The first is the pressing issue of income inequality where even conservatives like Newt Gingrich acknowledge that “…every Republican should be concerned about inequality. I think when you have places where there are billionaires living in a city with 22,000 homeless children, anybody who has a sense of decency has to be concerned.”
Secondly, there are the constant political and policy struggles that exist between Left and Right over the conjoined issues of work versus dependency; deficits versus vital safety nets; and the preferred path of fostering economic growth that strengthens families and entire communities.
And finally, there continues to be much discussion and conversation regarding the future growth prospects for the American labor movement in the aftermath of the attempt to organize the workforce at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, TN production facility.
On this score, some observers have suggested that labor embrace a strategic shift encompassing a more cooperative attitude in the workplace, coupled with a more bipartisan approach to politics.
North America’s Building Trades Unions have embraced a successful operational model that is premised upon a non-partisan approach to politics coupled with engagement, cooperation and partnership with individual companies, entire industries, government entities and community organizations; all of which are leading to economic growth and individual opportunity.
The success of this operational model has led to the establishment of system-wide contractual agreements with, among others, companies like Exelon, Entergy, Detroit Edison, Toyota, Tennessee Valley Authority, and The Walt Disney Company.
In addition, we have cultivated formal partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry and the petroleum industry; and we have developed solid, mutually beneficial working relationships with the nuclear industry, the power generation industry, the petro-chemical industry and the natural gas industry, at both the state and local level.