I want to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge all the hard working union members that are here with us today. Today — American workers are more productive than ever. But their real wages are shrinking—their pensions are threatened—and their health-care coverage is cut. Meanwhile this administration cuts student loans, hands out tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and wants to privatize social MCITP TRAINING security. America’s workers are the backbone of our country and I am proud to stand with you here today … and I want to thank you for standing with me throughout my career. The men and women of the Labor movement are a primary reason why I have been able to accomplish so much in New Mexico. * Creating more than 84,000 jobs in the last four years. * Cutting one billion in taxes—not for the wealthy—but for working families * And expanding access to health insurance to working families, and today every child five years or younger has access to health care coverage. Their support helped me and the Democrats recapture state government after eight years of Republican rule. And it is only with the help of the hardworking men and women of Labor that Democrats will recapture the White House. It’s through that same hard work that the people of New Hampshire have a new minimum wage—a wage with dignity. After three years working side-by-side with labor, we’ve been able to do the same in New Mexico. But I think we all know–raising the minimum wage is the best way to stand up for the working poor. But, we need to stand up for the middle class too. And the best way we can do that is by supporting unions. Raising state minimum wages is good, but not good enough. MCPD TRAINING Raising the federal minimum wage is good, but not good enough. To renew America’s middle class, we shouldn’t stop until every worker’s wage is a union wage. And that starts with majority authorization. That doesn’t just mean giving employees a chance to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation. That also means swiftly punishing those employers who violate any worker’s right to organize. I believe the members organizations of AFL-CIO don’t have to ask where I stand– * As one of my first acts as Governor, I stood with the AFSCME, CWA, AFT and restored collective bargaining rights for public employees—with card-check recognition and fair share. There are no free riders in my state…period. * I stood with the American Federation of Teachers—and together we created new standards, linked them to higher teacher salaries, and our teacher salaries have moved from 46th to 29th in the nation – and our teacher quality has jumped from 30th to 17th. * I stood with CWA and together we a statewide project called Wire New Mexico to create a high-speech, high capacity data, voice and video communications backbone. That network will be installed, maintained and upgraded by union workers. * I stood with the theatrical and stage employees union to invest state funds to train new technicians to work on more than $1 billion dollars in film and television production over the last four years. That union has grown from 60 registered members to over 1400 and those productions are proudly stamped Made in the USA with a Union label. * I stood with the New Mexico Building and Trades. When we financed the $400 million construction for a new state hospital, we negotiated the first Public Works Project Labor Agreement in New Mexico history. That 100% union project is on-time and on-budget. And in my state, I made the prevailing wage a union wage. I also worked with the Building and Trades Department to create the toughest independent contractor law in the country. In New Mexico, we require independent contractors to be licensed as a business, have a written contract and control the work. Break the law—and you’ll face a fine or spend some time in jail–a 100% union-built jail. * And I stood with workers when I was President Clinton’s Secretary of Energy. When I started, there was a disturbing number of staff, craftsmen, and many of your members who were sick or dying—I call them the “silent cold warriors.” MCTS TRAINING These brave men and women had served for decades supporting the critical research and tests to guarantee America’s nuclear defense. But, everyone was focused on what went into the air and water, not what was going into the bodies of our workers. * First, I did what should have been done long ago—I apologized for the federal government’s failure to protect these workers.