In the lead up to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, some large unions have decided to host a rallying event of their own in Philadelphia to “refocus the national political debate on economic opportunity and middle class rights.”
Workers Stand for America will take place on August 11th and bring together working people from all walks of life, both union and non-union, to have their voices heard during the election cycle. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has called for a “Second Bill of Rights” to combat corporate profits at record highs and wages at record lows. This idea builds upon the political freedoms of the original Bill of Rights by promoting economic opportunity as envisioned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his State of the Union address in January 1944:
America’s Second Bill of Rights is a broad-based statement of what the American people need and deserve. If some of it sounds redundant, it is because we once took some of these rights for granted.
Workers’ rights advocates are being asked to add their names in support.
This is not a union bill of rights. And our campaign and rally on Aug. 11 is not just for union members. As the largest body of organized working people in America, the labor movement is leading the way, but we invite all who share our goals and values to sign on in support of America’s Second Bill of Rights.
The “Second Bill of Rights” will be delivered to delegates during both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. On August 10th, union officials — including Building and Construction Trades Department President, Sean McGarvey, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President, Ed Hill — and members from various unions will meet at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall to sign the document. According to CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney,
“The voices of working families will be heard in the birthplace of American democracy, at the convention and beyond. And we’re asking elected officials, leaders on both side of the aisle and people around the country to stand with us, We’re determined to create economic growth and prosperity for all — not just the elite few.”
Americans are tired of the polarizing tone of Washington politics, so much so that even “conservatives are finally taking seriously the problems of inequality” according to a Washington Post opinion piece this morning. Workers Stand for America is an excellent opportunity for workers to rally around their shared interest in positively affecting the political process with people power. The Presidential election is increasingly becoming a choice between two visions of the future that don’t take workers’ interests sufficiently into consideration. Organized labor and workers at large must be a bigger part of the conversation.