Reporting for the People's World, Political Affairs editorial board member Tony Pecinovsky writes on the Missouri state AFL-CIO convention in St. Louis recently. The focus? Elections, elections, elections.
At the meeting, the state's leaders discussed the successes of the Obama administration and the need to block Republican Party takeovers in Congress:
Over the past two years the Obama administration has:
• passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the largest economic stimulus in history;
• passed health care reform, providing health care to 30 million Americans and reigning the power of the health care industry;
• promoted workers' rights through the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the National Mediation Board (allowing airline and railway workers to join a union according to basic democratic principles);
• increased funding for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Wage and Hour Division (all defunded by the Bush administration), and expanded unemployment benefits to laid-off workers;
• passed Wall Street reform legislation, the most comprehensive reform of the financial system since the Great Depression;
• has appointed union leaders to key posts in the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board and the National Mediation Board.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who spoke at the convention targeted Republican Party leaders:
"This is our challenge," he continued. "We can't sit back. We have to fight. We have to build the political will to fight the irresponsible fear mongering and violent rhetoric of Sarah Palin and the Republicans."
This year alone the Republican obstructionists in Congress have filibustered over 400 bills, more than any other Congress in U.S. history.
In addition, Missouri Republicans are owned by corporate America. The outcome of the Missouri elections are going to come down to the labor vote and activist role.
Read the full story here.