Health Care

Caroline Kennedy Urges Workers to Complete Uncle Ted's Dream

| by AFL-CIO

Caroline Kennedy today challenged delegates to the AFL-CIO convention to fight for and achieve the causes to which her uncle, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, dedicated his life–health care reform and the Employee Free Choice Act.

After thanking union members for their “tremendous outpouring of support following Sen. Kennedy’s death, she said her uncle succeeded because he cared about people and “no one held a dearer place in his heart than the labor movement.

"He believed every workers deserved to be treated fairly. Day after day Uncle Teddy stood with labor because it was the right thing to do."

Sen. Kennedy and retiring AFL-CIO President John Sweeney worked hard throughout their lives to help working people and now the next generation must find ways to meet the challenges working people face with the same determination and tenacity displayed by her uncle and Sweeney, she said.

"It’s time to build a new economy that puts the needs of working families first, that ensures each and every worker has a voice on the job and pass the Employee Free Choice Act and guarantee quality health care for every man, woman and child."

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker moved the passage of Resolution 60 honoring Sen. Kennedy. The resolution recognizes that Kennedy...

"...embodied our aspiration to fulfill America’s promise–to make our nation more compassionate and more hopeful, to make sure every individual is treated with dignity and respect and equal justice under the law."

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said of his longtime friend:

"As long as there is a union movement in this country that cherishes a big heart and a generous spirit, that fights for what is just and compassionate and fair, Ted Kennedy will always be our senator."

A video of excerpts of Ted Kennedy’s numerous speeches to union groups drew a two-minute standing ovation. The poignant clip included Kennedy’s declaration that...

"...I won’t stop until every American has the same quality health care as every member of Congress–Republican and Democrat–and the President of the United States.

He demonstrated his love of working families and their unions with this statement:

We are a stronger and better country because of six simple letters: A-F-L-C-I-O.

Sweeney announced construction will soon begin on a new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate. Located adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Library on the University of Massachusetts campus will work to improve civic education in the nation and inspire a new generation of active citizens and legislators.

He said the AFL-CIO is helping raise funds for the institute and urged affiliated unions to help.