Thursday, October 29, 2009

Labor Across Prime Time TV

by Tula Connell

Prime time last night was well worth watching. The NewsHour on PBS profiled AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann hosted California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro.

NewsHour showcased Trumka’s start as a coal miner in Pennsylvania and his graduation from Villanova Law School, his rise to president of the Mine Workers and his key role in the tough battle against Pittston Coal Co.

The segment included clips from those early days, through to his emotional acceptance speech at our convention in September, when he was elected AFL-CIO president.

As NewsHour pointed out, Trumka made his name “as a bulldog against corporate overreach” while he was AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer.

The segment went on to show a clip of Trumka saying:

"I’ll stop demonizing big business just as soon as they put their country before their profits and they put their workers before their greed."

Watch this great segment here.

Later, on the Olbermann show, DeMoro discussed health care fraud—the fraud of health insurers who won’t pay claims, who overcharge patients and who fight against real health care reform legislation.

Watch it here.

Tula Connell got her first union card while working her way through college as a banquet bartender for the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee (they were represented by a hotel and restaurant local union—the names of the national unions were different then than they are now).

With a background in journalism—covering bull roping in Texas and school boards in Virginia—Tulla started working in the labor movement in 1991. Beginning as a writer for SEIU (and OPEIU member), Tulla now blogs under the title of AFL-CIO managing editor.

View all posts by Tula Connell.

Contact Tula Connell at:
Tula Connell, AFL-CIO Managing Editor
815 16th St., N.W.Washington, DC 20006
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