By TIM ROWDEN
AFL‑CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) spoke at the Missouri AFL‑CIO’s 29th Biennial Convention in St. Louis last month, rallying a packed audience of local union leaders and working Missourians in the fight against Prop. A (RTW).
With working people are under attack from seemingly every quarter –– from Prop A in Missouri to the U.S. Supreme Court’s destructive 5-4 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, which imposed RTW conditions on public-sector unions (See related story: Defeating Prop A tops agenda at Missouri AFL-CIO Convention) –– Trumka recalled the words President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered to Americans in the midst of the Great Depression: “True patriotism urges us to build an even more substantial America where the good things of life may be shared by more of us.”
Working people in Missouri are speaking out and mobilizing their neighbors against a corporate-backed attack on our fundamental economic rights, working phone banks and going door-to-door to urge voters to Vote NO on Prop A on Aug. 7.
“We face our own decision today…our own test of progress,” Trumka said. “Just as FDR had to battle the forces of wealth and greed in his time, we now must confront a corporate onslaught of historic proportions. They want to rip apart the New Deal piece by piece. They want to bankrupt our unions. They want to leave us poor and weak and divided. And the Supreme Court just did their bidding, flushing 41 years of fairness down the toilet in Janus v. AFSCME.
“These corporate leeches, wrapped in the American flag and hijacking words like ‘freedom’ and ‘rights,’ have brought the fight here to Missouri,” Trumka said. “They think they can steamroll us into submission. They think they can send us running for the hills. Well, brothers and sisters, I’ve got news for them: the only place we’re running is to the polls on August 7 to defeat Proposition A!
“Brothers and sisters, hear me loud and hear me clear. We defeated ‘right-to-work’ in 1978, and we’re going to defeat it again in 2018!
“When we win here on August 7, it’s going to be the shot heard round the world!” Trumka said. “It’ll make waves in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Ohio and Washington D.C. And it will provide a powerful rebuke of the Supreme Court’s disgraceful ruling in Janus.
TAKING AMERICA BACK
“It is time…it is high time…for us to take America back!” Trumka said. “We’re the ones who build the cars and teach the classes. We make the roads, bake the bread and lift the loads. We stand tall. We don’t run and hide. We wake our country up every single day. We tuck her into bed at night. We’re the American Labor Movement, and we will not be denied!”
Vote NO on Prop A on Aug. 7.