As a proud former union member, Jim knows that unions built America. Whether it’s manufacturing the products we depend upon, building our roads and bridges, or educating the next generation, we rely on union workers to get the good job done.
Jim knows that the long periods of growth and prosperity in U.S. history mirror times when labor is strong and the middle class is thriving. Jim also believes that a strong labor movement that fights for good working conditions and fair employment practices is a basic human rights issue. Whether it’s the 40-hour work week or workplace safety, it is unions that have made it happen. Across the board, Jim has pushed to make organizing fair and easy, and for our existing labor laws to be firmly upheld.
The misclassification of workers as independent contractors rather than full-time employees is a key issue in the U.S. job market, and Jim has introduced legislation to correct the way workers are classified. Independent contractors have a place in our economy, but their use is specific and well-defined. Independent contractors are not covered by many worker protection laws, and they are not allowed to organize. There are now millions of workers who are misclassified, which harms workers as well as businesses because those that play by the rules are put at a competitive disadvantage.
Exporting Products, Not Jobs
More than one-third of the jobs in Seattle come from international trade, and expanding trade supports increased employment. Because it is also true that international trade sometimes has unfavorable consequences for workers here at home, and Jim is a strong supporter of worker retraining programs and assistance for firms affected by trade. He is also a firm believer in holding our trading partners to the letter as well as the spirit of our international trade agreements. And, he works very hard to make sure workers in other countries can easily organize and exercise common international labor rights.