The Labor Movement supports candidates that fight for a better life for working families
By TIM ROWDEN
National AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, Missouri Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander, State House Minority Leader, State Senate candidate and Missouri AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Jake Hummel, Lt. Governor candidate Russ Carnahan and IBEW Local 1 President Tom George rallied a crowd of approximately 100 union members Oct. 22 at IBEW Local 1 in advance of Election Day.
Each speaker emphasized the high stakes of this election on fair pay, better jobs, and stopping bad trade deals like the TPP.
“The truth is, Missourians want no part of this war on working families taking place in the state capitol, and they won’t stand for it in the United States Congress,” Kander said. “For far too long, Washington has put millionaires, billionaires and special interest groups ahead of everyone else. They put campaign donors ahead of the folks working multiple jobs to make less money than they did 15 years ago when they had just one. Working Americans aren’t looking for a handout, they’re just looking for a level playing field.”
In addition to praising Kander’s commitment to level the playing field for working people, Shuler reminded the crowd, that if Democratic gubernatorial candidate “Chris Koster loses, we lose.”
She continued, “We know that even when Chris is elected, he won’t be able to make the big changes we need without a little help. So let’s send him to Jefferson City with an army of state legislators — Democrats and Republicans — that will have his back as he works to protect working Missourians.”
Hummel (IBEW Local 1) spoke about protecting Missourians right to vote. “In addition to all the obvious attacks we have faced on our jobs, paychecks and workplace safety, Amendment 6 (the voter photo ID amendment) would make it harder for people of modest income, veterans, seniors, college students, women, and people of color to vote. On Nov. 8, we need to Vote No on 6,” Hummel said.
Later in the afternoon, Shuler and Hummel joined up with Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis and approximately 100 energized union members to go door-to-door educating voters about the stakes of this election.
“With 15 days left before Election Day, our efforts are in full swing. We are out here today in St. Louis as there are similar efforts happening around the state to ensure the voices of working people are heard in this election cycle,” Louis said. “This is part of the Labor Movement’s largest-ever voter mobilization effort.”
Carnahan was cautiously optimistic, noting that voters are tired of the anti-worker attacks in Jefferson City and ready for a pro-worker governor, and a lieutenant governor who will have his back with the help of pro-worker senators and representatives.
“We are on the verge of, I think, a historic door opening in this state,” Carnahan said.
Shuler urged union members to join in canvassing, phone banking and get out the vote efforts.
“You don’t want to wake up on Nov. 9 and say ‘Oh, my gosh. If I’d only knocked on one more door. If I’d only talked to one more person on the phone. If I’d only brought one more young person to the polls to vote,’” Shuler said. “No regrets on Nov. 9. We need to get commitments to get out the vote from everyone we can.
“It’s truly been an historic effort and a heroic effort here in Missouri, but it will all be in vain if we lose Nov. 8. We cannot let that happen.”
Here are the remaining get out the vote efforts in Missouri and Illinois.
As the pollsters tout the vote of working women as a major factor in the outcome of this election, Shuler joined the Missouri AFL-CIO and St. Louis community members and labor leaders on the phones and at the doors over the weekend to turn out the women’s vote in Missouri, and to turn out the overall Labor vote to elect worker-friendly candidates.
“It is go time folks,” Shuler told the crowd at the Local 1 rally. “Whether it’s workers’ rights, voting rights, women’s rights – they are all on the ballot this November, and I wanted to be here in Missouri because Missouri is at the eye of the storm. As Missouri goes, so goes the rest of the country.”
Shuler called Amendment 6 an effort to silence working families
“We know what is behind this,” she said. “This is a sinister attempt to silence our members’ votes. We know this disproportionately affects veterans. We know this disproportionately affects communities of color, seniors, women, young people. Go down the list. These are our members that are being affected. We need to say ‘Yes’ to democracy and ‘No’ to Amendment 6.”
Shuler was busy throughout the weekend.
On Saturday, she canvassed with State House candidate and union member Karen Settlemoir-Berg (UFCW Local 655) in Jefferson County.
Shuler also participated in the first-ever woman-to-woman phone bank, part of the AFL-CIO’s Women in the Breakroom program that held its inaugural event in Missouri in September.
Following the rally at Local 1, she canvassed with Hummel in St. Louis.