Pittsburgh Post-Gazette op-ed: Joe Biden and Richard Trumka: Put power back in workers’ hands
EDITOR'S NOTE: On Labor Day, Biden, accompanied by Trumka, spoke from the Pennsylvania State AFL-CIO headquarters in Harrisburg. Meanwhile, Trump held what for him was a typical White House press conference, one filled with boasting, falsehoods, half-truths and personal attacks on Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris.
Amid struggles, the labor movement faces an additional burden: a union-busting president
By JOE BIDEN and RICHARD TRUMKA
Fifty-five years ago, in a speech to the convention of the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. laid out with characteristic moral clarity the essential role of unions in American life.
“The labor movement,” he explained, “was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress … [When] the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society. Civilization began to grow in the economic life of man, and a decent life with a sense of security and dignity became a reality rather than a distant dream.”
The words of Rev. King are as true today as they were back then — and more urgent now than ever. After generations of sweat and sacrifice, fighting hard to earn the wages and benefits that built and sustained the American middle class, unions are under siege. As workers struggle against a deadly pandemic, a painful recession and deep racial disparities, the labor movement also faces an additional burden: a union-busting president.