Labor leaders from Detroit are flexing their political muscles at the Democratic convention demonstrating why Detroit is seen as one of the last strongholds of the labor movement in America.
Labor’s support for President Obama’s reelection goes back to the 2008 campaign when then candidate Obama made it clear that he will stand with labor when he becomes president.
After his election, Obama’s decision to save the auto industry created an even more special relationship between him and the United Auto Workers headquartered in Detroit.
“In Some of America’s darkest economic days since the Great Depression, and in the face of tremendous political venom, President Obama met that trust test of moral character. He stood with American workers, not just auto workers but a million workers in towns all across America who if the auto industry went under wouldn’t be able to put food on the table,” UAW President Bob King declared in a strong speech before delegates in Charlotte. “President Obama took action, putting together a rescue team and demanding real change, real sacrifice from everyone- management, labor, shareholders, suppliers, debt holders and dealers.”
King did not hesitate to attack Gov. Mitt Romney who said at Bain Capital with his partners “Made money not by building companies up, but by taking them apart. And too often, the workers ended up in the street, even as Romney and his partners walked away with millions.”
Rory Gamble, UAW Region 1 A Director, said labor’s unflinching support of President Obama’s reelection “It is a strong sentiment to Barack Obama’s dedication to working men and women in this country and his commitment to keeping good paying jobs to secure families.”
Gamble said Detroit labor leaders are in North Carolina to “Honor and show respect to our president. We support him 100 percent. Republicans are attacking labor because they know we are strong. They want to gut organized labor because when we fight we bring our families on board.”
He said the UAW is united behind Obama.
Michael Joseph, Communication Director/ Assistant CAP Coordinator for UAW Region 1 A said traveling from Detroit to Charlotte, “We want to a face on labor. We are defining who we are.”
Joseph said no one should mistake labor for any kind of group.
“We are the face of America. We are the real job creators. When we make the middle class strong we make a stronger America,” Joseph said. ” We make people have good pay, good working conditions and we also have social responsibilities in our communities.”
Joseph also took a shot at the Republican National Convention last week Tampa.
“I think Republicans want to take power away from us. That is why this fight is about control,” Joseph said.” Being an American does not belong to one separate group. Being a Christian does not belong to one separate group but this country belongs to all groups.”
Bankole Thompson is the Senior Editor of the Michigan Chronicle. He is a Senior Author-in-Residence at Global Mark Makers Publishing House in Iowa where he is writing a groundbreaking six-part book series on the Obama presidency. His book “Obama and Black Loyalty” published in 2010 follows his recent book “Obama and Christian Loyalty” with a foreword by Bob Weiner former White House spokesman. His forthcoming books in 2012 are “Obama and Jewish Loyalty” and “Obama and Business Loyalty.” He is the first editor of a major African American newspaper to have a series of sit-down interviews with Barack Obama. Thompson is also a Senior Political News Analyst at WDET-101.9FM Detroit (NPR Affiliate) and a member of the weekly “Obama Watch” Sunday evening round table on WLIB-1190AM New York and simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut.