N.Y. congresswoman cited for opposing bad trade deals, defending workers
THE BOILERMAKERS HONORED Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) May 19 as the 2014 Abe Breehey Legislator of the Year during the 47th Annual Legislative Education Action Program (LEAP) in Washington, D.C.
International President Newton B. Jones presented the award and stated, “For years I have watched Slaughter’s fearless and undeterred work to defend the American manufacturer and worker. Her instincts and intellect are unparalleled, and our nation’s workers are stronger and more resolute thanks to her leadership in Congress.”
Congresswoman Slaughter said, “I am humbled to be recognized by the Boilermakers, who represent hard-working Americans in my district and around the country. I join with my brothers and sisters in the Labor Movement in their unwavering efforts to defend American workers, improve safety, and promote training and apprenticeship programs. I am proud to be your partner and friend and I pledge to continue our important work together.”
Local 7 (Buffalo, N.Y.) BM-ST Dan DeCarlo also expressed his support for Slaughter. “On behalf of Boilermakers Local 7 and workers throughout New York State, I want to congratulate our friend, Congresswomen Slaughter, on receiving this award. [She] is a steadfast advocate for issues that matter to workers in Western New York and around the country. In this spirit, it is fitting she be recognized with the Boilermaker’s Abe Breehey Award, named for our [late legislative director], who was also an accomplished advocate. Louise is unyielding in her beliefs and support of labor and the American worker, and this recognition is a testament to the leadership and resolve she exhibits every day in the halls of Congress.”
As she addressed the LEAP conference, Slaughter spoke of her concern for the people of Rochester, N.Y., especially those in manufacturing jobs, which led her to battle against every free trade agreement, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
She said these agreements have caused businesses in Rochester serious harm and led to widespread hardship in local communities.
Rep. Slaughter has championed the bipartisan Reciprocal Market Access Act (RMAA), which would require the reduction of foreign market barriers before decreasing U.S. tariffs, a move that would level the playing field for American workers and support American manufacturing jobs. The RMAA would enhance the tools available to U.S. trade negotiators, ensuring that the U.S. is able to achieve real reciprocity in the international marketplace.
Rep. Slaughter became the first female to serve as chair of the House Committee on Rules (2007-2011), one of the most powerful committees in Congress. She remains the ranking member of the committee. The Rules Committee is known as the traffic cop of the House of Representatives, because virtually every major piece of legislation must come to the Committee before it is considered on the House Floor.
Full LEAP coverage will appear in the July-September issue.