With the general election nearing, we have had several members and their families asking who labor is endorsing in the upcoming election. With labor in this country being constantly under attack it is more imperative now than ever before to get out the vote for candidates that support labor.
There is a lot at stake in this upcoming election. Nationally we need to consider that the next President will appoint at least three Supreme Court Justices, and be responsible for fixing our broken trade policies which have destroyed American manufacturing. The House and Senate will be tasked with deciding if the United States should sign the TPP trade deal, a trade policy that would be like NAFTA on steroids and possibly national “right-to-work” (for less) legislation.
One of the most important responsibilities of the President of the United States is appointing Supreme Court Justices. “The next justice to replace Scalia will be the swing vote on the supreme court. It takes just one bad decision to set a precedent that could set back the labor movement decades as we almost witnessed in the recent Friedrichs case,” said Local 701 Directing Business Representative (DBR) Sam Cicinelli. As we saw a few years ago, the wrong decision here could lead to long lasting damaging decisions out of our Nation’s highest court like the “Citizens United” decision which essentially gave corporations person-hood and equated money to speech allowing candidates to buy elections. The effects of the “Citizens United” decision have been devastating for American democracy; now corporations can contribute as much money to political campaigns as they want and there is nothing we can do about it. We simply cannot afford more Supreme Court decisions that attack our democracy. In fact, we need these next appointments to go to justices who will overturn the destructive “Citizens United” decision and defend other damaging attacks such as those directed at organized labor.
The House and Senate races are just as important. One of the single most important decisions that will be considered by our next Congress is whether or not the United States should be part of the most destructive trade policy ever considered by the United States, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). As a Nation, as a Union, we need to ensure that we elect candidates who strongly oppose not only the TPP but all trade deals that would have long lasting negative effects on American manufacturing and lead to further outsourcing of American Jobs.
From the state level, Labor needs to focus on electing candidates who will continue to stand against “right-to-work” (for less) laws that are a direct attack on not only our members but all working men and women in this country. Don’t be fooled, “right-to-work” (RTW) legislation has NOTHING to do with your rights. This legislation’s sole purpose is to attack organized labor and limit our ability to collectively bargain strong contracts for our membership. In state after state RTW has failed to live up to it’s promise and has only lead to lower wages and fewer benefits for workers.
Simply put sisters and brothers, we cannot allow candidates to distract us from one of the most important parts of our lives… our jobs. Voters need to consider first and foremost how the candidates they vote for will affect our employment and our ability to make a living and provide for our family. “There are two candidates on the ballot this November, one that boasts a 94 percent lifetime score from the AFL-CIO and one who praises right-to-work legislation and states that American workers ‘make too much.’ Hillary supports collective bargaining, calls for strengthening Unions and helping the middle class and advocates for workers’ rights on the job,” said Local 701 DBR Sam Cicinelli. He goes on to say, “we need to put a candidate in office that will say ‘you’re hired’ and not one that will say ‘you’re fired’.”
Thankfully, The Chicago Federation of Labor has researched the candidates positions and their support of working families. You can click HERE to see the full list of Labor endorsed / Local 701 endorsed candidates at all levels of government for the upcoming general election in November. We urge our membership to support candidates who support Labor and vote for Labor endorsed candidates.