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Labor helps President Barack Obama win second four-year term


NOVEMBER 2012, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Labor helps President Barack Obama win second four-year term


REGION, November 7th- President Barack Obama was reelected to a second four-year term defeating Republican candidate former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on November 6th. Mr. Obama needed 270 electoral votes to continue as president of the United States and recived more than 330.

Democrat Robert Casey Jr., defeated Republican businessman Tom Smith for a second six-year term in the United States Senate.

The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation again was involved nationwide and throughout Pennsylvania in the election by contacting union members about voting for Mr. Obama and other political candidates that supported or vowed to support the labor community.

“While not considered a “Battleground State” by some so-called “political pundits”, Pennsylvania’s union members realized a war was waged against working families in 2010. We did not start the war but November 6th, will be the beginning of the end of the anti-worker, wage destoying, vote suppressing, education elimination, and health care acess, Social Security, and medicare crushing agenda,” stated Rick Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO in Harrisburg.

Mr. Obama won Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and the state of Ohio, which secured his victory for a second term.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was the top spender for Democratic candidates nationwide. The union funded $70 million of campaign donations, television advertisements, and get-out-the-vote efforts.

Meanwhile, the AFL-CIO in Washington DC said it registered more than 450,000 new voters from union households nationwide over the 18 months leading-up to election day.

According to the labor federation, the tally including about 68,000 new voters in Ohio, and thousands of other union friendly voters in swing states like Colorado and Nevada. Mr. Obama won all three states on November 6th.

Voters from union households have traditionally favored Democratic candidates and that trend continued this year despite efforts by Republican leaders to weaken collective bargaining rights in Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana and other states.

“This is the first time we’ve made this big an effort to increase registration. We’re really proud that more union members are going to be engaged. Whoever they vote for, the fact is we’re increasing civic participation,” stated AFL-CIO political director Mike Podhorzer.

Mr. Podhorzer said the plan began in March 2011 when the labor federation began matching lists of union households members with voter registration files in every state.

The grassroots AFL-CIO labor federation political program was again conducted throughout the nation, Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. The political program includes visits by fellow union members at unionized job sites, making phone calls to members homes, and knocking on doors of union members.

“Working families clearly understand who is on their side on the core economic issues,” added Mr. Bloomingdale.