June 2011

From the Officers
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The Courage to Rebuild Our Economy

After President Barack Obama's announcement of the killing of Osama bin Laden, our nation, for a brief moment, revisited the national unity that was forged out of the tragedy and pain of 9/11.

Democratic and Republican leaders praised the president, the U.S. national security team and the courageous Navy SEALs who brought down al-Qaeda's diabolical leader.

President Obama's bold order and his refusal to "spike the football" after bin Laden's killing made Americans proud. And for those of us who are sick and tired of the lies of the "birthers" and unprincipled attacks on the patriotism of the president or his political party, the historic events brought a measure of vindication.

National unity ebbs and flows. In the wake of times when our cohesion swells strongest, we question what it would take to sustain that sense of our common destiny—to right other wrongs and lift our hopes for peace and prosperity. That was the aspiration that moved millions of men and women—our proud ancestors—to summon the courage and make the sacrifice to build our nation's labor movement after the Great Depression.

Every day we see new assaults on our movement and all working families, funded by powerful corporate interests who see national unity as a relic of the past. With so many North Americans still out of work, they continue to shift operations offshore.

As the U.S. moves toward another presidential election, Congress is considering a plan that includes a series of bills that would offer more federal support for rebuilding America’s manufacturing base in return for guarantees that investments will be made here at home.

Our elected leaders, including President Obama, are under great pressure from selfish corporate interests to take a hands-off approach and let them continue to outsource at will.

President Obama has shown great leadership and courage as a commander-in-chief. We will savor another moment of national unity if our president calls upon the same courage and determination to stand for all working families against those powerful interests who would betray us from within.


Also: Chilia: We Need Clean Air and Jobs

Edwin D. Hill
International President