PHILADELPHIA, Penn – On Wednesday, August 15th, thousands of union members from across the country joined together in Philadelphia to mount the largest protest of its kind against Trump’s policy of family separation for immigrant families.
The protests began with a major rally in Penn’s Landing with immigrant workers and speakers from national and local unions. The demonstration ended in a march through Philadelphia to an ICE field office, where an interfaith prayer service was held. Workers and union leaders focused their message on the singular call of ending the inhumane practice of family separation and demanding the reunification of families separated at the border. Young children of union families read aloud passages from the United States’ Declaration of Independence, Martin Luther King Jr., Emma Lazarus, and Langston Hughes.
Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale introduced principal officers from major national unions in attendance at the protests including UNITE HERE International President D. Taylor and General Vice President Maria Elena Durazo, AFSCME International Secretary Treasurer Elissa McBride, UFCW Secretary Treasurer Esther Lopez, and IUPAT General President Ken Rigmaiden. Major politicians including Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney also participated in the action.
President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder make the following joint statement at the event: “The central value of the Labor Movement is family. As union members, we join together to demand good wages and benefits to protect and provide for our loved ones. As workers, regardless of where we come from, the Labor Movement will always stand in solidarity with working families and children. We are stronger in the fight for our economic rights and dignity when we stand together.”