2019 63rd Annual IFL-CIO Convention

In August I was honored to be a delegate for USW Local 310L at the 63rd annual IFL-CIO convention at Prairie Meadows in Altoona. We as delegates were lucky enough to be addressed by most of the Democratic Candidates for the upcoming 2020 Presidential election. I would like to share some of the notes that I took during the presentations.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren- Has held 126 town hall meetings w/ more than 80000 attendees. Wants to restructure economy with unions in mind. Invest in more technical colleges. $.02 wealth tax on wealth after the first 50 million dollars. Get rid of political gerrymandering of districts.

Sen. Bernie Sanders- 100% voting record with the AFL-CIO. Wants to double the number of people in trade unions. Workplace democracy plan to include 50%+1 of the workplace for unionization. Remove the right to work nationwide. Impose fines on companies not negotiating in good faith. Limits on companies contracting jobs out or calling everyone supervisors and stealing OT pay. Medicare for all.

Bill DeBlasio- Wants to implement a working people’s bill of rights. Ban right to work nationwide. Affordable benefits with improvements to the ACA/Obamacare. (Has since dropped out of the race).

Fmr. VP Joe Biden- Make it illegal for companies to deem all workers supervisors/salary employees. Companies stole more than 2 billion dollars from workers last year alone. Enact penalties for companies that won’t or don’t recognize unions.

Julian Castro- Universal higher education for all. $15 minimum wage nationwide. NLRB will contain people of organized labor on the board. Invest in affordable housing within city limits.

Pete Buttigieg- Guaranteed bargaining rights to all Americans. Multimillion-dollar penalties for companies that interfere with negotiations or elections. Force companies to either make sick pay available to employees or pay into a system to fund sick pay.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar- Remove federal workers from hostage situations with political agenda. National bargaining rights to all Americans. Wants to strengthen the National Labor Relations Act. Has won multiple seats in typically Republican strong districts.

I appreciated the opportunity to speak with all of you in the SOAR meeting last month. I would also like to say that this compilation of notes is just talking points outside of the candidates’ traditional stump speeches that they all gave at the conference. Please study all of the candidates and make an informed decision at the caucuses in February. 

Keenan W. Bell

USW Local 310 C.O.P.E chairman