Bernie Sanders

Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Lays out Agenda for Working Families at AFL-CIO in Nevada

August 18, 2015

LAS VEGAS – Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Tuesday spoke here at the Nevada State AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention.

He called for a $1 trillion, five-year investment in rebuilding roads and bridges and other infrastructure projects to support 13 million decent-paying jobs. He advocated raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, more than double the $7.25 an hour under current law. He urged men to stand with women for pay equity.

Shedding his suit coat and rolling up his shirt sleeves, Sanders also made the case against a proposed Pacific Rim trade deal. A leading opponent in Congress of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, Sanders said the corporate-backed agreement which is uniformly opposed by labor would continue a string of disastrous trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and others which have destroyed millions of decent-paying jobs in the United States.

"During my 24 years in Congress, I have been proud to stand side by side with the AFL-CIO fighting to increase the minimum wage; fighting to guarantee health care to every man, woman and child as a right of citizenship; fighting to make it easier for workers to join unions; fighting to create millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure; fighting for pay equity for women workers; fighting for paid family and medical leave; fighting to expand, not cut, Social Security," Sanders said in prepared remarks.

At a news conference afterward, Sanders told reporters he agrees with the AFL-CIO effort to eliminate the excise tax on health benefits union workers earned in collective bargaining agreements.

He also spoke about the gains labor unions have helped achieve for working families.

"When only the wealthy were allowed to vote, the trade union movement was successful in demanding universal suffrage and a more democratic society. When tiny children were forced to work in the factories and fields, it was the trade union movement who put an end to abusive child labor and who fought for quality public education. When bosses refused to negotiate with their workers and fired them for standing up for their rights, the trade union movement pushed Congress into passing legislation which guaranteed all people the right to organize unions and collectively bargain for better wages and benefits.

"The list goes on. Social Security, the minimum wage, Medicare and Medicaid, affordable housing – are just a few of the benefits that workers have won over the years thanks in large part to the trade union movement," Sanders said.

After speaking at the labor convention, Sanders headed to Reno for a rally at the University of Nevada expected to draw a crowd of several thousand supporters. "How come people are coming out?" he asked before answering his own question. "Because they've had it up to here."

This is the third time this year that Sanders has visited Nevada, one of the first states to hold caucuses to begin the process of selecting the Democratic Party nominee for president.

To read the senator's prepared remarks at the AFL-CIO, click here.

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Bernie Sanders, Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Lays out Agenda for Working Families at AFL-CIO in Nevada Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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