Augusta, Maine. On Wednesday, May 20, 2009, the Maine State AFL-CIO reaffirmed its commitment to Universal Single Payer Health Care and adopted a resolution to be presented at the National AFL-CIO convention supporting HR 676, The United States National Health Care Act. The AFL-CIO Convention will be held in Pittsburgh, September 14-17, 2009.
The Maine resolution calls upon the national AFL-CIO to push for real health care reform and support HR 676. Don Berry, Vice President of the Maine State AFL-CIO, said: “This is an issue that we can’t afford to ignore because it’s not just a union issue; this is an issue that affects everyone.”
Berry went on to say: “We need to relentlessly push for a healthcare system that will truly work for our members, the general public and all working people and that is a national single payer system such as that embodied in HR 676. With this resolution we are calling on the institutions of the labor movement to act like a genuine rights based social movement around the issue of health care – that means articulating and fighting for the rights that we truly want, organizing around a long term strategy, and tirelessly educating and mobilizing our rank and file membership to win those basic rights.”
“If our only assessment was what kind of compromised legislation might be able to get through Congress in the immediate term, would the victories of the Civil Rights movement have ever occurred? How much longer would women have waited for the right to vote, how much longer would it have taken to eliminate slavery, how much longer would workers have had to wait for the 8 hour day or the weekend? All of those things were won because social movements were built that demanded the basic rights they deserved and nothing less. We ask no less from today’s labor movement when it comes to the issue of healthcare,” Vice President Berry concluded.