The American Labor Reform Movement
October 26, 2012
Obama Needs Massive Support from Unions
If President Barack Obama hopes to be re-elected for a second term as president, he will need — and receive — enormous support from the AFL-CIO and its members. The unions played the same rescue role in getting Obama elected to his first term in the White House.
Good news is coming from AFL-CIO national headquarters in Washington. D.C. It reported that about 450,00 people have agreed to participate in the new voter registration drive. The Teamsters, an affiliate of Change to Win, registered 25,000 more citizens in California alone. And 200,000, probably a majority of them, Obama supporters, have voted early nationwide.
The labor federation plans to have volunteers make house call to 5.5 million workers, both union and non-union. They will make 5.2 phone calls and distribute 2.2 million leaflets to potential voters.
The unions will focus on battleground states where Obama and Romney are in a virtual statistical tie at 47-49 percent each. Those states are Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which have a relatively large union population.
Obama Gets Critical But Pragmatic Support
There are unions that are critical of what Obama has done or not done during his first term in office. The president continued to press for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) which labor strongly opposed.
Obama didn't use his influence to help pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which the unions claimed they needed to organize millions of workers who said they wanted to join a union.
He didn't use his executive powers sufficiently to obligate companies that benefit from government subsidies and grants to provide some pro-worker rules.
While some labor leaders may still be skeptical of the president's intentions, they certainly abhor the idea of living under a Romney administration.
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You don't need much of an imagination to know what would happen to unions under Romney. Or how he would manipulate a new tax system in favor of his friends in the one percent. Or what he would do to public education and health care.
Right now, our goal is to re-elect Obama for a second term. We'll have lots to talk about and negotiate after Election Day.