Unions’ ‘biggest, deepest member-to-member’ get-out-the-vote effort has already begun

Door-to-door canvassers from the AFL-CIO's Working America. Source: Oakland Post

America’s labor unions, their futures dependent on changing the political landscape, began their get-out-the-vote campaign for November’s mid-term election in June, says AFL-CIO chief.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Source: Christian Science Monitor

With America’s labor unions facing an increasingly uncertain future, unions are staking their future survival on political outcomes.

Unions leaderships in Washington and across the country have realized that the only way they can survive and revive is through government paternalism and, right now, the biggest thing on nearly all unions’ agenda is getting as many as their political benefactors into office in the mid-term elections.

While unions pour hundreds of millions of dollars into every election cycle, it appears that they’ll be spending even more than normal this year on ensuring their army is mobilized.

In fact, according to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, labor has had its army mobilized since June.

At an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka detailed the labor federation’s get-out-the-vote efforts for the mid-term elections.

…Trumka voiced confidence in Democrats’ prospects and in labor’s influence. But partly that’s because unions aren’t taking members’ support of union-endorsed candidates for granted.

“This is going to be the biggest, deepest member-to-member program that we’ve ever had. And I think deepest, because it’s going to go down past House members into state races, state Senate, and state House races….Normally we start our door knocks and our phone banks after Labor Day weekend. We started the first of June this year.”

The candidates themselves have a role to play, he added.

“All of them, if they talk about kitchen table economics, if they talk about the issues that affect working people – their wages, their health care, their pensions, their schools – if they talk about those, they win,” Trumka said. [Emphasis added.]

Image Credit: Working America

Throughout the country, most local unions engage their members year round on political issues.

However, the AFL-CIO—a federation of 55 unions, excluding the Carpenters, NEA, SEIU, and Teamsters unions—has an additional weapon called Working America, which boasts of “more than 3 million members in urban and suburban communities.”

Between Working America and the efforts of local AFL-CIO unions, as well as independent unions like the Carpenters, NEA, SEIU, and Teamsters, unions may have their biggest voter turnout in decades.

Related: AFL-CIO’s Trumka Won’t Rule Out Unions Endorsing Trump in 2020


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