The United Steelworkers International Women's Conference is underway at the Convention Center through Wednesday. U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will address the group this afternoon. President Leo Gerard delivered the keynote address this morning.
Gerard says there's no doubt that electing Democrats is in the interest of ordinary working people. He says there was a bill in the Senate to give a tax break to companies that bring jobs back and to remove the tax incentive for moving jobs offshore--legislation he says would be good for the country and create jobs for Americans, yet not a single Republican voted for it. Gerard says Republicans want Obama to fail so they can win the presidency in 2012.
Saying labor has no better friend than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gerard cited victorious votes in the House that she brought to the table, like a public option in the health care bill, the Employee Free Choice Act to simplify union organizing, funding for jobs, and extension of unemployment benefits.
Gerard says members of the local Chamber of Commerce in Erie support Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper, but the national Chamber of Commerce funds ads against her, saying she cost jobs and bailed out Wall Street, when in fact George W. Bush was in office for the Wall Street bailout and the Wall Street collapse.