Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO:
…but to our friends, the leaders in every level of government who aren’t afraid to stand up for workers, well we want them to know that so long as they stand with working people the American labor movement will always, and I mean always stand with them. [applause]
And then there’s that other group. Those fair weather friends who can’t seem to decide, quite frankly, which side they’re on. I’m talkin’ about politicians who love to have our help come election time. They love to see us makin’ those door knocks, those telephone calls and passin’ stuff out on their behalf, and tellin’ all our members how they ought to jump up and down and vote for them. But then they seem to forget about us after the votes are counted. Now you know who I mean. They’ve been in the news a lot lately. They’re the ones who say that they’re all for health care reform so long as it doesn’t offend the insurance companies and the drug companies. They get those big contributions from both and then they pretend this is somehow about principle, that they just happen to be defendin’ those big companies.
They’re the same people who say that the way to pay for health care isn’t to tax the rich, it’s to tax our health care benefits. They’re the ones who lack the guts to tell the truth. That the only way that we’re ever gonna get a handle on the health care crisis is by creating a public system that puts people before profits, not the other way around. [applause]
Well…, we need to send them a special message. That is, you may have forgotten what labor, the labor movement did for you when you got elected, but, by God, we’re not gonna forget. And if you stab us in the back on the Employee Free Choice Act and health care and a bunch of other things don’t you dare, don’t you dare ask for our support next year, whenever you’re running. [applause] We need people who stand up for workers. [applause]….
Are you listening, Claire? You got to dance with them what brung you.