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RWDSU International
Local 108 Rallies for Health Care Reform

June 20, 2008

Charles Hall at podium The statement below was delivered by Charles N Hall, Jr. President of Local 108 RWDSU at the June 19th National Day of Protest Against Health Insurance Corporations in Newark, NJ in solidarity with the national protests for health care reform and in celebration of Juneteenth, the anniversary of the emancipation from Slavery. On this day we fight for our emancipation from the insurance companies. We join with patients, nurses, doctors, union members and others to say: HEALTH CARE YES! HEALTH INSURANCE NO! Guaranteed Single Payer National Health Care Now!!!

Local 108 represents more than 5000 members, mostly in the Tri State area that work in the retail, transportation, distribution, and public sectors.
We know first hand about the terrible problems of our health care system. In many cases Local 108 represents the working poor that are in the employ of small and moderate sized companies - that are competing with employers that provide no coverage at all to their workers. Local 108 struggles day in and day out to gain health care concessions from our employers so that our members do not have to do what too many Americans have to do, i.e. decide between paying the rent or putting food on the table, and going to the doctor for necessary medical care.

Too long has our health care system been broken. Too long have more than 45 million Americans, most of them workers and their families been without health care coverage. Too long have decent employers that want to do the right thing been penalized through ever increasing insurance and prescription drug costs. Too long have the large insurance and pharmaceutical companies held all America hostage.

National health care reform must be a priority. We know that only when we again have a Democratic President and Congress will this issue be addressed through bold meaningful comprehensive reform.

Until that time, we must continue to defend health benefits that Local 108 and all workers have fought for over the past 50 years.

Until that time we will also oppose Bush's plan to gut Medicare - through so called "health savings accounts" which are really tax cuts for the rich in disguise.

Until then, we will continue to support at the state level the expansion of family care and child care programs.

Until then we will work to fix Medicare Part D and replace it with a real prescription drug program for seniors.

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RWDSU Local 108, UFCW/CTC CLC | 1576 Springfield Avenue Maplewood, NJ 07040 | Phone: 973-762-7224