My name is Joe Hunt. I am the General President of the International Association on of Iron Workers and today I would like to announce the formation of Alliance for Economic Justice, a group of labor unions designed to promote the crucial issues of fair trade, job creation and affordable health care.
The group is determined to sharpen the focus of union members on these issues that so dramatically impact their livelihoods by developing a series of educational, informative and political initiatives.
The international unions standing here today expressed a desire to be able to more closely coordinate internal communications and operations for the purpose of educating our collective membership on those bread-and-butter, traditional labor issues. Those issues include protecting the nation's industrial base, creating jobs through infrastructure development, and improving health care for all Americans.
While this Alliance's emphasis will be geared towards educating workers on those matters affecting their standard of living, it must also have practical applications.
We want our members to vigorously participate in the political process and we will encourage them to register, vote and support any candidate that is looking after "their" economic livelihoods, rather than those lawmakers who support policies that ship American jobs abroad and whose remedy for health care reform will not truly address the special needs of working families.
It's important to note that the creation of this Alliance permits each of our unions to contact, communicate and coordinate -- or what we refer to as "cross-pollination" -- with one another on a wide range of issues. It will permit us to finely tune our efforts and our messages on those issues apart from some of the broader interests of labor.
We believe that this Alliance will expand in due time and that an increasingly informed membership will carry forth the positive message of fair trade, job security and health care for all.
I would now like to offer some of my colleagues the opportunity to make comments of their own.
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