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Ed Schultz: ‘We Didn’t Make Our Countries Great by Vilifying Workers’

September 21, 2011

Talk show host Ed Schultz fired up delegates at the Vancouver Convention Center Sept. 20 with a passionate call to save the middle class and keep the fight for working families alive.

After his welcome by International President Edwin D. Hill, who praised Schultz as a “voice on the air that is 100 percent pro-worker, pro-middle class and pro-union,” the TV and radio host immediately got delegates to their feet by ripping mainstream media coverage of the ongoing economic crisis:

We keep hearing about the global economy. What about global workers

Schultz’s MSNBC program is one of the most popular programs on prime time TV, offering a rare progressive alternative in a medium dominated by ultra-right wing ideologues and big-money union busters.

Referring to conservative talk show hosts Bill O’Reilly’s and Sean Hannity’s attacks on unions, Schultz asked:

Why do right-wing hosts have a problem with workers trying to make a living?

A Virginia native, Schultz made his broadcasting career in North Dakota – in the midst of the American heartland.
Praising the positive role unions play in society, Schultz told delegates that:

The only institution that stands between the middle class getting run over is organized labor.

Defending President Obama’s new jobs plan – paid in part by raising taxes on the very wealthiest Americans – Schultz said:

Under Obama’s plan, 98 percent of taxpayers will see no change in their tax rate.

While directing his fire at the Republicans, Schultz was not about to let Democrats off the hook.
Referring to bad trade deals like NAFTA that have devastated domestic manufacturing; he said that too often some free-trade Democrats:

Run for the hills when the big money boys start talking.

Schultz said that “we didn't build a great nation by vilifying workers,” and that it was high time in both the United States and Canada for a:

Renaissance of thinking to re-establish the value of the worker on the line, in the field, in the classroom, and in the hospital.

Echoing President Hill’s stress on community outreach in his keynote address, Schultz said it is up to every IBEW member to:

Let your neighbor know what is happening to you and the middle class.

Said delegate Donald Sinna, St. Paul, Minn., Local 110 vice president:

It was real inspirational. It got delegates’ attention, and my blood pumping. 

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