Kamala Harris Courts Union Voters Under the Detroit Arch

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Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) spoke at a union rally in Detroit Wednesday afternoon.

A lawyer, her campaign website touts justice, the people, and American values. Her focus Wednesday was on the dignity of work.

“It is the sweat that they poured, it is the blood that was sacrificed by working people who organized,” she said. “Understanding that workers should never be made to fight for their case alone against such powerful interests.”

She credited unions for the eight-hour work day, five-day work week, sick leave and vacation time.

“They should be able to organize and stand together collectively, as a collective,” she said, calling for a safe workplace and union benefits such as “meaningful healthcare” and affordable uniforms.

About 40 representatives of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 stood with Harris. Signs called for the unionization of security guards and “One Detroit for All.”

Reports have followed the SEIU agitating in Detroit for unionizing private security guards for at least two years. A June, 2018 SEIU rally of 200 outside the Dan Gilbert building turned out some two dozen guards.

Wednesday’s event drew an audience of about fifty, including media.

An appeal to the traditional Democratic union base makes sense for Harris.

“No corporate PACs—just people, like you!” says her website. “We don’t have to accept a system that drowns out your voice.”

“I stand proudly with SEIU,” Harris said Wednesday. “I stand proudly with this local and with the national in saying let these workers unionize.”

Recent primary polls place Harris fourth behind Biden, Warren, and Sanders. Head-to-head general election polls show her averaging two points ahead of President Donald Trump.

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Abigail Nobel is a reporter for The Michigan Star.
Photo “Kamala Harris” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Kamala Harris NAACP” by Rolando Martin. 

 

 

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