Cooney and Graybill: We will stand together in defense of Montana workers
Montana is built on hard work.
The working women and men of this state – the linemen, miners, laborers, boilermakers, law enforcement officers, and teachers – are the ones who keep Montana running. Without workers, and the labor unions that fight for them, Montana as we know it today would not exist.
But now more than ever those workers are under threat. With us in office, they will have a pair of fighters willing to stand up and defend them as governor and attorney general. We’ll revitalize our state’s proud history of strong unions and beat back any attempts to undermine organize labor in Montana.
Our opponents want to decimate Montana’s unions, gut hard-won worker protections, and erase the legacy of union success that built our state.
Gone will be the secure retirement, competitive wages, and affordable health insurance that protect our families and bolster the middle class. In their place we’ll face hostile “right to work” bills pushed by anti-union activists that will eviscerate our right to collectively bargain and result in dramatic cuts to pay and benefits for every worker in our state.
Gone will be the promise of a quality, public education for all provided by the best educators in the world. In its place we’ll see attacks on our public school system, and public dollars siphoned off to private schools that discriminate against students with disabilities.
Gone will be the guarantees for a safe and equitable workplace, never more important than during a pandemic that threatens the health and safety of all Montanans. In its place we will find lax rules and dangerous work sites that put lives and livelihoods at risk.
We won’t let it happen.
Working together, we will form a united front for workers in our state. We have a plan to put organized labor on offense instead of defense.
From the governor’s office, we will work to create the good-paying jobs and investments in our infrastructure that will put Montana on the path to success in the 21st century. We will enact a comprehensive plan to promote clean energy technology and clean energy manufacturing to improve manufacturing products and processes by reducing energy use and waste.
At the same time, from the Attorney General’s office we will stand up for workers who have been illegally mislabelled as ‘independent contractors’ by big companies, and fight other tricks that degrade workers’ rights. We’ll push back against the ugly precedent of Janus v. AFSCME, a case where the Supreme Court kowtowed to special interests and ruled against our working unions.
We’ll continue to take on tough cases where union rights are on the line, standing up for Montana workers and drawing on our state’s legacy of peaceful, dignified labor negotiations. And crucially, we’ll protect Montana’s best-in-the-country campaign finance laws and keep anti-labor dark money groups from manipulating our politics.
It will take hard work to get it done – but we are more than ready for the fight.
Our opponents think they can buy our elections or sue workers to accomplish what their out-of-state special interests want them to do. They don’t work for the people of Montana – they only work for themselves and their wealthy backers.
We’re going to put an end to it.
Together, we will stand up for workers, stand up for the middle class, and fight to protect our Montana way of life, for this generation and for generations to come.