In an increasingly impersonal political campaign environment saturated with slick TV ads and radio spots, many working families have difficulty discerning the truth from campaign spin… unless they’re union members. That’s because the grassroots labor campaign relies heavily on direct, personal communication, anchored by member-to-member contact at the worksite about the candidates and issues, and what’s at stake for working people in this year’s election.
The California Labor Federation kicked off the first wave of a major statewide informational worksite flyer blitz this month, in which union members are educating their fellow workers about Meg Whitman's Wall Street agenda and anti-worker proposals, as well as local and statewide issues and races. More than 150,000 flyers on Whitman's Wall Street ties and her positions on the issues workers care about are currently be distributed at worksites across the state to both public and private sector workers. Nurses, firefighters, construction workers, truck drivers, electricians, state workers and many others are taking part in this blitz to counter the more than $60 million Whitman is spending on the air.
California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski:
Meg Whitman's Wall Street agenda for California would spell disaster for working people, who know all too well the damage Wall Street has wrought on our jobs, homes and lives. As questions about Whitman's ties and shady dealings with Goldman Sachs mount, workers across this state are mobilizing in full force to spread the truth about what her agenda really means for our families.
Yesterday in Sacramento, union members with the Communications Workers of America Local 9421 passed out flyers and engaged their fellow workers at AT&T in discussion about this year’s elections during lunchtime as workers filed in and out of the busy AT&T building.
Communications workers at AT&T and other worksites expect and appreciate their fellow union members passing out information and engaging in lively discussion about candidates and issues, said Darrin Simmons, Secretary-Treasurer with CWA Local 9421. They really value getting information from a credible source — their fellow workers and union, Simmons added.
Local 9421 will hold many informational flyer activities at worksites between now and the election, ensuring that union members go to the polls among the most educated voters on the candidates and important issues. It’s that level of knowledge that leads to union voters turning out for elections in high numbers and making educated choices based on economic concerns, which is all the more crucial this year, given Meg Whitman’s massive spending to try to sway voters, said Local 9421 President Lupe Mercado.
Member communications are so important because our members are so busy working and living their lives that they really rely on us to reach out and keep them informed.
With the unemployment rate at 12.6 percent in California, union members’ top concern is the jobs crisis. Communications workers are particularly concerned about outsourcing and were interested in Whitman’s record, which includes outsourcing 40 percent of eBay’s workforce to other countries. Jerry Brown, on the other hand, has a long record of creating jobs. In his time as Governor, he created 1.9 million jobs in California and established collective bargaining rights for teachers and other public sector workers.
Our members’ top priority this year is jobs. So many of our jobs have been outsourced. We definitely need a governor who will keep our jobs in California. Jerry Brown has a record and lifetime of support on the issues working people care about. We need a governor like him that we can really count on to stand up for us.
As Whitman desperately continues to try to explain to voters her long history and dealings with the notorious banking firm Goldman Sachs and her poor record on jobs, the worker-to-worker blitz continues to expose Whitman's ties to Goldman and her Wall Street economic philosophy and ideology. One of the flyers being distributed, “Wall Street Whitman,” also directs workers to the Federation's new website, http://www.WallStreetWhitman.com the m,ost comprehensive site on the Internet on Whitman's Wall Street agenda, and the truth about her proposals on important issues like jobs, education and workers' rights.
Worksite blitzes across California will continue through November, ensuring that California union workers are engaged and armed with all the facts when they head to the polls. That’s something even Meg Whitman’s money can’t buy.