Bernie Sanders backs unions, calls out ‘corporate greed’ during Chicago rally
“The American people are prepared right now to stand up, fight back and take power,” Sanders said during a rousing speech Thursday at Teamster City on the Near West Side.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday detailed a sweeping plan to address “corporate greed,” embolden labor unions and give working Americans more political power during a rousing speech on the Near West Side.
Speaking to hundreds of union loyalists, many of whom were in town for Labor Notes Conference in Rosemont, the former presidential candidate remarked that the rally at Teamster City was “the stuff that history is made out of.”
“We’re bringing people together to tell the ruling class of this country we are sick and tired of their greed,” Sanders, an independent, told the crowd. “And we’re not asking anymore, we are telling them enough is enough.”
The rally, organized by Teamsters Local 705, also featured a campaign-style speech by Stacy Davis-Gates, president-elect of the Chicago Teachers Union, who was urged multiple times to run for mayor. Yet Sanders was clearly the main attraction.
As he lauded a recent groundswell of union organizing, pointing to Amazon and Starbucks workers, he decried the country’s growing income inequality and accused some of his colleagues in Congress of allowing billionaires to consolidate power in Washington, D.C.
To address what he described as an “addiction of greed of the billionaire class,” he called for free public health care for all Americans, a minimum wage of more than $15, free public college and the cancellation of all student loan debt, among other things.
“The American people are prepared right now to stand up, fight back and take power,” he said. “It’s not easy. Real change is never easy. … But I have zero doubt that if we stand together … around an agenda that says this country belongs to all of us — and not [Amazon CEO Jeff] Bezos, not [Tesla CEO Elon] Musk, not the billionaire class … there is nothing that will stop us.”