Blog Post

Tammy Baldwin – a champion for working families!

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) has consistently been among the pro-worker champions in the United States Senate, with a 100% rating from the AFLCIO for her 2023 votes standing up for working people, unions, and our rights to organize and go on strike.

“Unions give workers security, dignity, and respect, and I’m always proud to stand with our workers who drive our economy.” Sen. Tammy Baldwin

Protecting workers’ rights 

Sen. Baldwin is a proud co-sponsor of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (the PRO Act), which strengthens worker power by protecting our rights to organize, bargain and go on strike. 

“This legislation takes bold action to respect and reward Wisconsinites hard work, empowering them to fight for fair pay, a safe workplace, quality health care, and the dignity of a secure retirement that they have earned,” said Sen. Baldwin.

The PRO Act, a top legislative priority for the labor movement, takes a comprehensive approach to restoring the balance of power in the workplace by blocking intimidating union-busting tactics, speeding union elections, providing new protections against employer retaliation, and helping newly organized workers secure a first contract faster. 

When workers make the difficult decision to strike for better working conditions, Sen. Baldwin doesn’t hesitate to stand in solidarity with them.

Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act

Sen. Baldwin is a co-sponsor of the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act of 2024, introduced in May in the U.S. Senate, which extends federal legal protections to ensure that all public workers have the right to organize, bargain collectively and engage in concerted activities.

Standing with striking workers — literally

When workers make the difficult decision to strike for better working conditions, Sen. Baldwin doesn’t hesitate to stand in solidarity with them.

In October, Sen. Baldwin joined the picket line with striking United Auto Workers Local 75 members at the Stellantis Mopar plant in Milwaukee.  

  • Sen. Baldwin was among a group of senators who introduced a resolution in solidarity with members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) bargaining for a fair contract, including 34,000 on strike.
  • In 2023 she walked the picket line with OPEIU members on strike at TruStage.
  • In 2022 she walked the picket line with UAW members on strike at CNH Industrial in Mount Pleasant. 

Fighting union-busting

Sen. Baldwin co-sponsored the No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act to end the taxpayer subsidization of corporate union-busting campaigns.

“For too long, our tax code has benefitted big corporations, not the workers who create the value,” said Sen. Baldwin. 

The bill would classify businesses’ interference in worker organization campaigns like political speech under the tax code and therefore not tax deductible. Activities denied a deduction would include both unlawful attempts to influence employees, and lawful activities that nonetheless should not be subsidized by taxpayers. 

Protecting the healthcare benefits of striking workers

Employers can’t legally fire workers who take part in a protected strike, but they can and do threaten to cut workers’ health care as soon as they hit picket lines. Sen. Baldwin co-sponsored the Striking and Locked Out Workers Health Care Protection Act to prevent employers from retaliating against striking or locked out workers by cutting off healthcare benefits. The legislation creates a separate Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) category covering this employer behavior. 

Securing and protecting jobs 

Sen. Baldwin works to ensure that major federal legislation incorporates the needs of working families, including the right to unions and good wages.

  • Sen. Baldwin voted for the American Rescue Plan that saved the jobs of public employees and airline workers, and rescued the multiemployer pension plans covering more than a million union members and retirees.  
  • Sen. Baldwin voted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which supported millions of jobs in construction and manufacturing , with strong protections for union rights and prevailing wages. The act also strengthened “Buy America” rules.
  • Sen. Baldwin voted for the Inflation Reduction Act, which will create hundreds of thousands of American manufacturing jobs, in addition to reducing prescription drug prices for seniors and lowering energy costs. 
  • Sen. Baldwin voted for the CHIPS Act, which grows U.S. supply chains for semiconductor chip manufacturing and ensures that new semiconductor plants being built with federal money will employ union-trained workers.

Protecting workers from offshoring 

Sen. Baldwin has been a longtime leader in efforts to prevent the offshoring of American jobs.

