The national Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO is planning a series of events to educate Missouri members on Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s voting record on veterans’ affairs and his claims to support veterans – and by extension, working families – in his re-election bid.
Blunt’s Democratic challenger Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, a former Army captain who served in Afghanistan, understands veterans’ issues and has made his office work for veterans.
Blunt, who received a student draft deferment from serving in Vietnam, talks about support for veterans, the Union Veterans Council says, but has a record of voting against health care, education and job training benefits that would actually help veterans.
The Union Veterans Council and the Missouri AFL-CIO have scheduled a series of meetings to discuss Blunt’s record on veterans’ issues and give working people a chance to meet Kander face-to-face.
“This is about exposing Senator Blunt for what he really is,” said Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO. “He’s a veteran hugger but does nothing to help them when it comes to the things they really need passed on the federal level.”
The meetings are scheduled for:
- May 31 – 6 p.m. VFW Post 280, 1509 Ashley St., Columbia, MO.
- June 1 – 6 p.m. IAM Lodge 778, 9404 Grandview Rd., Kansas City, MO.
- June 2 – 6 p.m. at Tri-County Labor Club, 12 Droste Square, St. Charles, MO.
Further details, and locations for the Columbia and Kansas City events will be provided closer to the meeting dates.
VETERANS ARE WORKING CLASS
Will Fischer, executive director of the Union Veterans Council, an Iraq War veteran in the U.S. Marines and a member of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 51, points out the importance of veterans’ issues to working families. The issues of veterans and working class Americans are often one in the same, he says.
“There are nearly 500,000 veterans in the state of Missouri –– 494,000 to be exact. Nearly all of them, nearly 100 percent of those 494,000 veterans are from and part of the working class,” Fischer said. “There is not a job site, shop, mill or factory anywhere in the state of Missouri or any other state that doesn’t have a veteran working there. Therefore, anytime a politician attacks a group of workers, or private enterprise attacks a group of workers, they’re categorically attacking veterans.
“It’s very easy to say you’re pro-veterans,” Fischer said. “It’s very easy to put a yellow ribbon magnet on your car. But yellow ribbons aren’t going to help any veteran pay their utility bills. What veterans need more than anything is access to a good job that allows them to live with dignity.”
The state AFL-CIO is also launching a Statewide Union Veterans Committee to address these issues. For information, or to volunteer to serve on the committee, contact Louis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 573-634-2115.