit the New York Daily News here.