(Archive - Week of October 16, 2004)

Working Families Support John Kerry for President

nce his election to the U.S. Senate in 1984, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has compiled a 91 percent lifetime AFL-CIO voting record on important working family issues. Kerry was elected to the Senate after serving as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts and a private–practice attorney. He served his nation in Vietnam, and for his distinguished combat service was awarded three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star.

As a U.S. senator, Kerry often has stood up for workers' rights, most recently in 2003, voting to protect workers' overtime rights in the face of a Bush administration assault on the Fair Labor Standards Act that could cost millions of workers their overtime pay. He backed the extension and expansion of federal unemployment insurance  benefits for long-term jobless workers and voted to protect millions of retirees from the loss of their employer-provided prescription drug coverage as part of the recently passed and seriously flawed Medicare prescription drug law.

In Kerry's legislative career , he addressed the nursing shortage, increased the minimum wage, expanded early childhood development and children's health insurance coverage, increased law enforcement funding and provided assistance to families of Vietnam veterans who were victims of Agent Orange.

As president, Kerry says one of his first priorities will be to restore the 1.7 million private-sector jobs —and 2.7 million manufacturing jobs —that have disappeared under the Bush administration.

Kerry will fight to roll back President George W. Bush's tax cut for the wealthy while expanding tax breaks for the middle class. Kerry supports repeal of tax breaks and loopholes that reward “any Benedict Arnold CEO or corporation for exploiting the tax code to export American jobs overseas.”

Kerry has a long record of supporting workers' freedom to form unions  and supports majority verification or card-check and employer neutrality in which employers recognize workers' choice if a majority of workers sign authorization cards asking for union representation. He also is co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act (S. 1925) and supports measures to restore the bargaining rights of hundreds of thousands of workers in the Defense and Homeland Security departments that are under attack by the Bush administration.

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