Union Leaders Pledge All-Out Fight Against Cynical Efforts to Pit Worker Against Worker
WASHINGTON, April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Amidst unprecedented and politically-motivated attacks on labor unions across the United States, over 2,000 state and local building and construction trade union leaders convened in Washington, DC today for a rousing 2011 National Legislative Conference. This year's conference is centrally focused upon developing strategies to beat back attempts of a radical conservative movement to eliminate unions, and re-direct focus on putting Americans back to work.
Today's conference session was highlighted by the Keynote Address of Building Trades President Mark H. Ayers, who highlighted the conference's theme of "Building a Better America...One Project at a Time." While stressing the importance of telling the new, compelling 21st century story of America's Building Trades Unions to industry stakeholders, as well as rational and reasonable elected leaders – regardless of political affiliation – Ayers also made clear that the labor movement will aggressively defend the wage, benefit and workers rights standards that created the American middle class.
"Brothers and sisters, the tools of conquest and oppression do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions," said Ayers. "They are sometimes forged through thoughts, attitudes, and prejudices that can only be found in the minds of men and women. And a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat, like that which is happening across this great nation today, exerts a lasting damage all its own. But if we stay the course and commit to our belief in Building a Better America...One Project at a Time, and if we make a concerted effort to tell our story to all who will listen...then there is no way that they will EVER KEEP US DOWN!"
Today's session was also highlighted by appearances from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; John Taft – CEO of Royal Bank of Canada's U.S. Wealth Management Division; U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV); U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC); and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley.
The Building and Construction Trades Department is an alliance of 13 national and international unions that collectively represent 2.5 million skilled craft men and women in the United States and Canada.
SOURCE Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO