IDYD's Endorsement of the Idaho AFL-CIO
In a state with virtually no laws in place to protect workers, the Idaho AFL-CIO and the work of labor unions is of utmost importance, especially for the prosperity of young people. Income inequality is at an all-time high. Idahoans are working longer hours and taking home less money. Young Idahoans cannot buy homes, struggle to pay off student loan debts, and work dead-end jobs just to make ends meet. Labor unions are the solution to these problems. The Idaho AFL-CIO and their affiliates work tirelessly to ensure fair wages, fair representation and a better future for working Idahoans.
Idaho is not a union friendly state. Right to Work laws, passed by the Legislature in 1985, appear fair on the surface, but scratching beneath will show that they laws hurt the workers that they claim to protect by requiring unions to provide services for free (therefore eliminating resources and gutting unions) and creating a divisive split between workers (those who pay dues, and those who don’t). Right to Work does not strengthen workers. It strengthens corporations, who have less opposition to slashing wages and benefits. Conservative Idaho politicians who support Right to Work boast about the state’s low unemployment rate, but conveniently leave out the fact that Idaho wages are some of the lowest in the US. They will never tell you that the average annual wage in our state has steadily decreased since the implementation of Right to Work laws in 1985.
Strong labor unions mean fair paying jobs, decent benefits, and a strong middle class. At a time where young people are struggling to find good paying jobs, buy houses and pay off crippling student debts, the work of the Idaho AFL-CIO and the labor unions they represent is a worthy cause of supporting. There is no hidden agenda with the labor unions and the Idaho AFL-CIO; they have and will continue to fight for working Idahoans.