PHILADELPHIA — Unity was the watchword at last week’s Pennsylvania state AFL-CIO biennial convention, as the 721 delegates cheered calls for a united effort to put a Democrat in the White House and to defeat John McCain in November.
Imagine a world where everyone who chooses to can go to college. Picture a world where workers on school campuses and in communities have a voice about their working conditions and where the fruits and vegetables that people eat are picked by workers who earn a living wage. Imagine a time when students and others can proudly wear university apparel, knowing the workers who made the clothing were paid fairly with basic rights including breaks, safe working conditions and an eight-hour workday. And finally, think about what it will be like when jobs not only support workers but also protect the environment.
Shawn Boone did not die instantly five years ago at the Hayes Lemmerz plant in Huntington, Ind. He was lying on the floor, his body smoldering, as the aluminum dust burned through his flesh and then his muscles. With every breath he took, more of his internal organs burned. Still conscious and blinded from the initial blast, he begged for help as they loaded him into the ambulance.