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Get Inspired: Read Statements from Across Our Movement on Obama Victory

AFGE President J. David Cox helps get out the vote. AFGE photo.

Here’s a roundup of reactions to last night’s election victory by President Obama and other working family candidates from national and state union leaders.

AFGE President J. David Cox:

We look forward to working with the president and our elected representatives in Congress to pursue a legislative agenda that protects and preserves our vital government services and programs and recognizes the substantial sacrifices that federal employees and agencies already have made toward reducing the deficit.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders:

Working families re-elected President Barack Obama, giving him added strength in the fight to create jobs and opportunity. The voters have given a mandate to protect vital programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, and strengthen the middle class.

Read AFSCME's new election 2012 report

AFT President Randi Weingarten:

The American people voted today to create opportunity and shared prosperity by sharing responsibility, and to reject the cynical "you’re on your own" philosophy.

Alliance for Retired Americans Executive Director Edward Coyle:

This year, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid were at the forefront of the national debate. President Obama’s and Vice President Biden’s strong positions to safeguard these landmark American programs are in line with what Americans want and need. 

Amalgamated Transit Union President Larry Hanley:

Throughout our country’s economic crisis, politically divisive times and the bruising campaign, President Obama and Vice President Biden have stood for mass transit and with working families in the face of an all-out assault on the middle class across the United States.

American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada President Ray Hair:

President Obama has stood by the working people in this country and he understands the intellectual property concerns of the content producers, copyright owners and performing artists in the entertainment industry.

American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) President Diann Woodard:

At the heart of our efforts to support the Obama administration’s reelection was our deep concern about the corporate-financed drive to privatize our public schools, which undermines equal opportunities for all children, and threatens to gain traction if advocates for radical education cuts succeed in using the so-called “fiscal cliff” debate as a tool for advancing their agenda.

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) International President Frank Hurt:

As is always the case, the labor movement played an integral role in determining the outcome of this election.  Joining with other union members from throughout the labor movement, thousands of BCTGM members from coast to coast went door-to-door, manned phone banks and volunteered for labor’s massive get-out-the-vote effort.  

Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, President Sean McGarvey:

America’s Building Trades Unions hope that public servants in both parties see fit to finally address the pressing needs in this country in a balanced and responsible way that allows for a level playing field, is devoid of raw political motivation, and instead is fueled by what best unites us and makes us stronger as a nation; now and in the years ahead. 

California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski:

In voting down the deceptive Prop 32, Californians rejected a blatant power play by corporate special interests to silence the voice of working people. Despite weeks of misleading advertisements backing Prop 32 paid for by billionaires and out-of-state Super PACs, the margin of defeat was decisive. Prop 32 backers spent more than $50 million in an effort to fool voters.

Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen:

Throughout this very long political campaign, at CWA, we’ve been clear that elections are about choices. Americans who want to ensure a place for working families in our economy made a clear choice in re-electing President Obama.

Electrical Workers President Edwin D. Hill:

All the brothers and sisters who made the phone calls, knocked on doors, talked to their co-workers about the importance of making their voices heard at the polls— you and the entire labor movement helped turn the tide against the politics of obstruction and economic extremism.

Fire Fighters (IAFF) General President Harold Schaitberger :

The outcome of the presidential election proves that supporting our friends and opposing our enemies is a winning strategy....And because of the grassroots efforts of our affiliates and members, election night proved very successful for our union

International Longshoremen's Association President Harold Daggett:

ILA members were also responsible for powerful Senate victories in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia and elsewhere. Your efforts getting out the vote, especially in battleground States of Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and Wisconsin were instrumental in these victories for working families. Even in local communities where ILA members live, we helped elect many friends of labor who will advance our agenda in the near future.

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Executive General Vice President Ken Rigmaiden:

This election proved that it takes far more than dollars for a victorious campaign; it takes dedicated men and women to knock on doors, visit job sites, work phone banks and get voters to the polls to exercise their sacred right to vote for their candidate.  It requires a spirit of political activism fueled by the desire to build a better America for all, not a fortunate few.  The members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades are proud to have been a part of this movement to successfully re-elect President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to another term.  

Iowa Federation of Labor President Ken Sagar:

There is still a lot to do, and we hope that these elected officials are productive during the lame duck session, and will protect programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The elections here with the Iowa Legislature was promising, with labor endorsed candidates winning seats in the House, and a pro-worker majority  in the Senate.

Ironworkers President Walter Wise:

Once again, our faith in democracy and the American people has stood up to the unlimited dollars and fraudulent campaign of the radical right and re-elected President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to a second term.

Laborers President Terry O’Sullivan:

The men and women who build our country believe in the President’s plans to restore our transportation systems, to enact an “all-of-the-above” energy policy and grow an economy that creates good jobs and rewards work, not just Wall Street. It is imperative that Congress now shift course away from obstruction and toward cooperation and compromise for the sake of our country and the middle class.

Machinists President Tom Buffenbarger:

The nation is rapidly approaching a showdown over massive budget cuts that could trigger mass layoffs and push the country back into recession. I am confident the President will make good on his promise to prevent the sequestration cuts from taking effect on January 1, 2013. I sincerely hope the new and returning members of the House and Senate will join the President in this effort and make this nation’s economic security their highest priority.

Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman:

We in the labor movement could not be more proud to help Senator-elect [Elizabeth] Warren earn her way to Washington, D.C., and to stand for the issues that are important to us—good paying jobs, infrastructure investment, equal pay for equal work, maintaining unemployment benefits and ensuring the highest earners in our society pay their fair share.

