Take Action

In a functioning democracy, a government responds to its people’s needs. This is a democracy’s strength. On the other hand, North Dakota has substituted a polite government for a responsive one, especially in regards to working families’ issues.

They listen to you. They smile and nod, then they say they some variation of, “We understand that you’re concerned, but we know better and will continue as before.” Whether the issue is healthcare, wages, or workplace safety, they sincerely believe that by being polite to working people, they are responding to their needs. They are not.

Is this truly what representative government has become?

Our issue with the Governor’s Workforce Development Conference this coming Wednesday is a great example of the lack of responsiveness. This conference is bringing in two anti-worker lawyers to present their version of labor law. Yeah! The law that protects working people from abuse is going to be presented by people who have made millions by guiding businesses through loopholes in the same law.

We have been working to get this changed for six weeks to no avail. Understand our demand is a small one. We just want this one session to be presented by our own North Dakota Labor Department. This entire issue could be solved in 20 minutes, but we get nothing but a paternalistic attitude that they know best.

Remember that we have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation while maintaining low wages outside the oilfield. We don’t need to become more business friendly. To the contrary, we need to become much more worker friendly to keep and attract more working families to this state. We need better wages, more fairness and improved safety on the job.

Yet our state will never achieve anything if our government continues to be unresponsive to working families’ issues.

There are questions that we need to start asking. When is North Dakota going to start listening to its working families? When is our government going to be as responsive to us as it is to businesses and corporations? When are working families going to matter as much as money?

I guess the real question is when are we going to return a government of the people, by the people, for the people?

The time to start is now!

Florida's working families have seen devastating flooding, rains, winds and destruction to their homes, possessions and livelihoods. Help them by contributing to the Florida AFL-CIO’s Worker Relief Fund today.

Union members are there for each other in tough times, and many Texans are facing the toughest of times. Donate to the Texas Workers Relief Fund, which provides direct help to families in need.

Tell the Department of Labor not to repeal the persauder rule--a rule that requires companies to disclose expenditures for activities designed to dissuade employees from forming a union.

Under President Obama, the Department of Labor approved a rule stating that financial advisers must work in the best interest of their clients. Now, the Trump administration is trying to roll back this critical rule.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau safeguards Americans against the deceptive and abusive practices of big banks, student loan servicers, credit card companies and predatory lenders.