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Labor Unions Protest Bush Visit

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KWMU Photo
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A protestor holds a sign at a union rally just prior to Pres. Bush's arrival in St. Louis.

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – About 100 union members picketed the president's campaign fundraiser outside Hunter Engineering, an automotive services equipment plant in Bridgeton. The plant has lost 135 jobs since the 1980's. Referring to the war in Iraq, the St. Louis Labor Council's Robert Soutier questioned the president's support for U.S. workers:

"This president has got to get the message sooner or later that he has got to help the people in this country, and forget about people that are five or 10,000 miles away," Soutier said. "We can't liberate them - but I'll tell you who we can liberate we can liberate the working men and women of this country in November."

Not every protestor on hand belonged to a union. Eighty-year-old Juanita Abernathy compared today's economy to the Great Depression:

"I remember going to bed hungry, I remember when the banks closed, and I also remember you were lucky if you had a job that paid a dollar a day," Abernathy said. "It's going back to those days, and if you don't believe me, you just keep on voting for George Bush."

Mr. Bush's visit to St. Louis comes just days after a Gallup poll measured his job approval rating at 46% -- an all-time low for his presidency.

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