What Better Way to Be Heard Than Uniting As One?
Thursday, August 16, 2012
On Saturday, Aug. 11, tens of thousands of union workers, and some non-union workers, gathered together to take a stand at the Workers Stand for America rally in Philadelphia at the Eakins Oval in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The working individuals gathered from all over the United States to assert their entitlement to economic rights under the Workers Bill of Rights, or the Second Bill of Rights, which includes guarantees for full employment and a "living wage," quality education, health care and security in retirement as well as collective bargaining.
“Saturday was by any measurement a huge success," said AFL-CIO Pennsylvania State Director David Driscoll-Knight. "It was a show of force by working people that access to quality education and a fair wage are non-negotiable.”
Retired air traffic controllers Bob and Valerie Butterworth, who are part of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO state team through their involvement in NATCA’s “Boots on the Ground” program, were both working at the event. Together, they were in charge of dispatching more than 200 departing buses at the end of the rally. The buses transported roughly 35,000 people throughout the day.
"It was exciting and very informative," said Bob. "It wasn't about the 2012 election cycle, it was about workers’ rights."
The thousands of activists who crammed into the area heard from many speakers, including a recorded message from President Obama, and live addresses from Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, D-1, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
Said Bob and Valerie: "As retired NATCA members and 'Boots on the
Ground' participants, we are afforded the opportunity to continue our
involvement in the Labor movement, which is something we thoroughly
Pictured left to right PHL controllers Adam Cohen, Brian Bernhardt and Pat Ream