Elect worker-friendly candidates — It’s more important now than ever
by President Mark Ramos
It’s election season and that means, if history is any indication, a few things are almost guaranteed to happen again:
- We will be getting a lot of mail from campaigns and candidates.
- We will see a lot of political ads on TV.
- We will see talking heads yelling at each other on TV.
- We will see a lot of people arguing on social media.
- We may even have some disagreements with family, friends and coworkers over whom they will be voting for.
What is often lost during election season are substantive conversations about which candidate is the best advocate for working people and unions.
It’s easy to get confused by noise created by campaigns. Much of the noise is meant to anger voters and some of it is designed to create confusion to the point that voters may not know whom they can trust.
I’m not going to ask you to blindly follow your union’s recommendations about whom to vote for, but I will tell you your union doesn’t make recommendations based on political party or affiliation.
Your union only cares about where a candidate stands on the issues of wages, health care, workplace safety, COVID -19, retirement and job security, and how committed they are to creating a country where workers have a fair chance at building better lives for themselves and their families.
At UFCW Local 1428, we know our members’ political beliefs don’t all fit into a one-size-fits-all box. From our conversations with members, however, we have learned the one thing we do have in common is that we all want a stronger union and better contracts.
This is why the UFCW has endorsed Joe Biden for President. Joe understands union members’ struggles to make ends meet.
Joe has walked picket lines with striking UFCW members and demanded that employers respect the hard work of their employees.
Joe has called for hazard pay and workplace protections for our members during this pandemic.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, wants to give employers immunity from liability if workers get sick from COVID-19. His administration has relaxed requirements to report workplace injuries and illness. He is making it harder for workers to get information about workplace hazards.
There is an important government agency known as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that exists solely to protect our hard-fought-for rights as union members and is supposed to protect the rights of workers trying to form a union in their workplace.
Under the current president’s administration, the NLRB has been turned into a union busting machine in overdrive.
Recent rulings from the NLRB blatantly remove the rights of unions to protect members.
NLRB commissioners are appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. If our union has to withstand another four years of union busting decisions from the NLRB, I can tell you, without a doubt, it will make it almost impossible for us to negotiate improved contracts or to organize new workers to strengthen our union.
We have included a side-by-side comparison of the presidential candidates to illustrate their positions on the issues that matter most to workers on page 5.
It is crucial for every UFCW member to vote for candidates who support our union and working people’s issues.
I urge you to focus on the issues affecting your economic future. Do not be distracted by campaign gimmicks, negative ads or the latest provocations on social media.
Let’s elect candidates committed to making our union stronger.
In unity we will prevail.