AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka brought a message of workers’ rights to millions of Americans Wednesday night during a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
Urging Americans to “thank a worker” and support President Barack Obama in his reelection bid, Trumka said the president understood the important role working people play and would champion their rights in a second term.
“We know that every worker – here in North Carolina, just like in every state in the country, and every country in the world – deserves the right to organize and bargain collectively,” Trumka said. “And the Democratic platform – unlike its (Republican) counterpart in Tampa – makes crystal clear that Barack Obama and the Democratic Party will fight to protect and strengthen this fundamental right.”
Referring to the Republican slogan, “We Built America,” Trumka reminded the audience that working people were the ones who did the actual building.
“We are the ones who build it every single day – because it is our work that connects us all,” he said. “Look around this convention, at all the hard-working men and women who make this place run – the ones keeping us safe, serving our food, driving our buses and cleaning up after the party’s over. When you have a chance, thank a worker.”
Trumka then called on voters to rally behind candidates who would champion the middle class and ensure hard work is rewarded.
“President Obama and Vice President (Joe) Biden have put the country on a path toward jobs and shared prosperity,” he said. “Prosperity requires democracy – starting with the essential right of everyone in this great country to a voice, both in the ballot box and the work place. The right to solve problems together and to climb the ladder to the middle class the old-fashioned way, through hard work fairly rewarded.”