by Seth Michaels, Jul 30, 2008
Around the country, union members will make the critical difference in electing pro-working family members of Congress. The AFL-CIO’s Labor 2008 program is a strong national effort to reach out to millions of union members through person-to-person contact, and these union voters will be the ones who ensure pro-worker policies get implemented in Congress.
Here are three strong candidates who understand the connection between a strong union movement and progressive policies that help all working families. Mark Begich running for a Senate seat in Alaska, Mary Jo Kilroy up for a House seat in the Columbus, Ohio, area and Colorado Rep. Mark Udall seeking election to the Senate.
Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, is running for a seat held by longtime Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, who just yesterday was indicted on seven felony counts related to a Big Oil corruption scandal. Begich won the endorsement of the Alaska State AFL-CIO for his strong stances in support of working families. Begich says a strong union vote will be crucial to his victory and he pledges to fight for policies that will help working families if he’s elected.
The Employee Free Choice Act is a great example. We need to make sure it’s a fair playing field. We need to make sure that employees are not intimidated when they want to organize and make sure they have good representation.
Begich encourages union members to take part in the Labor 2008 political program by joining in walks and worksite leaflets.
Mary Jo Kilroy, who grew up in a union family, is running for U.S. House from Ohio’s Columbus-based 15th District. She also knows the importance of the union movement in ensuring a better life for workers and the importance of union political mobilization efforts in fighting for working family-friendly candidates and policies. Mobilization programs like phone banks, worksite fliers and local union mail are essential to educating and energizing union members.
The 15th District was decided by more than a thousand votes in 2006, and it’s at the heart of one of the closest states in the past two presidential elections, so Kilroy understands that getting every union member out to vote will be decisive this fall.
With your hard work, we can win elections in this key battleground state and elect candidates who will serve working families. We need better health care, better schools, a stronger economy and more jobs here in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District.
I will fight to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, because I know that the right to organize and bargain collectively is a fundamental human right.
Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is running for the U.S. Senate seat left open by the retirement of Republican Sen. Wayne Allard. With Colorado as a swing state this fall at the presidential level as well as in the Senate race, Colorado’s unions are active in mobilizing their members around the state.
Udall was a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act in the House and has pledged to support it in the Senate. He understands how important the law would be in holding the line against employer harassment of workers seeking to form a union.
I support the Employee Free Choice Act. It’s a way to ensure that in the workplace, employees have a say, so that we can honor the American tradition of collective bargaining and organizing in the workplace. I urge everybody to go out and make the case…we’re going to make sure that workers, whether they’re union or not, get a fair deal in the workplace.
Along with other candidates for the House and Senate, these candidates understand how crucial a strong union political program is to electing working family-friendly candidates—and how important it is to pass policies that will strengthen working families and make the economy work for everyone again.