Democrats show up for working people.
Sunday afternoon United Auto Workers [UAW] Local 2250 in Wentzville, Missouri held a rally in support of their stand up strike against the General Motors plant. While pickets manned the plant gates approximately 500 workers and their supporters attended the rally.
….Thank you so much. Let’s do it again because it’s just so fun. Two-Two, Five-Oh. Two-Two, Five-Oh. Two-Two, Five-Oh. Thank you all so, so much. My name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez….Thank you all so, so much for welcoming me. Are you all fired up?….Are you ready to go?….Thank you again for having me. I’d like to give a special thanks to your Local 2250 President Katie Deathridge…the first woman president here in forty years….And your UAW Region 4 Director Brandon Cambell….Thank you so, so much. And your congresswoman Cori Bush….Thank you so, so much for the invitation here. It is an honor to be here. It is a true, true honor to be here. And I want to say that personally and also as an elected official. Because being invited to a picket line is not an honor to be taken lightly. It is, that extended hand comes from a sense of mutual relationship, and trust, and most importantly, of action….Action…and, and for all of those reasons I just want you to know how deeply and personally I, I take this honor. So, thank you.
We’re all here today because our economy is in a special kind of crisis. Our whole economy is in a special kind of crisis. Now, if you ask a Washington insider or a Wall Street analyst they will tell you, I don’t know what you’re talking about. They’ll say, look at GDP, look at the growth rate. They’ll say, look at job numbers. How are we in a crisis? And that’s an easy thing to say for someone who primarily experiences this economy on paper. [“yeah.”] Who aren’t choosing between child care and work, or medicine and rent. It’s easy to say that when you’re not making those decisions….Because those of us who do have to make those decisions feel the economy in the calluses of our hands and the aches in our joints at the end of a long day….When we don’t have any time left, proper time to spend with our children or loved ones. That’s where we feel the economy. And that is where this crisis is going on today. What the figures in Washington and Wall Street don’t reflect that in a time of record profit CEOs of the big three are giving themselves forty percent raises [“Boo!”]…and [inaudible] billions of dollars to manipulate stock, stock prices of off your back breaking labor [Yeah.”].
The reality is we are living in an absolute economic crisis of inequality [“That’s right.”]. One, where prices are skyrocketing, not because workers are making an insane amount more, but because, but because CEO excess is at insane levels that we’ve never seen before. [“Right.”] And they are squeezing the working class of this country to the brink to pay for it. Their yachts are paved with our low wages and our cut benefits. And we have to say, no more…. We need to say, enough is enough. UAW, you are all showing all the working people of this nation that the only way to change the tie is an economy that is built for the one percent is only if working people of all backgrounds and differences come together and act. And act. And that is what the stand up strike is all about…The way we win this is that is to know that solidarity is the strategy. Solidarity is the strategy. And I wanted to reflect on that. Because the one percent in this country does everything within an inch of their life to break the grip and make us turn on each other. [“Right.”] That is what they do. The finance a media to divide us by race and geography and class and culture. They make us argue over whether people of different identities deserve rights. We need to unite and stand up for our values….and stop this nonsense and demand the economic dignity that we all deserve. Solidarity is the strategy. Us sticking together breaks up their approach. They don’t know what to do when people are unified.
So, when they say that prices have to go up to accommodate treating workers right, we say that it’s their greed and excess that have to end [Yeah.”]….When they claim that they have to lay people off we need to remind people that the average worker in this country has to work for four hundred years to make what these folks pay themselves in one. And when the big three don’t want to take the value of their workers seriously then they have given, then they have given workers no other option but to force them to them, to value their labor with a stand up strike [“Right.”]. Management leaves no other choice.
We have seen what happens when people don’t stand up for themselves. When we don’t get the solidarity and support in Washington and among media and from coast to coast. We’ve seen what happens. In 2008 after these same executives gambled people’s homes and millions of Americans went into foreclosure, they had the audacity to turn around and blame the same workers getting kicked out of their homes. That is an outrage. And we have to say, the math ain’t mathing there. It doesn’t make any sense….[inaudible]….And in 2008 these members saw their pay and their benefits cut, all for a myth. A myth and an IOU, for them to say, one day, when we are better, we’ll make it right. Well [knock, knock], time to cash the check…..Two-Two, Five-Oh. Two-Two, Five-Oh.
And I’ll end with this, we started this, this whole gathering today by pledging allegiance to that flag right there. By pledging allegiance to that flag right there. And that flag means something. It means something. This is the flag of the United States of America, who’s red stands for valor. Valor of the Americans, all the Americans, including the labor activists who died and spilled blood so that we could have a weekend and health care….The white, the white stands for purity. Of our intent and commitment to one another as Americans. The purity of our unity. The purity of love for our fellow man. That blue stands for justice….it stands for dedication and justice. But this flag doesn’t mean those things just because someone said that. This flag means those things because we dedicate and live up to it with our actions. That’s what makes that flag mean something. We do not pledge allegiance to greed. We do not pledge allegiance to Wall Street. We do not pledge allegiance to corporate profits. We pledge allegiance to the United States of America, to our fellow man, to the betterment of all people. and that’s why we are here today.
Democrats show up: