Trumka: Higher Wages Key to Economic Recovery

In a recent speech at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Rich Trumka said there have been two economies operating in the United States for years: the real economy and the financial economy. The financial economy allowed for a small minority to get ahead, while those in the real economy were left holding the bag.

“We can’t go back to the way things were,” said Trumka. “If all we’re going to do is create the same economy we had before, it will have the same result. We have to ask: What’s going to be the new driver? This is labor’s moment and, together, we can build the labor movement we need to create the  America we want.”

Trumka also spoke about the need to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation that would make it easier for employees to join a labor union and bargain for better wages and benefits. “You aren’t going to rebuild the economy without increasing wages,” said Trumka, “and the fastest, surest way to raise wages is the collective bargaining process… Unions built the first American middle class, and they will build the new middle class.”

To read more of Trumka’s speech, click here.