Tom Perriello listens to an IUE-CWA Local 162 union member asking about automation.
Tom Perriello’s last stop in his listening tour through Roanoke was at the IUE-CWA Local 162 Roanoke headquarters where about 10 union rank and file members and union shop stewards from Verizon, ITT now the Harris Corporation, GE and Virginia Transformer peppered him with questions. Union members are not shy about asking questions.
Before Perriello arrived Jack Roland Chief Steward with Local 82162 at Harris Corporation said he wanted to know how Perriello views the future of the working class. Where does he see unions place in the future.
Jeff Moran, who works for Harris Corporation (again formerly ITT
Dr. Ted Kantner and wife Millie who live in Moneta were among those gathered for the “health care for all” rally and march held Thursday. The March started at the Martin Luther King, Jr. monument and wound over the bridge to Senator Mark Warner’s Roanoke office.
There a petition was delivered to Warner’s staff in support of President Obama’s health care plan that includes a strong public health insurance option. About 25 marchers signed a declaration in Warner’s office. The petition was a direct quote from President Obama that read:
“I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest.”
The march was to urge Warner to continue his strong support for Obama’s public health insurance option.
Nathan Auldridge an activist with MoveOn.org led the rally and march to Warner’s office where at least five of the marchers told their story of either their lack of health care or its lack of affordability. Auldridge said “here in Virginia, and across the country, we’re suffering from a health care crisis exacerbated by the economic crisis – we’re here to thank Senator Mark Warner for his crucial support … and to let him know we’re counting on him to stand strong for real reform.”
Dr. Ted Kantner made an impression on the group by praising Medicare, an expansion of which could cover all the uninsured. He like many others in the group would prefer the “single payer” health care option. They reluctantly acknowledge what a hard sell that would be – getting Congress and all 60 members of the Senate onboard.
One woman in the video clip who lived in France wondered “if they can do it in France why can’t we do it here.” Sure the taxes are higher but you can actually feel directly the results of where your taxes go.
Others expressed the fear-mongering spread by those whose pockets are lined with the dollars of “big pharma” and “big conglomerate hospitals.”
All felt that the pressure from a groundswell of Americans would force Congress to act. If not there is always another march!