MBCLC Endorsements for November 2020 Election

PDF of Nov 2020 Endorsements

Sisters and Brothers,

No matter where we come from or what we look like, we all deserve an equitable chance to pursue our dreams. As a labor movement, we come together to reject the politics of hate and division. We are fighting back against self-interested politicians and greedy corporations who try to divide us while they hijack our economy, our democracy, and our government.

The need for union activism grows as more and more working people slip into debt and poverty, fail to maintain the same standard of living as their parents, and face an ever-widening gap between rich and poor.

Along with my union Sisters & Brothers, we have gained a voice to be heard in the streets, in the workplace, and in the halls of government. Such access was, at one time, reserved for the privileged few for whom doors opened based on their fortune, family history, and network of connections. Unions begin to level the playing field so that worker and family concerns are taken into account.

Union members count on elected officials to be fully conscious of the human cost and benefit of every decision that comes before them.  At their best, they carry forward the hopes and aspirations of working Americans; support for union concerns by candidates for public office is in the public interest!

When a union supports campaigns advocating for public policy, it is based on the voices of union members who pull together across diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, and resources and democratically choose the candidates we believe we can endorse to carry our priorities forward.

Sisters and brothers, below you will find a list of our endorsed candidates for this election cycle*.

--- Cesar Lara, Executive Director

PDF of Nov 2020 Endorsements

John Sweeney, who led an era of transformative change in America’s labor movement, passed away Feb. 1 at the age of 86.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka discusses why America needs a strong labor movement and how the Biden administration is committed to strengthening unions.

California School Employees Association (CSEA) member Jacob Rodriguez leapt at the chance to join his school district’s information technology department when a position opened up. The only catch was that he was a substitute custodian and didn’t have a college degree yet. “I promised them I’d go back to school to get more qualified,” Rodriguez said. Thanks to the Union Plus Free College Program, Rodriguez was able to complete his associate degree free of charge, graduating in December 2020.

"We are going to insert ourselves at every table,” Shuler said. “If we don’t get workers to the table, there’s going to be more of what Trump tapped into,” she said, in reference to angry voters who feel left behind by globalization. “Training works better when you talk to workers. They can tell you what will and won’t work when automating. We’re not always hostile — we can be collaborators and make it go well,” she said.

Amazon is the great white whale, a target that labor groups have longed for years to organize, said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, which is providing personnel and strategic guidance to aid the RWDSU. “We’ll give them whatever they need to help them win,” Trumka said. “It’s an important, important drive.”

Read the full article in the Washington Post.

“This pandemic has amplified [public support] even more. It showed how helpless workers are without a union. They couldn’t even get PPE and unions were able to get it for them,” says Trumka. “For years and years and years, people that we call ‘essential workers’ were invisible. It was as if no one knew they existed. They did their jobs every day to keep the country and the economy going.

Major labor leaders like Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, are more optimistic about the prospects for organized labor than they’ve been in many years. “I know what he is. Joe Biden’s a blue-collar guy,” said Trumka, who like Biden is from a working-class area in Pennsylvania and has known the president for 40 years. “He understands working people, the importance of a paycheck, importance of health and safety on the job, importance of having a union .… He understands all of that. It’s not something he picked up in the polls. It’s what he believes.”

The 2021 Union Plus Scholarship application deadline is this Sunday, Jan. 31. The Union Plus Scholarship Program awards scholarships based on outstanding academic achievement, personal character, financial need and commitment to the values of organized labor. Union Plus Scholarship awards are granted to students attending a two-year college, four-year college, graduate school, or recognized technical or trade school.

According to AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, its Rooney Rule proposal is “clearly workable” as evidenced by other big companies that have adopted similar policies. “Diversity and inclusion at all levels is important for companies to succeed, particularly in industries where there has been a historic underrepresentation of women and minorities in senior level positions,” Shuler told Kotaku in an email. “We are pleased that many banks have adopted diverse candidate search policies, and we are now turning our attention to tech companies.

In the last Congress, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the US House of Representatives passed the most significant worker empowerment legislation since the Great Depression by creating a much fairer process for forming a union. It is called the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act. After an anti-worker majority blocked it in the Senate, reintroducing the PRO Act, passing it in both chambers of Congress and getting Biden's signature is vital to our economic recovery. The PRO Act would protect and empower workers to exercise their freedom to organize and bargain.