Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, speaking in Washington Square Park on Tuesday, trumpeted his support for the Hollywood writers' strike and reiterated that if CBS News writers strike, he would not cross a picket line to participate in the upcoming CBS Democratic presidential primary debate next month.
"Stay strong, stay together," Edwards said at the rally, held by the Writers Guild of America, East to show support for its striking TV and movie writers. "This is about making sure these big corporations, these big media conglomerates don't step on your rights."
WGA writers have been on strike for four weeks, halting the production of many popular TV shows, in a dispute primarily over how writers should be compensated for shows and movies shown over the Internet and on DVD. Talks between writers and producers resumed yesterday.
But in a separate contract battle, CBS News writers voted to authorize a strike if the Writers Guild of America calls for it in response to a two-year battle with CBS over issues of wage increases and mergers.
If they do, Edwards said that he would boycott the network's debate, scheduled for Dec. 10 in Los Angeles. Democratic presidential hopefuls Senators Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd and Barack Obama, as well as Governor Bill Richardson, also said they would boycott it.
Tom Predhome, 45, a volunteer for the Edwards campaign, said Edwards is more dedicated to the labor movement than any other politician.
"John Edwards believes the labor movement has been the best movement this country has seen," Predhome said. "He has always stood with the workers and walked the picket lines."
In his speech, Edwards said unions are crucial for the future of America and as president, he would ensure that they are heard.
"You're going to have a president who actually stands with you, when you're working, when you're collectively bargaining, when you're standing up for workers, yourself, and fellow workers across this country," Edwards said.
Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, canceled appearances on two live talk shows, "Ellen" and "The View," in a refusal to cross the picket line.
© 2007 Washington Square News via U-WIRE