UE Leaders Push Congress to Take Action on Health Care and Pension Crises

April 5, 2007

In late March a delegation of UE leaders visited Washington D.C. as part of our union-wide Mobilization for Health Care and Retirement Security. Led by the three National Officers and Regional Presidents, the leadership group met with 16 Congressional offices on March 27. Meetings were held with eight members of Congress in-person, and with senior staff members of 8 additional Congressional offices and committees. Petitions signed by several thousand UE members demanding action on health care and pensions were delivered to representatives of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Labor Committee Chair Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and House Labor Committee Chair George Miller (D-CA). A meeting was held with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), one of the primary co-sponsors of the United States National Health Insurance Act/Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, (H.R. 676.) Several other key members of Congress were personally visited during the busy day on Capitol Hill as UE leaders delivered the urgent message that sweeping and immediate action was needed on both the health care and pension crises.

A photo of several members of the UE delegation visiting with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) may be viewed at www.sanders.senate.gov/news/record.cfm?id=271725

On the second day of the visit to Washington, D.C., UE leaders met with senior researchers and experts on both health care and pensions at the pro-labor Center for Economic and Policy Research www.cepr.net and the Economic Policy Institute www.epinet.org More information on H.R.676 may be found at www.healthcare-now.org/resources/hr676.htm

A full report will appear in the April UE News, which will arrive in the mail at members homes later this month. The visit to Washington, D.C. by the UE leadership was part of the ongoing UE Mobilization for Health Care and Retirement Security campaign now underway around our union. “I want to thank all the UE local leaders and members who worked hard to gather petition signatures and give our visit the rank-and-file backing it needed. Our delegation made sure that lawmakers heard our message loud and clear, that we need action on these two critical issues ASAP.” said Bruce Klipple, UE General Secretary-Treasurer.