Workers from around the country will demand just that at the “Workers Stand for America” rally in Philadelphia next month. Both union and non-union workers will be part of the mobilization, which is being organized by the AFL-CIO, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and several other unions.
Tens of thousands are expected to descend on Philly for the action.
The Workers Stand for America rally is part of a new national campaign of the same name, demanding a shift in national priorities to focus on jobs and to fight growing income inequality. The campaign is building support among worker advocates around a Second Bill of Rights that includes the right to full employment, full participation in the electoral process, a living wage, quality education, health care and a voice on the job.
IBEW president Edwin Hill says the bill will be presented to politicians at all levels, putting them on record as supporters or opponents of working Americans.
At a press event earlier this month, Hill said,
Our message is to both political parties to return to basic values that created America’s best days. Our economy and our politics have become skewed almost beyond recognition. The recovery has been geared almost entirely to corporations and the wealthiest Americans. The rest of us are being left behind. And opportunity – the greatest promise of America – is being lost.The rally is timed to precede the Republican and Democratic Conventions, making the statement that the rights of working Americans is a nonpartisan value that should be shared across the board.
But the rally also comes at a critical time for America’s working class – a time of open warfare being waged by the one percent against the rest of us. The Workers Stand for America website sums up the stakes like this:
A dying middle class. A barren job market. A living wage and secure retirement increasingly a thing of the past. An electoral process now open to the highest bidder. College debt levels out of control. It’s tough times for the American worker – tougher than it has been in many generations. If there was a time to change the national conversation in this country, focusing the political agenda back on the needs of working Americans, it is now.This just scratches the surface of how devastating the attacks have been on workers around the country. A recent article by journalist Erik Loomis at AlterNet explains where we are headed and the urgency for workers to fight back:
Over the past 40 years, corporations and politicians have rolled back many of the gains made by working and middle-class people over the previous century. We have the highest level of income inequality in 90 years, both private and public sector unions are under a concerted attack, and federal and state governments intend to cut deficits by slashing services to the poor.It’s time turn the tide on the war on workers and fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just the rich.
We are recreating the Gilded Age, the period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries when corporations ruled this nation, buying politicians, using violence against unions, and engaging in open corruption.
-- Union Thug