Metropolitan Washington Council President Jos Williams:

Solidarity doesn’t stop at the water’s edge and every single metro-area activist, volunteer, member and leader who walked, who phoned, who helped get out the labor vote, owns a piece of what we’ve accomplished together today. They should be proud of their work; I know I am.

Milwaukee Labor Press Editor Paul Noth:

For the left there is also a new reality about moving with the times. Organized labor in its street smarts and general principles clearly still has the public’s ear and will for quite a while, but it also has to reach out with new techniques and attitudes to a non-union world full of citizens that actually honor its core beliefs and want to work alongside in political terms.

National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi:

We look forward to working with the Administration to move forward and continue the highly successful collaborative work we have undertaken with the Federal Aviation Administration. Our nation’s airspace system is already the world’s safest and most efficient, as well as a contributor of $1.3 trillion in economic output. From day one, President Obama has been fully committed to improving it and we have been proud to stand with him. 

National Nurses United Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro:

The President and Congress should stand with the people who elected them and reject any cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, strengthen Medicare by expanding it to cover everyone, and insist that Wall Street begin to repay our nation for the damage it caused our economy with a small tax on Wall Street speculation, the Robin Hood tax.

New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech:

As we rebuild our state from this storm, we must also continue to move forward as a nation. The 2012 election was more than just a choice between candidates, it was a choice between two directions for our nation, and working families chose to move forward. The results of this election confirm the conviction of working families to preserve collective bargaining rights, Medicare, Social Security, social justice and equal economic opportunity for all.

New York City Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez:

Last night was a huge step forward; we will use that momentum to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy and ensure that our elected officials are creating good jobs and greater economic opportunity, as well as protecting much-needed social service programs and the middle class.

New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento:

More union members than ever volunteered in campaigns coordinated by the New York State AFL-CIO….They proved once again that when we come together to fight for the issues that matter most to New York’s hardworking families, we can accomplish great things as a movement.

Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga:

This election was about which candidates share our values and believe that the middle class is the backbone of our economy and our communities and which candidates do we trust to make the decisions that will continue to move our country forward.  As predicted, the road to the White House went through the Buckeye state and Ohioans made a clear choice that Barack Obama has the vision, strength and integrity to successfully lead our country and grow our economy for another four years. 

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain:

Both in Oregon and across the country union members made it clear that their efforts wouldn’t be about a political party, or a single vote. Our work was about individual candidates who will stand up for Oregon workers and consider the effect their work will have on the people in our state who work for a living

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale:

Working families clearly understand who is on their side on the core economic issues: strengthening Medicare and Social Security for seniors, ending tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and creating good jobs for hardworking middle-class families.

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists President Mike Perrone:

PASS commends the president on his firm commitment to improving the quality of life for America's working families and his continued efforts to promote aviation safety and infrastructure advancements. Yesterday, union members across the country turned out in record numbers to support candidates who support working families, and I am pleased that so many of my union brothers and sisters have exercised this important right. 

San Francisco Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson:

I want to thank all the labor volunteers from our affiliate unions who have been phoning, walking and organizing for almost three months and who were pounding on doors until 8:00 PM last night. And I want to acknowledge our community partners who joined with us to not only defeat 32 and pass 30, but ensured a clean slate in San Francisco with the passage of A, B, C, and E.

Transportation Communications Union/IAM President Robert Scardelletti:

TCU members across this country worked hard to re-elect our president....As railroad workers, they appreciated his support for Amtrak and high speed rail, and his commitment to preserve railroad retirement against the real threat posed by the Romney–Ryan team.

Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, President Edward Wytkind:

The American people re-elected a president who offers a vision to expand our middle class, create millions of jobs and "nation build at home" by modernizing and investing in our aging transportation system. Transportation workers were proud to stand with President Obama as part of a highly motivated labor movement that helped secure last night's victory.

Transport Workers Union President James C. Little:

Last night’s victory for the middle class was won because of the power of the people, not the power of money.    Hundreds of TWU members around the country tirelessly phone banked and canvassed to get out the vote these past few months. Your hard work got people to the polls and helped vote in a President who supports working families.

UAW President Bob King:

President Obama stood by American workers in their darkest hour, and UAW members and citizens in communities that are part of the thriving auto industry, are grateful for his willingness to bet on us. Today, the domestic auto industry is roaring back, with investment in factories, new workers and manufacturing returned to our country. This remarkable turnaround is the product of government, labor and community working together to find solutions to our nation’s problems and today it is driving the country’s economic recovery.

United Mine Workers of America President Cecil E. Roberts:

I congratulate President Obama and Vice President Biden on their hard-fought victory yesterday. In the end, they laid out a vision for America's future that the majority of our fellow citizens believe is the right path for our nation.

United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard:

Most American workers chose Obama for turning the economy around, passing the Affordable Care Act, rebuilding the auto industry, enforcing our trade laws and adding 5.5 million jobs in the last 32 months. We have more to do, but we’re on the right track with this president.

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt:

Thousands of union and community volunteers came together to make phone calls, knock on doors and produce one of the largest grassroots voter contact efforts in Wisconsin….While our movement celebrates with America tonight, this victory is another step in the long march for justice and democracy for all working people.  

Working America Executive Director Karen Nussbaum:

Working families across the nation, including our 3 million members, celebrate President Barack Obama’s victory last night and the countless other candidates and ballot measure victories in places like Massachusetts, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia that will move working Americans forward.

Writers Guild of America, East, Executive Director Lowell Peterson:

We hope this result means the federal government will enforce labor law vigorously so people who work for a living have some leverage; will continue to fund public broadcasting; and will ensure that the Internet remains open and robust for content creators and the public.”

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