Despite the church's pro-union doctrines, embraced in Catholic Social Thought for more than 120 years, those leaders often act just like corporate executives when it comes to labor relations.
The 45,000 workers and their allies came to hear labor leaders, community activists, and elected officials voice their frustration with politicians' failure to address the needs of working people.
A five-man Central Executive Council was established, dues were set, and the official motto became "Schedule with Safety."
The company forced a strike with a draconian contract offer that would slash wages, increase health care costs and demolish pensions. Workers rejected the offer by a vote of 504-116.
AT&T "is manufacturing a crisis that doesn't exist" so it can squeeze us while making billions in profits every quarter. "They're trying to take away our benefits, slash our health care, trying to underfund our pensions."
Strengthening labor law is part of a comprehensive plan for shared prosperity the AFL-CIO Executive Council endorsed last week.
If New York's 90,000 meters are sold, private owners would reap profits for years while the city would be left with an annual $150 million revenue hole for decades.
Ada Edwards, a former Houston city councilor, spoke along with the pastor at St. John's Methodist Church. When you win, we all win, she told the hundreds of workers at the rally.
The strike was ultimately a victory, earning a further $11 million in pensions and benefits.
The vice president was introduced by Jill Biden who taught for 13 years in a public high school and continues teaching full time at Northern Virginia Community College, even as she serves as the "Second Lady."