Historic election for labor
by Dick Meister
San Francisco Bay Guardian
Labor and Democratic Party leaders are concerned – and rightly so – that labor's rank-and-file may not turn out in November to support labor-friendly Democrats in the massive numbers that played a major role in the election of President Obama and Democratic congressional majorities in 2008.
AFL-CIO officials are hoping to turn the anger and frustration that so many working people feel into votes, financial support and campaigning in behalf of pro-labor Democrats. But the officials worry about an "enthusiasm gap" among unionists and their supporters stemming from the relatively slow pace of the progressive economic and political changes that they had very much expected from Obama and the congressional Democrats.
Many unionists are frustrated as usual by the lack of a viable progressive alternative to the Democratic Party. But they'd best beware, as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says, of the serious consequences of being less than enthusiastic supporters of Democratic candidates in November's elections.
"The Republican Party of NO doesn't want our vote," says Trumka. "All they want is for us to stay home. They want us to feel hopeless and disgusted so they can come back by default."
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