Around the Country Union Members are Raising their Voice for Health Care Reform

While TV news reports continue to focus on the loud, angry and sometimes just plain bizarre antics of health care reform opponents, union members are mobilizing to counter the big lies, at town hall meetings and forums around the country.

Recently, some 100 union members brought their voices to a Clovis, N.M., town hall meeting with Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) as did another 100 at Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder’s Little Rock, Ark., meeting. More than two dozen union members met AFSCME’s Highway to Health Care tour bus when it pulled into Shreveport, La.

Hundreds of people in Rutland, Vt., carrying red placards and wearing T-shirts stating “Healthcare Is a Human Right, took part in a health care town hall, shifting the debate 180 degrees from a previous similar event. The members of the Vermont Workers’ Center/Jobs with Justice made sure lawmakers at the town hall heard their voices this time, a sharp contrast with the 200-person “Tea Party” event pushed by extremist radio shows weeks before.

In a column on Huffington Post, Stewart Acuff, special assistant to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, writes that the radical right is attempting to shut down health care reform and change by intimidation and force and the power of the Big Lies. He says union members and their allies are fighting for “a healthcare system that ensures quality healthcare for all and checks the insane greed of the insurance industry.”

When I say “fight,” I don’t mean the thuggishness being used by the right. I mean peaceful, nonviolent mobilization that counters the Big Lies of the right, gives cover to weak Democrats and demonstrates convincingly that our ideas and policies are in the interests of a stronger, healthier, freer and fairer America.

Click here to tell congress to pass health care reform and not tax our benefits.

Click here to read the AFL-CIO healthcare reform blog.

Posted August 20, 2009