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Chris Coons on Jobs

 

 


Unemployment hasn't doubled in two years; O'Donnell is lying

O'DONNELL: We have to keep in mind my opponent has a history of promising not to raise taxes on the campaign trail and then break those promises as soon as he takes office. Unemployment here in New Castle County rose, almost doubled in the last two years under his watch as New Castle county executive.

COONS: I also frankly can't imagine where she found the numbers that unemployment doubled in just the past year under my watch. I suspect we're going to need to keep a close eye this evening on the numbers that go flying back and forth.

Q: Let's ask her, where did you get those numbers?

O'DONNELL: The Department of Labor statistics. And we'll have them on our web site by tomorrow.

COONS: I think it's important to look closely at some of the things Ms. O'Donnell's thrown out on her new web site. Most of them are untrue. Some of them are flat-out lies. Some of them are mischaracterizations. Much of how you've characterized my record is incorrect.

Source: CNN's Wolf Blitzer moderating 2010 Delaware Senate debate , Oct 13, 2010

Raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2016.

Coons co-sponsored Minimum Wage Fairness Act

Congressional summary: Increases the federal minimum wage for employees to:

  1. $8.20 an hour beginning 6 months after enactment
  2. $9.15 an hour beginning 1 year later,
  3. $10.10 an hour beginning 2 years later, and
  4. an amount determined by increases in the Consumer Price Index, beginning annually after 3 years.

Proponent's argument in favor (RaiseTheMinimumWage.com): The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour remains decades out of date, and the federal minimum wage for tipped workers--$2.13 per hour--has not increased in over 20 years. The minimum wage of the past provided significantly more buying power than it does today. The minimum wage of $1.60 an hour in 1968 would be $10.56 today when adjusted for inflation.

Opponent's argument against: (Neil King in Wall Street Journal, Feb. 24, 2014): The CBO concluded that a jump in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could eliminate 500,000 jobs. For Republicans, the report provided ammunition that a higher minimum wage would kill jobs. Democrats pointed to the CBO's findings that the higher wage would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. But both sides missed a key finding: That a smaller hike from the current $7.25 to $9.00 an hour would cause almost no pain, and still lift 300,000 people out of poverty while raising the incomes of 7.6 million people.

Congressional Budget Office report: Once fully implemented, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3%. Some people earning slightly more than $10.10 would also have higher earnings, due to the heightened demand for goods and services. The increased earnings for low-wage workers would total $31 billion. Accounting for all increases and decreases, overall real income would rise by $2 billion.

Source: S.1737 & H.R.1010 14-S1737 on Nov 19, 2013

Let Senate cafeteria workers organize their own union.

Coons signed unionizing Senate cafeteria workers

Excerpts from Letter from 31 Senators to the Compass Group: Senate cafeteria workers are currently pushing for a union through the majority sign up process, but their employer, the Compass Group, has resisted the drive, even after the NLRB upheld charges against the company regarding discriminatory behavior. Although the Compass Group promised the NRLB they would end further unlawful intimidation, the Compass Group has discouraged their organizing campaign.

We request there that the Compass Group commit to reaching an agreement with the union seeking to organize these workers, and recognize the union as the worker's exclusive bargaining representative on the basis of majority representation of signed authorization cards.

OnTheIssues explanation: At issue is how the workers would unionize: the controversial aspect is the "majority of authorization cards," known as "card-check," which makes unionization much more likely.

Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, "Labor's Day is Over," Sep. 6/2009): Card-check would effectively abolish the secret ballot in workplace elections for union representation. It would also require employers to submit to binding government arbitration if they cannot reach an agreement with union representatives, forcing companies to submit to contracts that may imperil their very survival.

Opposing freedom argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Card Checks Block Free Choice," Feb. 21, 2007): Union activists argue that publicly signing a union membership card in the presence of union organizers, known as card-check organizing, is the only way that workers can freely choose to unionize. However, with card checks, union organizers know who has and has not signed up to join the union. This allows them to repeatedly approach and pressure reluctant workers. With this technique, a worker's decision to join the union is binding, while a decision to opt out only means "not this time."

Source: Letter to Compass Group 15LTR-COM on Nov 13, 2015

Other candidates on Jobs: Chris Coons on other issues:
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Page last updated: Jul 12, 2020