How can it be more important than 2008? After all, didn’t we spend more than $20 million to defeat a so-called right to work initiative?
Yep. That’s true, but all elections are critical when you’re fighting for survival, which the labor movement has been doing in every election since 1970. Unions now represent about eight percent of the nation’s workforce, as opposed to 25 percent in the 70s.
Seems we have more enemies than friends nowadays in the political arena.
And yet labor leaders are having trouble getting their memberships revved up for the 2010 campaign. That’s a real shame because 2010 is another crucial year at the polls for organized labor.
In Colorado, the rank-and-file’s lack of vitality is the result of four years in which Democrats have–for the first time in more than 40 years–controlled both houses of the state legislature, but have shown little effort to enact any significant pro-labor legislation.
This year’s election is very important because the 50 state legislatures are required to redistrict congressional districts in 2011. Thus, the party in control of the majority of legislatures, as determined by the election, will control the redistricting process, which occurs every 10 years after the census.
The new districts are supposed to be drawn according to population shifts determined by the 2010 census. However, all objectivity is lost when either political party is in control of the process.
It pains many labor leaders to admit it, but at election time for the past 20 years or so unions have had to embrace the lesser of two evils, and that, with some exceptions, has been the Democratic Party.
We must do it again this year; hold our nose and mark our ballots.
If we don’t, Republicans will take over most state legislatures, including Colorado’s, and gerrymander congressional districts so the GOP will have a huge advantage for 10 years in elections for U.S. representatives and senators.
While it has been tough dealing with our so-called Democratic friends in Congress, think about the futility of working with Republicans if we let them take control. That would be a huge and undoubtedly irreconcilable mistake.
Most congressional Republicans believe unions should be eliminated, collective bargaining should be outlawed and good wages, hours and working conditions should be determined by your employers.
Good luck with that, brothers and sisters.
Get motivated; your job may depend on it.