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With primary over, labor getting ready for November election


June 2008, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

With primary over, labor getting ready for November election


REGION, May 18th- With the Pennsylvania Primary election now over, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC, is looking now at the November’s general election and beginning their political program in Pennsylvania to better educate union members about Senator John McCain’s labor voting record.

Mr. McCain, the expected Republican Presidential candidate for the fall election, will be challenged by Democratic Illinois Senator Barack Obama or New York Senator Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton defeated Mr. Obama in the April 22nd Pennsylvania primary election by nine percentage points.

The AFL-CIO endorsed neither candidate with many of their affiliated unions split on supporting either Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton. There were national unions that supported candidates other than Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton that withdrew from the campaign earlier in 2008.

The Change-to-Win (CtW) labor federation and the majority of their affiliates endorsed Mr. Obama.

Meanwhile, the AFL-CIO plans to conduct their political program throughout Pennsylvania, including the Lehigh Valley, during the summer, despite the Democratic party presidential candidate is likely not to be known until after the Democratic convention in August in Denver.

The program is intended to inform union members about issues pertaining to the November election and how it will effect them and the working people.

With labor divided and the known Democratic party candidate not likely to be known until late summer, the AFL-CIO plans to conduct their political program and contact union members by mail, phone and door-to-door about Senator McCain’s labor voting record, which they state shows he doesn’t support working people, and why the working people shouldn’t vote for him in November.

On May 17th, the Lehigh Valley Labor Council labor federation affiliated unions conducted their first door-to-door labor walk from the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) office on Airport Road in Bethlehem. The United Steelworkers of America (USW) Union Local 2599 in Bethlehem, which is not affiliated with the local labor federation, also began their political program to inform their members and retirees why Senator McCain does not support the working people and their unions.

According to information provided by the AFL-CIO, Mr. McCain’s voting record shows he helped companies send jobs overseas by voting against protecting steelworkers’ jobs from illegal dumping. He also supports privatizing Social Security, putting retirement at risk, and raising the Medicare eligibility age.

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