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Republican political candidates have received labor support


MAY 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Republican political candidates have received labor support


REGION, April 19th- While many of the mouth-pieces of the Republican party make claim that the labor community only support Democratic party elected officials and political candidates, actually many members of the GOP have received union endorsements and financial support.

Most recently, many of the labor unions affiliated with the building trades in Ohio are supporting or will likely endorsed the re-election of Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich in 2014.

Mr. Kasich is on the list of six Republican Governors the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC, have targeted to attempt to defeat for supporting anti-public union legislation. Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett is also on the AFL-CIO list.

However, Mr. Kasich since being Ohio Governor has worked with the affiliated members of the Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents approximately 90,000 union members within the construction trades industry, and many of the trade unions have already financially gave to Mr. Kasich campaign, some reaching the maximum contribution.

Mr. Kasich has supported the hiring of unionized contractors in Ohio for infrastructure projects. But, has gained the dislike of public sector unions when he signed into law a measure eliminating most collective bargaining rights for public employees. The citizens of Ohio overturned the law in 2011 in a voter referendum.

Frank Sirianni, President of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council in Harrisburg, told the newspaper the building trades community never supports a political candidate based on party affiliation.

“We look at the candidate. If the candidate shows support for us, we support them,” stated Mr. Sirianni.

Mr. Sirianni said currently the financial political action committee records indicate that nearly 40 percent of labor contributions go to Republican candidates. Indicating that while the Republican mouth-pieces suggest organized labor only support Democrats the claim is untrue.

President Sirianni stated however, it is unlikely any union affiliated with the trades council will support Mr. Corbett for re-election in 2014, stating he has hurt all sectors of the labor community, building trades, industrial, and the public sector unions. There is little to no chance any labor union will support Mr. Corbett for another term in Harrisburg.

Also, the New Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council in 2013 supported the re-election of New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie over his Democratic party opponent.