Slighted By The DNC, Unions Are Holding Their Own “Shadow” Convention In Philadelphia

Slighted by the DNC, unions are holding their own “Shadow” Convention in Philadelphia. According to a report from the Associated Press, “Prominent labor leaders created the “Workers Stand for America” rally after what they say was their lack of input into planning for the 2012 Democratic Convention in Charlotte, N.C., which is set to begin Sept. 4. They say thousands of union workers will rally to call attention to issues affecting the middle class. The centerpiece of the event is a “Second Bill of Rights” laying out workers’ rights.” They say the unions are “upset by the Democratic Party’s decision to stage its presidential convention in a Southern state long viewed as hostile to organized labor, union leaders are holding a rally where they hope to highlight key issues important to middle-class workers.” “It wasn’t just that North Carolina was a right-to-work state with the lowest rate of unionization in the country,” IBEW President Ed Hil said. Nor was it the fact that delegates, lobbyists, and bigwig Democrats would be hobnobbing at nonunion hotels and listening to speeches at the nonunion Charlotte Convention Center.
For Hill, it went beyond that. “There was no discussion really with the leadership of the AFL-CIO or with the building trades,” he told National Journal. “Maybe it was just a wake-up call to the fact that no one was really asking us, no one was really talking to us, no one was really discussing our issues that have been laying out there for a long time and eating at people.” Hill requested a meeting with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, and other top DNC officials about their choice of Charlotte. “It didn’t seem to bother her any, frankly,” Hill said of Wasserman Schultz’s reaction to his grievances. “There was no offer of solution; there was no discussion of much of anything else—we said what we were planning to do, and we excused ourselves.” They have since made up and Wasserman Schultz plans on attending their convention in Philadelphia and signing their “Workers Bill Of Rights.” For more on the Democrats taking the unions for granted see The Big Fail: Taken For Granted

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