Transportation Workers, Unions Declare: ‘Enough is Enough’
APWU officers and staff joined thousands of transportaion workers and other labor activists at a spirited rally in Washington, DC, May 17, demanding an end to federal policies that put profits ahead of safety and security, and corporate needs ahead of workers.
Representatives from the APWU and 26 other unions joined members of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) from all across the country to declare, “Enough Is Enough.”
“This nation’s air and rail workers suffered one grievous assault after another under the present administration,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “Hundreds of thousands of workers lost jobs, pensions, and health care while CEO’s and senior executives gorged themselves with outrageous compensation packages.”
“We’re here today to remind the members of the new Congress we elected last year that Labor 2008 is already under way,” AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka declared. “We’re here to remind them of their commitments of support for our working families’ agenda: good jobs, decent wages, fair trade, better schools, secure retirement, affordable health care, and the freedom of every worker to make their own decision to join a union.”
The union message was heard loud and clear by lawmakers who addressed the rally.
Five Democratic presidential candidates—Joe Biden, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson—told participants that they will support the working people’s agenda in 2008 and beyond. In addition to the candidates, a dozen members of Congress and former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater spoke.
The candidates and other elected officials all called for making the Employee Free Choice Act the law of the land, and called for the replacement of officials at the Labor Department officials and National Labor Relations Board— who were appointed by President Bush—with people who will stand up for working families.