CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION LABOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
"We have to continue in Washington to fight for the right to organize and to function in a union that will permit you to have a life you enjoy."
-- President Bill Clinton, March 18, 1998
Creating More Jobs and a Stronger Economy
· Nearly 18 Million New Jobs Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore -- Since President Clinton took office, the economy has added 17.7 million new jobs -- 1.7 million more new jobs in 71 months than were created during the entire 96 months of the Reagan Administration (17.7 million under Clinton vs. 16.0 million under Reagan).
· Fastest Real Wage Growth in More Than Two Decades -- Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen 3.8 percent -- more than twice the rate of inflation. After adjusting for inflation, wages have increased at about a 2.5 percent pace in the past 12 months -- the fastest real wage growth in more than two decades.
· Unemployment Down To 4.3 Percent in December -- A 29-Year Low. In 1992, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. In December 1998, the unemployment rate was 4.3 percent --its lowest level in 29 years. For 1998 as a whole, the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent -- its lowest level since 1969. The unemployment rate has been below 5 percent for 18 months in a row.
· Construction Jobs Are Coming Back. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, construction and manufacturing jobs are coming back: after losing 662,000 jobs in construction during the previous four years, more than 1.6 million new construction jobs have been added since January 1993 -- a faster annual rate than any other Administration since Harry S Truman was President.
· Manufacturing Jobs Are Up Under President Clinton. After losing 2.1 million manufacturing jobs between 1981 and 1992, the economy has created 459,000 new manufacturing jobs since January 1993. Manufacturing jobs are up under President Clinton, but are being hurt by the financial crisis in Asia.
· World Leader in Auto Production Four Years in a Row -- After losing 46,000 jobs in the auto industry during the Bush years, we have 148,000 new auto jobs during the Clinton-Gore Administration. And for the first time since the 1970s, America has led the world in auto production for four years in a row.
· Highest Homeownership Rate in History -- there are more than 7 million new homeowners since the President took office.
· Closing The Book on A Generation of Deficits -- in 1992, the deficit was $290 billion, a record dollar high. This year, the Administration expects the budget surplus to be at least $76 billion, the largest budget surplus in history.
Creating Better Jobs
· Increased the Minimum Wage from $4.25 to $5.15 per hour -- increasing wages for 10 million. For an average full-time minimum wage worker this amounts to a $1,800 raise. President Clinton also proposed an additional minimum wage increase in 1998.
· Saving Social Security First -- The President is committed to saving Social Security for the 21st Century. The President will fight to save every penny of any future surplus until a bipartisan plan to save Social Security is enacted.
· Signed the Family and Medical Leave Act into law -- allowing workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for family members without fear of losing their jobs. Millions of workers have already benefited from FMLA since its enactment.
· Fighting for Critical Education Investments -- maintaining his longtime commitment to education, the President enacted the largest investment in education in 30 years -- and the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill -- by signing the 1997 Balanced Budget Act. In 1998, the President won passage of a number of his education priorities, including funding for his initiatives to recruit quality teachers, reduce class size and to increase early child literacy.
· More School-to-Career Opportunities with School-To-Work -- the Clinton Administration is providing hundreds of thousands of students with school-to-career opportunities; students experience work-based learning and gain access to pathways from high school to good jobs and post-secondary education.
· Expanded Job Training To Help 666,000 Dislocated Workers -- the FY99 budget includes $1.4 billion for the dislocated worker program which will help some 666,000 dislocated workers get the training and reemployment services they need to return to work as quickly as possible. This represents an increase of $55 million compared to FY98. Since 1993, dislocated worker funding has been expanded by 171 percent.
· Fighting for Paycheck Equity -- called on Congress to pass legislation to strengthen laws prohibiting wage discrimination.
· Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit providing tax relief for 15 million working families.
· $500 Per-Child Tax Credit --26 million families with 40 million children will receive the $500 per-child tax credit.
· Increasing Pension Security -- Fought for legislation that has expanded pension coverage, made pensions more secure for 40 million American workers and retirees, and simplified pension plan administration. Promoting new efforts to encourage retirement savings.
· Signed the Bipartisan Workforce Investment Act --- reforming America's job training system for the 21st Century.
· Opposed the creation of company unions.
· Blocked efforts to undermine prevailing wage laws.
· Revitalized enforcement at the Labor Department by adding more front-line enforcers.
· Signed Hatch Act reform into law -- allowing federal civil servants to more actively participate in the political process.
· Rescinded Reagan Administration Executive Order prohibiting the rehiring of PATCO strikers.
· Enacted Single Largest Investment in Health Care for Children since 1965 providing health care coverage for up to five million children.
· Fighting to Pass a Strong, Enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights -- Called on Congress to pass a strong, enforceable patients' bill of rights that assures Americans the quality health care they need.
· Signed Meaningful Health Insurance Reform which limits exclusions for pre-existing conditions, makes coverage portable and helps individuals who lose jobs maintain coverage.
· Supported the comprehensive Occupational Safety and Health Reform Act and opposed efforts to make the workplace less safe.
Established Better Labor Relations
· Appointed a National Labor Relations Board that is fair to workers and their unions for a change. And placed in all levels of government Presidential appointees who are dedicated to fighting for the issues that matter most to working men and women.
· Issued an Executive Order prohibiting federal agencies from doing business with employers that permanently replace striking workers.
· Supported anti-"striker replacement" legislation -- which would have prohibited companies from permanently replacing striking workers.
· Preserving the Collective Bargaining Process -- the Administration has played an activist role in helping to resolve tough disputes, bringing parties together to reach agreement. These collective bargaining disputes have included: Northwest Airlines, American Airlines, Long Island Rail Road, UPS, Teamster national trucking contract, Amtrak, Mineworkers and Bituminous Coal Operators Association.
· Opposed Republican So-called "Paycheck Protection" Measures -- which would have limited organized labor's political activity.
· Created the National Partnership Council for Federal government unions.
· Created the Task Force on Excellence in State and Local Government through Labor Management Cooperation for non-federal public workers.
· Rescinded Bush Administration Executive Orders prohibiting pre-hire agreements on federal construction projects and requiring all government contractors to post a notice telling workers they have a right not to join a union. In sharp contrast, President Clinton authorized agencies to use Project Labor Agreements where they serve the best interests of the government and the people.
· Supporting the Right of All Workers to Organize -- The President recently proposed, for the first time ever, up to $25 million to create a new arm of the International Labor Organization, to work with developing countries to put in place basic labor protections, safe workplaces, and the right to organize, so that workers everywhere can enjoy the advantages of a strong social safety net.