This is a cross-post from the Electrical Workers, "IBEW Members Respond to Hurricane Sandy." Stay tuned for our upcoming website feature on all the work union members are doing for relief and rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.
Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc across the Eastern Seaboard, from North Carolina to New England, knocking down power lines and flooding coastal communities. Hardest hit were New York and New Jersey, leaving more than 1 million residents without power and many without homes.
AFL-CIO Political Director Michael Podhorzer sends us this.
As we head into the final stretch of the election season, these are six overarching points to keep in mind.
1. Working-class rejection of Bush-Romney-Ryan economics is the defining issue of this year.
A year ago, all the talk was that President Obama could never win with high unemployment. And even more to the point, the early conventional wisdom went further, writing off working-class voters, asserting that the only path available to Obama was upscale voters in states like North Carolina. Yet what we see is that middle-class families are not voting automatically on the basis of the current economic statistics. They are comparing alternative approaches—and rejecting the reverse Robin Hood, union-busting, extreme economic positions of the right.
The union movement’s election outreach and mobilization—which ends with a massive “Final Four” GOTV drive—has made “the working class rejection of the Bush-Romney-Ryan economic agenda the defining issue of this election,” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
Overwhelmingly core economic issues, like protecting Medicare, ending tax cuts for the rich, creating good jobs and rejecting the failed economic policies of the past, are driving working-class voters to Barack Obama and away from Republican economics and wedge issues—as long as people have the information on both candidates’ real records.
Overcoming a four-year struggle to gain union representation, Missouri home health care workers celebrated a victory this week when the state’s Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal to a lower court decision upholding a 2010 election in which the workers voted to form a union.
Ron Oliver, AFL-CIO Community Services liaison in Erie, Pa., tells us last night the local labor movement there worked with community allies to create a safe, fun Halloween party for inner-city children. Some 50 to 60 little goblins and superheroes gathered at a local church and had a great time munching chips and cupcakes. Mmmmmmmmm.
Romney's "meandering statements and plain falsehoods about the auto industry finally caught up to him earlier this week when he told a big whopper that cannot be squared with the truth," King said. "And, rather than take the opportunity to exhibit honesty and presidential character by correcting his misstatement, Romney doubled down with a misleading campaign spot about Jeep running in Ohio."
The way President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) have set aside partisan politics to “work in singular and cooperative fashion to relieve the pain and suffering of those whose lives have been turned upside down” by Hurricane Sandy should be an example to elected officials everywhere, including members of Congress, says Sean McGarvey, president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD).
President Obama and Governor Christie do not see the victims of this tragedy as 'Democrats' or 'Republicans,' they simply see them as 'Americans' who are in dire need of the assistance and generosity of our government and its people.