Kentucky Labor Kicks Off 2007 Campaign
Bernard Pollack, AFL-CIO field coordinator, sends us this report on the campaign to elect a working family-friendly governor in Kentucky.
The excitement across the Kentucky Labor Movement is palpable. Unions in the Louisville area are gearing up for Saturday where several hundred volunteers are expected to walk door to door talking with union members and their families.
Gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka will join with volunteers, along with UAW International Vice-President Terry Thurman, UAW Region 3 Dir. Maurice ‘Mo’ Davison, UAW Local 862 President Rocky Comito, Kentucky State Building Trades Executive Director Larry Roberts and many more leaders across the State.
Rallying around the theme, “Kentucky Labor 2007: It’s Our Time,” workers will kick-off a walk program in support of Beshear that will continue weekdays and weekends through Election Day. The goal: talk with more than 300,000 union members, householders, retirees and Working America members so that on Election Day, one-in-four of all votes cast will be from a union household.
Key to the Kentucky AFL-CIO’s unprecedented 2007 campaign are union members, who will discuss the issues important to working families—healthcare, good jobs, education and a secure retirement. Working families deserve better than what they’ve been put through by current Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who repealed collective bargaining for state workers, tried to roll back prevailing wage laws, and privatized the state Medicaid operation. Fletcher has been a top spokesman for so-called right to work legislation, pushing for anti-union, anti-worker bills in Kentucky and nationwide.
Bolstering the largest walk program ever mounted by the Kentucky union movement is a massive communication outreach effort. Union members already have distributed 180,000 worksite leaflets to members across the state and local unions have sent scores of letters sent to tens of thousands of members Statewide phone banks will start Oct. 3.
Says Kentucky AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan:
In 2007, AFL-CIO Kentucky union members and working families will turn out the vote and walk this weekend to reject Gov. Fletcher’s anti-working families agenda. His corporate crony agenda has been built on the backs of working Kentuckians, and this November, working families will make their voices heard, rejecting Gov. Fletcher’s so-called leadership once and for all.
Union members will speak with colleagues, families, neighbors and other Kentuckians, making sure every working family in the state knows what’s at stake in this election.
The Kentucky labor movement has expanded greatly in recent months through outreach by the AFL-CIO community affiliate Working America. Working America is an organization for people who don’t have a union at their workplace but have the same concerns about the economy as union members. Some 40,000 Kentuckians are members of Working America members, part of 1.6 million members nationwide.
Take a minute to watch this video in which Rep. John Yarmuth, Beshear and six labor leaders from Kentucky talk about their commitment to the labor political program.
Congressman Yarmuth summed it up this way:
I never would have been elected without the help of the labor movement.
[Cross post from AFL-CIO Now – blog.aflcio.org]
TAGS: Kentucky, Working Families Vote 2008, Steve Beshear, union, unions, Labor 2007