Two of UE’s top officers were invited to join Senator Bernie Sanders for virtual “town hall” meetings in early September. Both events addressed the issues facing working people, the need for urgent Congressional action on the many crises facing the nation, and the upcoming presidential election.
Secretary-Treasurer Andrew Dinkelaker joined other labor leaders from around the country on Sanders’ Labor Day weekend town hall, “Standing Up To Trump and Building Worker Power.” While all of the speakers spoke about the need to remove Trump from office, Dinkelaker emphasized that to do political action in a rank-and-file union, “You have to engage the membership, you have to have one-on-one conversations, and you have to listen.”
Speaking to a town hall for Pennsylvania residents the following week, “Fighting for Justice in Pennsylvania,” General President Carl Rosen said that “We understand that a Biden administration is not going to be the answer to all our problems, but voting for Biden/Harris is an absolutely necessary strategy to remove Donald Trump from office.”
“Unions and the progressive movement are going to need to push a Biden administration hard to get not only what is in the Democratic party platform but much more that is needed to address the problems the working class now faces,” Rosen continued, “and the best way to do that is by having workers in motion, standing up and fighting for what they need at the workplace as well as in society. And that fight, that forward motion, starts now, not after the election.”
During the Q&A session, Rosen also addressed why UE fights for Medicare for All. Not only is a typical UE family paying between 20 and 30 percent of their income towards healthcare — far more than they would pay under a Medicare-for-All payroll tax — “Every single contract negotiation we have, it’s the number one conflict. And it’s the number one thing bosses use over their head to keep them from going on strike for what they need to improve their lives.”
"Our typical members are paying somewhere between, as a family, 20 and 30%, of their income frequently towards health care overall, out of pocket." @ueunion President Carl Rosen on why they support #MedicareForAll pic.twitter.com/H2ncCZh2YB— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) September 11, 2020