By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO convention, meeting this week in Philadelphia, today heard a call to action from the national head of the organization.
Richard Trumka, former head of the United Mine Workers and a graduate of Villanova Law School, now heads the national AFL-CIO.
His message to the state organization echoed some of the verbiage of the “Occupy” movement — the 1% wealthy versus the 99% everybody else.
“See, our goal is to end the era of corporate right-wing corruption,” he told the convention. “Our goal is to stop the assaults on working families, the exportation of our jobs, and the undermining of our communities.”
Trumka says organized labor is on the upswing, finding new fields with workers to unionize. He sees 2012 as a critical election year.
While he says it’s not as simple as Democrats=good and Republicans=bad, he did slam the GOP in Pennsylvania for the state’s new voter ID law (see related story) and elsewhere for union-weakening “Right to Work” legislation.
“This isn’t about anything but tilting the playing field against us, so that they can continue to wreck and control the 99% for the gain of the 1%,” he said.
Trumka says anti-union forces have amassed huge sums of money to try to swing the election their way, but he urged unions to be united in public and in purpose, to register voters and energize participation in November.
Regional Affairs Council - February 2012