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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez




    :: Monday, October 30, 2006 ::

    Warren County factory worker finds himself among America's 'used-to-haves' - By CHARLIE LeDUFF, The New York Times via Gallatin News Examiner, TN
    Edwards came on a cold February morning. Checkered tablecloths were put out at Prater's BBQ out on Manchester Highway. Workers were rounded up. Rackley, the president of the Sheet Metal Workers Local 483 and a crew leader in the Carrier plant, was there. James Mears, the recording secretary, wore his union jacket and cap. They had a heart-to-heart with Edwards over bad coffee.

    'Mr. Edwards promised he'd try to get NAFTA repealed,' Rackley said afterward as reporters took notes.

    Then, the senator left. The reporters left. And, last year, the factory left.

    Left behind were thousands of people who once had a piece of the American middle class, including Rackley. The million-square-foot factory squats empty in a green pasture, like an elephant in the death field.

    'I got to give Edwards some credit,' Rackley said from the porch of his prefabricated home deep in the country across from a corn field. 'At least he showed up.'

    Edwards had tapped into a simmering resentment, he said. The Two Americas: The haves and the have-nots. But Edwards did not articulate a third type of America, Rackley said. The one he finds himself part of: "The used-to-haves."
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