Prairie Action ND

A ‘Good Life’ is an Economy that Respects Working People

Good Life Landis Quote 1.23

January 5, 2023 | Landis Larson, president of North Dakota AFL-CIO

After reading the Forum’s headline ” ‘Good Life’ campaign brings 9 new workers to ND in first 6 months ” I knew I was in for a good chuckle. Gov. Burgum’s pet project to attract workers to North Dakota through an “innovative” PR campaign is not only misleading, it’s a waste of North Dakota funds.

Yes, there are lots of incredible reasons to live in North Dakota, but respect for working families is not among them. Unless you’re lucky enough to land in one of the few high-end jobs, you are undoubtedly making less than you would in most other places… for doing the same work.

As someone who works in North Dakota you have less rights on the job than in either Montana or Minnesota. You are more likely to get injured or killed at work than almost any other state in the country. If you do get hurt, you will have to deal with our North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance system that is stacked against you to get help. You will likely not have access to paid family leave to care for a loved one or sick time to heal from illness or injury. You will struggle to find affordable housing and encounter year long waitlists for child care. And, you will have roughly the same cost of living unless you moved here from New York or California.

It is time families and working people have the opportunity and the tools to build a “good life” — with quality jobs and education, health care and child care —so people can work, take care of their families, contribute to their communities and do their part to keep growing our economy, which is good for everyone.

We need to build an economy that respects working people. The “Good Life” campaign does none of that.

As submitted to Prairie Action ND