Historians have often censored civil rights activists' commitment to economic issues and misrepresented the labor and civil rights movements as two separate, sometimes adversarial efforts. But civil rights and workers' rights are two sides of the same coin.
My parents both came to the United States from the Dominican Republic, and they were deeply grateful for the opportunities this country provided. They raised my siblings and me to want to make a difference and give back. They taught us to work hard and aim high, but to also make sure the ladder was down to help others climb up.
When we talk about the kind of folks whose lives will be made better by raising the minimum wage, we're not talking about a couple teenagers earning extra spending money to supplement their allowance. We're talking about providers and breadwinners. Working Americans with bills to pay and mouths to feed.
Everything has changed in recent decades - the economy, technology, cultural attitudes, the demographics of the workforce, the role of women in society and the structure of the American family. It's about time our laws caught up. We watch 'Modern Family' on television, but we're still living by 'Leave It To Beaver' rules.
The Democratic Party has learned from the terrible mistakes of the past. Our platform requires that we honor, fulfill, and strengthen the federal government's trust responsibility to American Indians. We take this responsibility seriously.
I share the skepticism that my friends have about NAFTA. It was woefully weak in protecting workers and on the enforcement side. The question is can we meaningfully build a trade regime that has as its North Star protecting American workers and American jobs through meaningful enforcement? I think we can.
My parents didn't feel that they had any choice but to leave the Dominican Republic. They did, however, choose to become Americans, and they lived American values every day.
The Labor Department's Hall of Honor recognizes men and women - like Cesar Chavez, Helen Keller and the Workers of the Memphis Sanitation Strike - who have made invaluable contributions to the welfare of American workers.
It's a false choice to say we either have job safety or job growth. It's a false choice to suggest that the only way for a business to survive is to make sure workers have low wages and little or no benefits. There are ample models across this country where we've demonstrated the contrary.
Donald Trump is anathema to America.
I was in the U.K. and Germany and went to Volkswagen and learned about their apprenticeship model - young people become paid apprentices in trades. It's not a coincidence that youth unemployment is far lower in Germany than the United States because there are paid opportunities for young people to get experience.
Mandatory arbitration clauses I think, more often than not, work to the detriment of working people.
To fulfill the promise of economic opportunity, we must remain true to the principle that collective bargaining is a cornerstone of a free society and indispensable to a strong middle class.
We're the party that's fought for increased wages, fought for the union movement, fought to make sure that collective bargaining is not eviscerated, it's strengthened. And when we communicate those messages, we succeed.
I remember a good friend of mine whose father worked at Bethlehem Steel for 40 years with just a high school degree. That was a remarkable pathway to prosperity that sustained generations of working families.
As America prepared for war in 1941, discrimination largely shut black Americans out of job opportunities in the growing defense industry.
During Black History Month, I'm reminded yet again of the ways that the struggle for civil rights is interwoven with the struggle for workers' rights.
The first Friday of every month is what we call Numbers Day - it's the day that the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the monthly jobs report. We have a ritual at the Labor Department - at 8 A.M., we gather around a table in my office, and the commissioner of labor statistics briefs me and the department's senior leadership on the numbers.
If you're one car accident away from poverty, you're on a high wire without a safety net. And that's a challenging proposition.
There's this notion out there - and it's a categorically false notion - that the only business model in the service industry is the minimum-wage business model. I say phooey to that. You go to a Costco store, and you see people there who've been working there for years and years. They're making $15, $20 an hour, plus health benefits.