On Election Day today union members are continuing their push right up until the polls close. In Kentucky union volunteers backing Democrat Jack Conway against ultra-right Rand Paul are among them.

“We are continuing the effort right up to the end,” said Kentucky AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigin, late Tuesday afternoon. “The intensity of the push has been rachetted up and the amount of materials that are being distributed and the amount of phone calls are reaching a peak.”

In Ohio union members are still battling for Ted Strickland, the incumbent Democratic governor and Lee Fisher, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

The AFL-CIO has staffed 4,500 three-hour shifts in the state, with union members making 500,000 phone calls and knocking on 75,000 doors, according to Andy Richards, spokesman for the state federation.

Richards said the effort will continue until the last minute, “regardless of what the pundits and the news media are saying is going to happen. We want to make sure that we have candidates in the state and in Washington that are going to support workers, that are not going to support trade deals that outsource jobs.”

In Colorado, the AFL-CIO reports that, as of Election Day, it has contacted 189,000 union members on behalf of Democrat Michael Bennet who is opposing a tea-party backed candidate.

Union organizers in Colorado say the tea party wave and the millions of dollars that outside right-wing groups have poured into the state have been a serious challenge for them.

“Union members talking it up at the work place are an important counter balance for the message bombs put out by the right wing in the media,” said Phil Hayes, legislative director for the Colorado AFL-CIO. He said, however, “The problem is that we don’t have enough people in the media presenting the facts.”



John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.