South St. Louis County – “We’re in an interesting election cycle,” Jake Hummel, Missouri House Minority Leader and secretary-treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO told a recent gathering of the South County Labor Club.
“Remember 2010? Ike Skelton (Democratic U.S. Representative for Missouri's 4th congressional district from 1977 to 2011 and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee) won with 212,000 votes in 2008; his opponent got 111,000. In 2010, when the Democrats didn’t show up, he lost. We lost because 100,000 Democrats didn’t show up for the election.”
Facing another off-year election on Nov. 4, with a president who has low approval ratings, and Republicans and extremists in their party holding a majority in the U.S. House and both houses of the Missouri legislature, Hummel said labor can’t afford to let that happen again.
GET PISSED OFF
Labor proved in this year’s legislative session that it has the numbers and the commitment to get things done, defeating right-to-work and other anti-worker measures with a flurry of phone calls, letters and emails to let Missouri state legislators know that a vote for right-to-work would not be forgotten on election day.
“We got pissed off,” Hummel said. “We beat right-to-work. We beat it for last year. We should be proud of ourselves.
“Those guys got scared. They’ve got a historic majority in the House, a historic majority in the Senate. They’ve got all the money in the world. They should be able to get anything they want. But do you know what happened? We happened. Organized labor woke up and we scared them. We won.”
But that victory could slip away, Hummel said, if union members don’t turn out to vote on Election Day.
LET THEM KNOW WE WERE SERIOUS
“We have to show them that we were serious,” Hummel said.
Summer vacation is over, and its time for labor to get back to work canvassing for candidates, making phone calls and getting everyone we know to go to the polls and vote for labor-friendly candidates.
Working for labor-friendly candidates may require missing a few of the kids’ games and some treasured time with the family, Hummel said, but what’s at stake is their future.
“I miss my son, too,” Hummel said. “I don’t get to see him as often as I want to, but I know it’s more important to make sure he has a decent future. I know one day he’ll understand. And I hope you will, too.”
Labor should treat this election as if RTW were on the ballot
Shannon Weber, campaign/political director for the Missouri AFL-CIO, told union members at the South County Labor Club this election should be treated as if right-to-work (RTW) were on the ballot, because that’s what is at stake.
That means canvassing and making phone calls for labor-friendly candidates.
With a massive outpouring of labor needed this year to turn back RTW, paycheck deception, attacks on prevailing wage and other anti-worker measures in Missouri and a billionaire, RTW Republican challenging Gov. Pat Quinn in Illinois, the stakes couldn’t be any higher.
Canvassing works, Weber said.
“Fifteen conversations at the door picks up one vote,” she said. “Knocking on the door of that union family makes a difference.”
There are opportunities to volunteer for canvassing and phone banks in Missouri and Illinois
To volunteer, or for information on canvassing or phone bank opportunities in Missouri, contact Shannon Weber at 573-645-5170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Luke Canfora at 517-488-9291 or email email@example.com.