Democrats Come Out Against Workers' Rights

The 2012 Democratic Party Platform, which was formally adopted by convention delegates on Sept. 4 in Charlotte, N.C., launches a direct attack against workers’ rights. Language in the platform states: “We will fight for labor laws that provide a fair process for workers to choose union representation.” However, the next sentence states: “We will continue to vigorously oppose ‘Right-to-Work’ and ‘paycheck protection’ efforts, and so-called ‘Save our Secret Ballot’ measures whenever they are proposed.”

Right-to-Work laws protect workers from being forced into a union or to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Paycheck protection measures allow workers to decide if they want their compulsory dues used for union political activities. Secret ballot protection initiatives allow workers to participate in a private ballot election when deciding whether to unionize.

In addition, the platform contains no direct mention of government-mandated project labor agreements. In contrast, the Republican Party Platform contained language that “demands an end to project labor agreements.”

Gov. Ted Strickland (D-Ohio) was chairman of the Democratic Platform drafting committee. The Platform committee was led by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Mayor Cory Booker (D-Newark) and retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy.

To read more about the absence of PLAs in the Democratic Party Platform, visit