Union leaders, members and attendees of the 2011 Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., witnessed an exceptionally powerful, heartfelt opening invocation this week.
Reverend Cletus Kiley’s (above) 4.5-minute passionate appeal for workers rights and social justice, not only set the tone of the BCTD event, but is inspiring union members everywhere as the video makes its way across the Web.
“Something has gone awry in this land. And guided by you, we must speak,” said Rev. Kiley. “There was a time in this country when a man worked hard and could count on a fair day’s pay – but not today. There was a time in this country when after a lifetime of hard work, a man could look forward to retirement – but not today. There was a time in this country when we respected our women and men who worked in our schools, protected our cities, made our levels of government work – but not today. Somebody has changed the rules. And we will not be silent about it.
“Today they balance their budgets on the backs of the working class. Tax breaks go to the ultra-wealthy. General Electric doesn’t even pay a dime. They say our unions have too much of a voice in political life – but pretend that we don’t see the hand of the Koch brothers and other billionaires underwriting their efforts. Oh yes, something has gone terribly awry in the American house. But today, we will not be silent about it.”
For the complete video of Rev. Kiley’s invocation, click here.