Wishing labors lion well

Senate Labor Committee Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is receiving millions of notes of encouragement in his battle against an inoperable brain tumor. The outpouring reflects Kennedy’s decades of championing of labor and social justice issues and numerous legislative achievements, beginning with his 1965 stewardship of a law that ended a 40-year discriminatory immigration quota system that favored those coming to the United States from northern Europe. Other accomplishments and battles he is credited with include his work with the labor movement and its allies to create the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, his fight for universal health care, the establishment of food stamps, a law to require notice of plant closings, every fight for an increase in the minimum wage since that wage was $2 an hour, federal aid to schools in poverty areas, federal loans for college students and, of course, the fight against the war in Iraq.