RI organized labor

RIPR FILE

Work is the fulcrum of social mobility in our country. In Rhode Island, lawmakers have approved an increase in the minimum wage. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says that falls far short of what’s needed to help the working poor.

Democrats claim to be the party of working people. Come campaign season, Democratic candidates boast at every turn that they care about ``working families’’ more than Republicans, the party Democrats brand as the tool of the rich and the one-percent.

President Obama scored a victory for his trade plan today when the U.S. Senate approved a measure that would give the president the authority to negotiate international deals, but he did it without help from Rhode Island two Democratic senators, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Reed and Whitehouse were on the losing end of a 60 to 37 Senate vote. Both Rhode Islanders cited concerns that trade deals hurt American workers. Thirteen Democrats joined with 47 Republicans to push the trade pact to a final vote, which is likely to occur tomorrow.

Rhode Island’s two U.S. House members, Democrats David Cicilline and Jim Langevin, will both vote against President Obama’s plan to `fast track’ the Trans-Pacific Partnership when the issue comes before the House, which  is expected this afternoon.

``Any agreement that promotes fast track trade to advance the TPP without through review and congressional input is a bad deal for Rhode Island  workers,’’ Cicilline said in a statement.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s two U.S. Senators, Democrats Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, were both on the winning side as President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats derailed one of the president’s top priorities, voting to hold up so-called fast track trade authority unless other provisions designed to protect American jobs are included in the legislation.

One interest group that is already lining up support for a new Pawtucket Red Sox stadium in Providence: Organized labor.

Scott Duhamel, secretary-treasurer of the Rhode Island Building Trades Council emerged from a press briefing this afternoon by James Skeffington, president of the team and quickly said the building trades unions are planning to be vocal backers of the deal.

``We are all in, 100 percent,’’ said Duhamel. ``This may end up being our number one legislative priority this year.’’

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