How can America build a stronger middle class? A new report says the answer lies within a solid labor movement.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund, a think tank based out of Washington, DC, finds unions make the middle class strong by giving workers a voice in the workplace and in the political process.

Without a strong labor movement, government will be usurped by big, profit-hungry corporations and other groups. The report says when unions are strong — workers then have a seat at the negotiation table and ensure the interests of the middle class are considered.

The report’s assertions are things that you as fire fighters apart of the labor movement already know and care about deeply.

But there are plenty of people who aren’t grasping what’s at stake in states like Arizona, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

We do not always get what we want during the negotiation process, and the good thing is we can all respectfully disagree with those sitting at the table. But the key point is that we are sitting at the table. The current attacks on fire fighters and other members in the labor movement are simply unacceptable because they are trying to take away our seat and silence our voices. And we are not going to stand for it!

If America is truly a democracy, then the voices of all people should be heard and not shut down by overzealous politicians and wealthy donors who want power to remain in the hands of a select few.

That’s where you and the IAFF steps in to spread our message to protect what you have earned: the right to have your voice heard in the workplace and in the political process.

Our voices are shouting now and will be heard in 2012.