Sen. Baldwin successfully included key provisions of her Made in America Act and Build America, Buy America Act in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, the Inflation Reduction Act and this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, helping create millions of American jobs. 

“I strongly believe that when taxpayer dollars are spent by our government to rebuild our infrastructure, we should be investing in American workers and American-made products,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin’s Buy American rules will boost the use of American-made goods in infrastructure projects and ensure the use of common US-made construction materials such as  iron, steel, plastic, concrete and glass when rebuilding American infrastructure. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will create about 2 million jobs per year for a decade; the Inflation Reduction Act is projected to create or preserve over 24,000 jobs in Wisconsin; and the CHIPS and Science Act not only creates tens of thousands of jobs in semiconductor manufacturing nationwide, it designates Wisconsin as a tech hub for biohealth, bringing jobs and innovation to the state.

Sen Baldwin helped introduce the No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act, which ensures multinational corporations pay the same tax rate on profits earned abroad as they do in the United States. This would end tax incentives created by the 2017 Trump tax giveaway bill that created incentives to export jobs and profits.

In 2020, Baldwin sponsored the End Outsourcing Act that would utilize the tax code and federal grants, loans and contracts to end the outsourcing of jobs overseas. The legislation would create a new tax benefit to help companies bring jobs back to America, and would require companies that have outsourced jobs within a five-year period to pay back federal tax incentives and grants from facilities closed due to outsourcing.

Sen. Baldwin co-sponsored the Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act, which would block government grants for companies that move call centers overseas. 

In April, Sen. Baldwin called on CNH Industrial to reverse its plans to lay off 200 Racin workers who build farming equipment. “Moving production to Mexico as you are considering would…be a slap in the face to the workers who have given so much,” Sen. Baldwin wrote in a letter to CEO Scott Wine.

Protecting our pensions

Millions of workers depend on retirement benefits that are held in multi-employer pension plans – many of which had been deemed at risk of failure by 30-year-old accounting standards imposed by the federal government. Sen. Baldwin fought to secure passage of the Butch Lewis Act as part of the American Rescue Plan – restoring pensions in full to workers and retirees in the Central States Pension Fund who were facing huge benefit cuts. 

Thanks to this legislation, more than 350,000 workers and retirees across the country – including 22,000 in Wisconsin — will receive the full retirement benefits they earned.

One Fair Wage

Sen. Baldwin understands that a fair day’s work deserves fair wages. She was an original co-sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, aimed at raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. 

Cracking down on wage theft

Sen. Baldwin co-sponsored the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act of 2023, which increases penalties for employers who illegally withhold wages, and provides new tools for workers to recover stolen wages.

“Hardworking Wisconsinites show up to their jobs, only to discover that they are not getting the full paycheck they have earned. It’s not right and we have to crack down on the employers who steal wages from working families,” said Sen.  Baldwin. “Our bill will help stop bad-faith employers denying Wisconsinites their hard-earned dollars and empower workers to get what they are owed.” 

Tax fairness for working families

Sen. Baldwin is a lead co-sponsor of the “Tax Fairness for Workers Act,” which allows workers to deduct unreimbursed business expenses such as uniforms and equipment, business travel costs and job search expenses. The act restores workers’ ability deduct union dues from their taxes “above the line” – meaning workers can benefit even if they don’t otherwize itemize deductions.

Strengthening job training programs

Sen. Baldwin is the lead sponsor of the National Apprenticeship Act of 2023, a bipartisan effort to build new programs train workers, help them find apprenticeship programs, and connect them with good-paying jobs.

This landmark job training legislation would scale up apprenticeship programs in Wisconsin and across the country to provide more people with the skills they need to succeed, including by investing in public-private partnerships between schools and local businesses that are training future Wisconsin workers.

“When we invest in workforce training programs, we are investing in our families, our future, and our Made in Wisconsin economy,said Sen. Baldwin.