VU.S. Senator Bernie Sanders spoke at the AFL-CIO 2016 Convention in Philadelphia in advance of the Pennsylvania primary. Sanders delivered a message of Main Street vs. Wall Street to America’s largest working class union. Video Courtesy News Universe Channel/Youtube
“The trade union movement historically more than any other force in this country has been responsible for creating the American Middle Class and I thank you for that.”
3 decades of union support
Again, bringing the membership to their feet, the senator from Vermont, with a 98 percent union-friendly voting record, delivered his message of Main Street vs. Wall Street, working class vs. privilege.
Sanders acknowledged unions’ role in establishing the foundation and support structure for America’s working class. Calling for continued support of his grassroots political revolution, Sanders assured the members that any reformation would include trade and union workers.
“In the middle of the revolution, there has got to be the trade union,” he said. “The trade union movement historically more than any other force in this country has been responsible for creating the American Middle Class and I thank you for that.”
The gallery erupted with support at the announcement that Sanders had won 7 of the last 8 caucuses and presidential primaries.
Workers rights count, Strengthen EFCA
“I thank you for standing out on picket lines-occasionally getting arrested, for saying that every worker in this country has the right to be treated with respect and dignity,” Sanders said.
A third Standing “O” came when Sanders encouraged union growth. He recommended a modern dayEFCA (Employee Free Choice Act) making it easier for American workers to join unions, with a 50 percent plus one establishment threshold.
“Fifty percent plus one, in a bargaining union signs the card, we’ve got a union,”
Sanders also suggested “severe penalties” for employers who refused to negotiate an initial union contract.
Calling the union and their families, his family, warranted that his campaign for the White House, won or lost would be done based on the fortitude of America’s working class.
“It is not a radical idea or a Socialistic idea to say that if somebody works 40 or 50 hours per week that person should not be living in poverty,” Sanders said.
This article originally appeared on Examiner.com on April 7, 2016.