PHILADELPHIA and PITTSBURGH, April 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thousands of union carpenters and their families rallied across Pennsylvania on Saturday, April 16th to "raise the roof" on their support for Hillary Rodham Clinton for President and the policies she supports that help sustain the middle class with good jobs.
United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners General President Douglas J. McCarron, leading rallies in Philadelphia and later in Pittsburgh, said the UBC supports the former Secretary of State for President because of her proven track record on issues that are critical to the union's mission of providing good working opportunities for its highly skilled members and because of how much is at stake for working Americans with this election. "We already have one vacancy on the Supreme Court and the next President is likely to appoint a number more. We need progressive justices who understand the needs of America's workers."
The statewide event enabled the Keystone + Mountain + Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters and the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters to showcase the strength of their members' grassroots involvement in the political process – at the local, state and national level.
Commenting at the Philadelphia rally, Mayor Jim Kenney said, "I join the Carpenters' Union in supporting Secretary Clinton to be our next President. She has the heart, strength and depth of knowledge and experience to unite our nation and lead us during these troubled times. She will build on the accomplishments of President Obama and continue the economic growth and expansion he initiated. I trust Hillary Clinton with our nation's future."
These are critical times — not only for Carpenters, but for this country, said John Ballantyne, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Northeast carpenters (NRCC), which represents union carpenters in the greater Philadelphia region.
"Carpenters have always led the way in the fight for better working conditions, fair wages and benefits for our members," Ballantyne told attendees in Philadelphia. "This rally, which also shows our commitment to protecting our members' ability to find good work, is just one of many ways we are making sure our voices are heard this election."
Speaking at the Pittsburgh rally, Bill Waterkotte, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Keystone carpenters (KMLRCC), said the Carpenters have a proud history of membership involvement in the political process. "As highly skilled building tradesmen and women, we work hard every day — in any kind of weather and in any conditions — to take care of our families and help build our communities," said Waterkotte. The Carpenters Union supports Hillary because she understands working people, he added. "We believe she has her finger on the pulse of what makes America work – and that we need better policies to support and strengthen the middle class of America."
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto commented on the Pittsburgh rally: "Secretary Clinton is the candidate who will bring our country together and who will stand up for working people in Pittsburgh. I'm proud to stand with the Carpenters today in support of Hillary Clinton for President."
The rallies across Pennsylvania also featured U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle and Bob Brady of Pennsylvania; Stephen Zappala, District Attorney of Allegheny County and candidate for Attorney General of Pennsylvania; Katie McGinty, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate; and State Representative and Democratic candidate for Congress Steve Santarsiero, all of whom the Carpenters have endorsed.