News & Updates


  • Thursday, February 2, 2006 Immigration Letter from Anna Burger to Arlen Specter

    February 2, 2006

    The Honorable Arlen Specter
    Senate Judiciary Committee
    224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
    Washington, D. C. 20510

    Dear Senator Specter:

    We write on behalf of our 5.5 million members who care about our nation's response to our deeply flawed immigration system.

    The need to reform our immigration laws is one of the most important tasks facing this Congress. In your role as Chair of the Judiciary Committee, with jurisdiction over immigration, we look forward to your leadership on the highly complex issues that riddle this debate and which affect working Americans. The legislation that Congress develops will have serious consequences for all Americans, immigrants and citizen alike, and for our economy.

    Our country must get control of its borders, both North and South. Border enforcement can only work when the law is realistic and enforceable. It should include smart inspections and screening practices, fair proceedings, efficient processing, and strategies that focus on detecting and deterring terrorists and cracking down on criminal smugglers and lawbreaking employers. Such a system will better enable the nation to know who is already here and who is coming in the future, and will bring our system back into line with our tradition as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.

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  • Wednesday, February 1, 2006 Statement of Anna Burger on the President's State of the Union Speech

    February 1, 2006

    The President's speech last night was billed as providing solutions to the pressing problems facing millions of working Americans in the areas of health care, retirement security and immigration reform. Unfortunately, his proposals fall far short and, in some cases, go in the wrong direction.

    On health care, the President said America needs affordable health care if it is to remain competitive. Unfortunately, his proposals for health savings accounts and making use of electronic records will not solve the problem of escalating costs, declining coverage and the hemorrhaging of good jobs. Most of the 46 million Americans without health care coverage are having difficulty meeting life's most basic necessities. Saving for health care, while a nice idea, is not a solution for them. And while making use of electronic records will certainly be a part of any solution to our nation's health care problems, it is not a solution to the larger problem.

    The tens of thousands of manufacturing workers who have lost good jobs in recent months know that these proposals do not cut it. The millions of Americans without health insurance, and the millions more with inadequate insurance, know that the President's proposals will not make them secure. And it's not just working Americans, insecure in the face of a broken system, who know the President's proposals will not solve the problem. Although they remain silent, the CEO's of our nation's largest companies know the President's proposals are not solutions. They know that the only way to keep American industry competitive and keep good paying jobs in our country is to end the employer-based health care system as we know it and create a system that guarantees insurance coverage and health care security for every American, regardless of employer.

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  • Monday, January 16, 2006 Statement of Anna Burger, Change to Win Chair, on Martin Luther King's Birthday

    January 16, 2006

    We are celebrating the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., under whose leadership millions of people joined together to change the nation and win equal protections under the law for every citizen of this great country.

    With his words, Dr. King gave us the courage to challenge America and the strength to change it. Through his actions, he showed us that together we can succeed in forcing our nation to live up to its ideals and the promise of the American Dream.

    As we celebrate Dr. King's legacy, the American Dream is under attack. For working families, the promise of a living wage as a reward for hard work, access to medical care, and a secure retirement are under siege. The economic security that defines the American Dream is being eviscerated and destroyed.

    Today, America is at a crossroads. The question is: do we as a nation believe that hard work pays, that health care is a right, and that our seniors should have economic security and be able to retire with dignity?

    Dr. King was assassinated fighting for the rights of sanitation workers to join a union in Memphis, Tennessee. They eventually won that right, and the wages, health, and retirement benefits that come with a union contract. In remembering Dr. King, we must ask ourselves, what are we doing to help achieve his dream for every American?

    Last September, seven unions representing six million workers formed the new Change to Win labor federation. We formed this new federation because we believe, as Dr. King did, that the only mechanism for workers to advance their economic security is the labor movement.

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  • Wednesday, January 11, 2006 American Workers Deserve Retirement Security

    Speech by Anna Burger at the Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Project, New York City, January 11, 2006

    Thank you Reverend Jackson, we can always count on you to stand with workers. You bring us together so that we can stand together and win for all of our families and our communities. You force us to take on the hard issues so that we can win together. And I thank you for your determination and commitment to the security workers and their efforts to organize. They need you. We need you.

    Like many of you, I grew up in an America that valued work and workers. One in three workers was in a union, and a union job raised up whole families, whole communities, whole generations.

    And each generation in America had one common legacy. They passed on to their children a better life than their own. We call that legacy the American Dream. And, when you had a union job it meant you were on the road to the American Dream.

    But that dream is flickering. Working in America is very different today from when I got my first job.

    America's greatness was that everyone who "worked hard and played by the rules," had a chance to own a home, raise a family, send their kid to college, and retire with dignity.

    But the rules today are stacked against American workers.

    The truth is we DO work hard. We drive trucks and buses and trains, we serve food, clean hotels and office building, mine coal, pick apples, build houses, pour concrete, stock shelves, teach our kids, care for the sick, the elderly and the vulnerable and provide the infrastructure to our society.

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  • Wednesday, January 11, 2006 Hoffa: On High Alert

    James Hoffa: On High Alert

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