Maybe the Democrats are the party of working people, said Richard Trumka, leader of the nation's largest federation, the AFL-CIO.
But "look how easy it has been for Donald Trump to tap into the justifiable anger" of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, unable to cover a $500 car repair, he told 700 Pennsylvania labor leaders Tuesday at the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO's convention in Philadelphia.
"But we can't be fooled," he added. "Trump isn't interested in solving our problems."
And so it began Tuesday, three weeks from Pennsylvania's primary, as the state's top union leaders exhorted each other - with help from Trumka - to double down on their efforts to elect politicians who "create an economy that works for everybody," he said.
On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton will address the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO's convention. On Thursday, it will be Bernie Sanders' turn.
Given that different unions within the AFL-CIO have endorsed both Democratic candidates, Trumka diplomatically praised both.
"Hillary and Bernie are running one of the most uplifting . . . campaigns of my lifetime," Trumka said, adding, "I would say the contest has largely conducted with a degree of civility and dignity."
If Trumka carefully maneuvered along the Hillary/Bernie frontier, he had no problem stomping on Trump. "He's dangerous. He's delusional. He's a demagogue. He's a racist, he's misogynist. He's anti-union," Trumka said. "Any single one of them disqualifies him to be president."
While politics wasn't the only theme on the opening day of the conference, Trumka praised Pennsylvania's union members for their solidarity in electing "a pro-worker mayor, a pro-worker governor, and three pro-worker" Pennsylvania Supreme Court judges.
"We're the last line of defense against the corporate takeover of America," he said.
Introduced by Patrick Eiding, leader of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, Mayor Kenney opened the conference, telling delegates that his family "just lived a union life" in South Philadelphia.
Kenney said that as mayor he runs "into a lot of very wealthy people. They hate unions. They viscerally hate them. They can never give a good explanation" why.
Kenney said that when it comes to city-owned properties, such as the Philadelphia International Airport, companies who want to do business there will have to treat workers properly.
"No one is going to belittle or bad-mouth organized labor in my presence, ever," he said.
Convention-goers also heard from Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, who told the audience she was grateful that they backed her for her post, "even though it comes at great personal cost to my sons and me," she said. "I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me."
Unions, she said, should not underestimate their strength. "You are organized and you have guts."
Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry Kathy Manderino spoke about her office's efforts to enforce the law banning mandatory overtime for health-care workers and to change rules that prevent about 50,000 laid-off workers a year from receiving unemployment benefits.
Under the previous administration, she said, "there wasn't a lot of interest in labor law compliance, but we're very interested in labor law compliance."
Pennsylvania state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale opened his remarks by joking that he commanded the last paragraph in a newspaper article about the conference.
Maybe audits don't make the headlines, but, he said, his office has already uncovered $111 million in wasteful spending.
The office is also scrutinizing investments the state made into businesses in return for jobs. "The state had zero knowledge of whether the jobs were being created," he said. "If there are taxpayer dollars going to a company, we're going to make sure those jobs are created."