http://prospect.org/article/why-workers-need-working-families-party An article by Chris Shelton, President of the CWA…, here are some excerpts from his Inaugural Address as Pres.:
Today, unions don’t set the standard for the wages and working conditions of the typical working class kid searching for his or her piece of the American dream. McDonald’s and Wal-Mart do. And that standard is a mere shadow of the standard set by unions like the CWA and the UAW two generations ago. It is a standard that leaves most working class Americans a day late and many dollars short, unable to guarantee that their children will have the opportunities most of us have been able to provide for our children.
During the 47 years I have been a CWA member, the labor movement which made my middle class life possible has dwindled to the edge of extinction. If things keep going in the same direction for the next 10 or 20 years, who can say where the bottom will be?
So today I ask you, brothers and sisters, do we want to be the generation of labor leaders who presided over the death of the American labor movement? Or are we ready to “Stand up and Fight Back?” Are we ready to rededicate ourselves every day to kicking ass for the Working Class? Are we ready to fight?
Second, I am 100% determined to carry forward President Cohen’s commitment to building a broad, radical, progressive social movement in this country. We need a movement that will challenge corporate power across the board.
We must unite civil rights groups and women’s groups and community organizations and environmentalists and labor unions not simply because we want strength in numbers. We must unite all these forces because we have the EXACT SAME ENEMIES.
They are powerful enemies who we will never beat on our own, but only by building a powerful progressive, anti-corporate movement.
The labor movement has only grown in times of great progressive upheaval, whether it was in the 1930s or in the 1960s. We need movements of that magnitude, of that scope, to shake this country up and open up the space to grow again. We need progressive movements that name corporate power and inequality as the enemies and labor unions as the solution. Building that movement is not a luxury. It is a necessity, and together, WE MUST DO IT!
I intend to carry on the fight to get big money out of our political system. Brothers and Sisters, the Koch Brothers and their allies are literally killing our democracy—drowning it in an ocean of mega contributions the likes of which we have never seen. The Citizens United decision was a cruel joke—the idea that corporations are people and that money equals free speech—IS JUST PURE BULLSHIT. The voices of working people will never be heard until we stop the flood of corporate cash from buying our legislators.
I want to take the fight against big money to every battlefield we can find in this country because literally, American democracy is at stake.
And I will tell you where else I want to take our fight—to Wall Street! I am sick and tired of Wall Street sucking the life from Main Street. I am sick and tired of Wall Street writing the rules of the game, and then forcing us to bail them out when they lose a game they rigged for themselves! I am sick and tired of corporate CEO’s making 300 or 400 or 1000 times what the average worker makes! I am sick and tired of Wall Street’s deregulated, anti-union, trickle-down, one percent economics being propped up by their massive out of control campaign contributions to our elected so-called leaders!
I say it’s time for CWA to join the fight to enact a Robin Hood tax on stock trades—a half percent tax that could generate $350 billion a year from Wall Street speculation that we could use to rebuild our infrastructure and create millions of jobs, both in the public and private sector, or do away with student debt, or save millions of homes from foreclosure. I say it’s time to build a movement that takes on Wall Street power in our economy and in our society, that puts an end to the overwhelming power of big banks and investment firms. I say it’s time we had an economy that works for the 99% not the Wall Street 1%!
And let me say one final thing: It’s time to quit relying on the Democrats to move this agenda forward. Yes, we are going to fight in every state and every Congressional District in this country to defeat the crazy, wing-nut Republican Tea Partiers who want to roll back history to a time when African Americans and Women and Gays and Lesbians knew their place, kept their mouths shut, and were forced to hide in the closet. And we have to elect a Democratic President in 2016 if only because the next President is likely to make up to four appointments to the Supreme Court.
/workingfamilies.org/contact-us/ an .org to let know what I am planning on doing and why- toward what larger goal…