Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Labor Challenges on the Docket at AFL-CIO

KRA Corporation takes at look at how Labor Secretary Thomas Perez used his address at the AFL-CIO 27th Constitutional Convention in Los Angeles, CA to reiterate his position of advocating for the creation of a strong and unified workforce in his recent address while addressing some of the other issues facing his office.

During his speech, Secretary Perez expressed described the labor movement as “one of our greatest forces for middle-class economic security.” He posited that a functioning labor movement—something he believes “has come under withering attack in recent years”—has a concrete and real connection to a healthy middle class.

He also expressed the need for a “dynamic and empowered labor movement” as a vital component if the U.S.’s economy is to “grow from the middle.”

The Secretary’s vantage point is one that KRA Corporation fully appreciates and his impassioned “pursuit of basic fairness and opportunity for everyone” is something we continually work towards. We have advocated for all workers’ rights and have sought means—both through policy and practice—to create a level playing field for employees, employers, and their communities.

The Secretary, who has spent his career as a workplace and earning equality advocate,  also insisted that the  e U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has a responsibility to build “ladders of opportunity with sturdy rungs that all people can reach.” He continued by insisting that developing and implementing of the types of competitive skills that benefit both employer and employee into the future are a necessity.

As an organization committed to improving the skills market and having worked towards providing the opportunities the Secretary speaks of to underserved and low-income populations, KRA Corporation is heartened to hear that our mission and the one Secretary Perez are in line with one another.

Another point the Secretary also reaffirmed was his view that Congress should raise the Federal minimum wage, stating: “hard-working people who put in 40 hours a week and take responsibility for themselves and their families should not live in poverty.”

KRA Corporation has highlighted this stance in a previous post and we see this as an important step toward equity in workforce development and employment to help improve the lives of individuals and strengthen communities.

Secretary Perez closed his speech by highlighting of the impending work and challenges of the DOL. Mentioning immigration reform, an equitable pay-scale for women, workplace safety, and protection of underserved communities, it is clear that he has set a high bar for his office. In facing his challenges, KRA Corporation and its dedicated team looks forward to working with the Secretary.

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