Speakers at TNBC Conference Challenge Delegates to Turn Out the Vote
Day three of the 37th Annual TNBC Conference in Charlotte, N.C. continued the theme of the importance of voting, as speakers challenged those in attendance to turn out the vote for worker-friendly candidates in national, state and local elections. View more photos.
“Our livelihood, your family’s livelihood, depends on what happens in November,” said George Miranda, International Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 210 and President of Joint Council 16, both in New York.
Miranda was followed by James Andrews, president of the North Carolina AFL-CIO, who warned delegates that the corporate interests will stop at nothing to attack workers, labor rights and the rights of people to vote.
“I come by today to sound the alarm,” Andrews said. “We are under attack like never before.”
W.C. Smith, President of Local 891 and Secretary-Treasurer of Joint Council 87, both in Jackson, Miss., said that he disagrees with pundits who say certain states, like his native Mississippi “are not in play” in November. Plenty of important state and local races in Mississippi and other states are critical to the interests of working families and must be fought for, he said.
“Don’t just vote, you need to push everyone you can to the polls to vote,” Smith said.
Smith praised the TNBC’s efforts to educate members across the country and urged the organization to create new chapters and recruit new members so that more Teamsters get involved.
“TNBC means to me a group of men and women who want to be educated and a group of men and women who want to educate others,” he said.
Also today, the delegates unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the re-election of President Obama. The resolution, which had been adopted by the TNBC Executive Board earlier, was read by TNBC Vice Chairman Harvey Jackson, who drew cheers by repeatedly calling on delegates to fight hard to protect the freedoms that previous generations of blacks worked so hard to achieve.
“We have to fight with everything we have,” he said of keeping the freedoms alive.
This afternoon, delegates are meeting in regional workshops to discuss issues affecting their chapters.