Focus on auto emissions and the environment commended
On Oct. 28, 2015, UAW President Dennis Williams was named as one of 2015’s Top Lobbyists by The Hill, a nonpartisan political newspaper published in Washington, D.C.
This recognition comes after Williams’ tireless efforts fighting for legislation that will help UAW members, their families, and working men and women more broadly. Of special note are two issues that have been a particular focus during Williams’ administration: health care and environmental issues.
Williams has made protecting UAW members’ health care a priority since being elected president in 2014. Part of that effort has been focused on lobbying members of Congress to repeal the excise tax provision of the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect in 2018. The excise tax would place a tax on so-called “Cadillac” health care plans that exceed a certain annual limit. This provision has the potential to negatively impact UAW members’ health care coverage and put downward pressure on benefit levels moving forward.
On environmental issues, Williams has focused on working with legislators to find commonsense solutions to the major environmental issues that face our country while making sure that those solutions don’t jeopardize key industries and UAW member jobs. Legislation around auto emissions has been an area of special interest in this arena.
As former UAW President Walter Reuther once said, “There’s a direct relationship between the ballot box and the bread box, and what the union fights for and wins at the bargaining table can be taken away in the legislative halls.” That’s never been truer than it is today, when corporate and right-wing interests are able to tap into their enormous coffers to influence elections and legislation.
That’s why it’s so important now for UAW members to know that they have a strong advocate in the halls of Congress fighting for their interests. And when the UAW president is named a top lobbyist even in the face of all the corporate money pouring in to influence policy, UAW members can rest assured that their voice in being heard.
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