Oh, I get all sorts of e-mail. This one made me smile — I remember when Rich Trumka was a young coal miner calling us at the Senate Labor Committee, agitating for mine safety and better working conditions and railing against mine union officials who didn’t agree with him.
So he ran for president of the union. Today, Trumka is president of the AFL-CIO. But he’s still campaigning for better working conditions.
Trumka sends news from Ohio.
Dear Ed,I’m in Ohio right now, where working families just won an incredible victory.Ohioans overwhelmingly voted to repeal Senate Bill 5—Gov. John Kasich’s attack on middle-class jobs that was designed to destroy collective bargaining rights in Ohio.
We pieced together a short, powerful video summing up the amazing energy that went into this. I hope you’ll take a moment to watch:
Tonight’s victory represents a turning point in our collective work to protect good jobs, working families and workplace rights. But it’s more than that. It’s a long-overdue return to common sense.
From the very beginning of our jobs crisis, anti-worker politicians like Ohio’s Gov. Kasich have used our poor economy to push a cynical political agenda that favors the richest 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent. Today, Ohio voters rejected that agenda.
During this campaign, firefighters, nurses, teachers and other public employees were joined by construction workers, bakery workers and all kinds of private-sector workers. They came together to ensure the survival of the middle class. And together, we’ll keep doing it. Politicians who side with the richest 1 percent will find their radical efforts stopped by working people who want America to work for everyone.
Watch the energy and dedication that went into this huge victory—and join us.
This is our moment, and we won with solidarity. We won because the working people of Ohio—public and private sector, union and nonunion—stood together.
But the solidarity went even further than that: Volunteers traveled not just from neighboring Wisconsin—but from states as far away as California and New York—to help get out the vote. And activists from dozens of states as far away as Alaska gave up their nights and weekends to call Ohio voters from home.
Solidarity means that when workers anywhere are under attack, we will all do whatever we can to help. It means we’re in it together.
Watch our video. See what solidarity looks like.
I hope you’ll celebrate this moment in your own way. But the most important thing is to find a way to keep your own energy going and growing—so you can be a part of sustaining and growing our movement for all working people—the 99 percent.
This fight we’ve taken on and won—and the threats we face going forward—are about more than Democrats or Republicans, or 2012 battleground states. They are about good jobs and our right to a voice on the job.
Together, we’re building a new kind of politics. A politics that works for the 99 percent, not just the 1 percent.
We’ve got to start getting ready now to win tomorrow’s victories. Over time—together—we’ll build a future that works for working America.
Thank you for being a part of this movement, and for all you do for America’s workers.
Richard L. Trumka
P.S. America is waking up. Here’s one big reason we won in Ohio—people can see that the firefighters, teachers, nurses and snowplow drivers hurt by SB 5 didn’t cause our economic problems. Wall Street did. Ohio voters saw through Senate Bill 5—they understood it was a plan to make the 99 percent bear the burden of Wall Street’s recklessness—and that it would do nothing to create jobs.
Take a moment to watch the incredible energy that went into this win.
To find out more about the AFL-CIO, please visit our website at www.aflcio.org.
- Politico story on the repeal of SB5
- Trumka going door to door — in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, one of America’s great newspapers
- Grover Norquist cells campaigned against the unions (“Are you now or have you ever been a member of a Norquist cell?”)
- Talking Points Memo on the campaign against SB5 in Ohio
- Tucson Citizen: “Labor crushes Kasich . . .”
- New York Times story of November 9
Here’s the video direct from YouTube (above, the link goes to the AFL-CIO site) — note it features more than a few teachers who worked to repeal Ohio’s SB5: