Gov. Sarah Palin’s “small-town” narrative has just about run its course. Lots, maybe most, of the people I know are from a small town, or their parents or grandparents were from small towns. Of course, they may be from small towns in Italy or San Marcos or Guatemala—not sure if those places would qualify as “the real America” to Palin. My own family is from places like Oskaloosa, Iowa, New England, N.D., and Chillicothe, Mo. I love my small-town Midwestern relatives (even the Republicans, which is probably what most of them are). They are warm, generous people, and I don’t recognize them in the spiteful Palin at all.
But Palin claims the small town folks are the ones who do the hard work and fight the wars. So don’t we work here in the small city of Lynn, Mass.? And how come it seems like every other family in my local union has a kid in the 10th Mountain Division?
div class=flexinode-body flexinode-1div class=flexinode-textarea-2div class=form-item
lia href= http://www.laborradio.org/node/9757Colorado Workers Fighting Ballot Measures That Would Undermine Their Rightsa//li
lia href= http://www.laborradio.org/node/9758AFL-CIO Gears Up For Big Final Four Voter Mobilization Pusha//li
lia href= http://www.laborradio.org/node/9759Freelancers Union In New York Is Working To Build The Safety Neta//li
pBy Doug Cunningham/p
pSara Horowitz heads the New York-based Freelancer’s Union using a non-traditional approach to organizing workers./p
p[Horowitz]: “We have about 90,000 members and we provide health insurance, disability, life insurance. And we’re working to build the next safety net and mobilize our members to talk to their elected officials about what kinds of things we need to build that safety net.”/p
pJoining the union is free at freelancersunion.org/p
pBy Doug Cunningham/p
pThe AFL-CIO and its community affiliate Working America says they “are unleashing an unprecedented Final Four get-out-the-vote effort in the final four days of the election to reach more than 13 million union voters in 21 presidential battleground states.”br /
Tens of thousands of AFL-CIO volunteers will go into action door-to-door in an effort to reach 3.9 million union households, make 5.5 million calls and distribute more than 2 million leaflets at worksites through Election Day. Change To Win is actively turning out their members. The two labor federations pledged to cooperate politically in the election cycle. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney says labor’s effort is the result of work by hundreds of thousands of union volunteers. Working America, the 2.5 million member community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, has a thousand full-time canvassers in 11 battleground states to maximize worker turnout November 4th./p
pThe top of the ballot isn’t the only important election to union members in some states. Jesse Russell reports:/p
pIn Colorado worker allies are fighting hard against a trio of amendments that opponents say would undermine the rights of workers to have an organized voice in the workplace. According to the Colorado AFL-CIO Amendments 47, 49, and 54 would “weaken” unions, “silence” voices, and “undermine” the ability to “negotiate fair wages and benefits.” /p
pDenver Mayor John Hickenlooper recently spoke out against the measures. He said they are bad for business in Colorado:/p
The race between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain is heating up all around the country in the final six days—and now the race is even tightening up in McCain’s home state of Arizona.
McCain held a lead in polling in Arizona over the summer, and most observers took for granted that he’d win the state he’s represented for 26 years in Congress. But recent polls show the race is tight and McCain’s performance falling. Rasmussen gives McCain a five-point lead, Grove shows him up by only four points and Arizona State University and Zimmerman both show McCain with only a two-point lead, as bmaz nicely notes on Firedoglake. (Worth noting: McCain only got 47 percent in his home-state primary in February.) The contest for Arizona’s 10 electoral votes is very much up in the air.
If early voting is any indication, there will be record turnouts on Election Day. You may need to put your patience and commitment to work on Election Day to deal with the long lines and possible snafus due to unfamiliar voting machines and deliberate false information.
The AFL-CIO and other progressive groups are urging as many voters as possible to vote early to bypass the long lines on Election Day, as well as any potential mistakes or mishaps that could result from voting at the last minute. You’ll also get to vote on your own schedule and avoid all those people who are trying to sway your vote—or turn you away—on Election Day.
Virginia union members are fighting hard to win an historic working families victory in the traditional red and Republican commonwealth. Julie Hunter, Labor 2008 state communications director, describes how union members are getting out the vote and sending the message that John McCain’s no friend of workers.
Last week, union members in the Tidewater area got together to “rat” out Sen. John McCain on some of his more questionable policies, proposals and Senate votes. Jim Avery from Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1340 hosted the gathering. (See video.)
Matt Yeargin, a member of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), “ratted out” McCain on veterans’ issues. He said that the group Disabled American Veterans gave McCain just a 20 percent rating, while Sen. Barack Obama earned an 80 percent.
Time off from work to vote on Election Day varies by state. Below is a partial list of states that mandate time off from work to vote. Know your rights and don’t be afraid to exercise them.
* In Colorado, employees get two paid hours to vote. The employer has the option of designating hours and employees must give one day’s advance notice.
* In Georgia, employees get two paid hours to vote. The employer has the option of designating hours and employees must give “reasonable notice.”
* In Iowa, employees get three paid hours to vote. The employer has the option of designating hours and employees must give one day’s advance notice.
United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard has raised serious concerns about the Treasury bailout of nine financial firms, saying the cost was double what it should be and the investment helped the companies’ stockholders, rather than the taxpayers.
In a letter sent yesterday to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Gerard questioned the wisdom of Treasury investing $125 billion of taxpayers’ money into nine financial institutions, including the firm which Paulson recently headed, Goldman Sachs.