By Hadas Kuznits and Oren Liebermann
Philadelphia (CBS) — Over 35,000 union workers were estimated to have attended this afternoon’s Stand for America rally at Eakins Oval.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the Democratic National Committee, says the Workers Stand for America rally is sure to send a message to lawmakers about what’s important to America’s working class.
“The second bill of rights is so incredibly important so that we make sure that we can reinforce our focus on fighting for the middle class and working families.”
Liz McElroy, secretary treasurer of the Philadelphia AFL CIO says there’s nothing wrong with wanting a better life.
“We want to advance an agenda where it’s okay to have a middle class again and workers who speak up for their rights are not vilified and people who have a decent pension and maybe a little healthcare when they retire aren’t the enemy.”
The crowd listened to speakers, many of whom were middle class workers who fell on hard times, in a down economy. Among fellow union workers, they found hope.
“We built this country, and right now there is such a difference between the rich and the middle class. We have to start protecting the working men here,” said Tom Gallo of Swedesboro.
Over 2,000 Verizon workers, who’ve been working without a contract for over a year, demanded the corporate giant pay attention to their workers.
“We’ve had enough, we need a contract, we need it now; they need a contract, they need it now,” said Chris Shelton, the vice president of Communications Workers of America District 1.