Holding the Line


As the calendar approaches November, workers have important decisions in front of them. Up and down the ballot, they must decide which candidates offer solutions that will improve the lives of everyday Americans.

There are many key issues facing voters this year. Whether it is addressing the corporate takeover of our political system, the shipping of U.S. jobs overseas due to lousy trade deals like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership or the need to reinvest in infrastructure to improve transportation, energy and water systems, these are important matters that could have a lasting impact on the nation and its economy.

The Teamsters are doing their part by identifying those in key races that could make a difference. No matter what party they may represent, these endorsed candidates are putting people before the powerful. None of this will happen, however, if members don’t vote.

Maggie Hassan

Candidate for U.S. Senate, New Hampshire

A two-term governor, Maggie Hassan (D) is running in a key race that is essential to Democrats if they have any hopes of regaining control of the U.S. Senate come next January. She is facing Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) for the seat.

Hassan, who has earned the endorsement of the Teamsters, has a reputation of working across party lines to get things done and stresses her support of job training programs to help ensure workers are ready for good jobs in the changing global economy. During her time as governor, she has also fought to freeze in-state tuition at New Hampshire universities and cut the cost of community college in an effort to tame the price tag of higher education.

Just like the Teamsters, Hassan believes that investing in infrastructure is paramount to the future of her home state and this country. She notes that updating the transportation network can help both workers and businesses while boosting the economy.

Further investment is also needed in water systems and broadband networks to ensure clean water and dependable Internet service for future generations to come, she says.

Rob Portman

Candidate for U.S. Senate, Ohio

The Ohio Conference of Teamsters endorsed Republican Sen. Rob Portman in his re-election bid for Senate. The union applauded Portman’s fight to protect members’ pensions.

The Teamsters Union has praised Portman (R-Ohio) for his efforts to pass legislation that would guarantee thousands of retirees and workers threatened by deep cuts to their pensions a meaningful voice in deciding their own future, without the threat of the Treasury Department nullifying their decision if it judges that the insolvency of the fund would be “systemically important” by causing a liability of more than $1 billion to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

“Rob is fighting for middle-class jobs and higher wages for the people of Ohio, and he has fought with us to protect our pensions,” said Pat Darrow, President of the Ohio Conference of Teamsters.

Tammy Duckworth

Candidate for U.S. Senate, Illinois

Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran and member of the House of Representatives for the 8th District of Illinois, is the Teamsters Union’s choice for the open Senate seat from Illinois.

“I want to make it clear that I stand with labor, and I stand with the right of Americans to organize,” Duckworth recently said.

Duckworth has consistently worked with unions, including the Teamsters, to help veterans and their families as they transition back to civilian life. She first came to prominence in 2004 when the Blackhawk helicopter she was flying in for the Army National Guard in Iraq was shot down, costing her both of her legs.

She is a longtime friend of the Teamsters Union, having spoken at the Women’s Conference in 2014, where she said to the crowd of Teamsters: “Thank you for the work you do to ensure equal pay for equal work. You let women know anything is possible and we can try anything. We have to make sure we mentor young women and men to know that women are capable of doing everything.”

Steve Bullock

Candidate for Governor, Montana

Steve Bullock is the current Governor of Montana and is running for re-election to a second term. Raised in Helena, Mont., Gov. Bullock was previously a labor attorney for Local 190 in Billings, Mont.

He led a bi-partisan group of state attorneys general in cracking down on FedEx’s illegal misclassification of more than 12,000 drivers. He is an adamantly pro-worker governor who has vowed to veto any right-to-work legislation sent to him by the current decidedly anti-worker Montana legislature.

Gov. Bullock is a longtime ally of the labor movement and the Teamsters Union. He spoke at the 28th International Convention and has appeared at several other union events.

Roy Cooper

Candidate for Governor, North Carolina

The gubernatorial race in North Carolina is shaping up to be the hottest race of 2016. Long expected to be among the most competitive contests this election cycle, the choice for Teamsters in the Tar Heel State is clear: Roy Cooper.

A longtime friend of the Teamsters, Cooper has a proven track record of fighting for working families. Since his election to the state senate in 1991, Cooper has worked tirelessly to help the union effort in North Carolina. Later, as Senate Majority Leader, he promoted legislation that put workers first, and fought against legislators seeking to further weaken collective bargaining rights.

Cooper is currently the state’s second-longest-serving attorney general. As attorney general, Cooper took the fight for working families even further, standing up to corporate greed, as well as the patsy politicians they bought and propped to carry out their anti-worker agenda.

Cooper’s support for organized labor is in stark contrast to his opposition, incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory. While Cooper has a vision for a strong economic future that will improve workers’ wages and strengthen unions, McCrory is backed by—and beholden to—big business and special interest groups. And thanks to an out-of-control legislature, he has signed many controversial bills into law, undoing decades of progress for working families.

Russ Feingold

Candidate for U.S. Senate, Wisconsin

For three terms in the U.S. Senate, Russ Feingold was a fighter for Wisconsin and the entire country against a corporate takeover of the electoral system.

As a sponsor of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, he sought to tamp down on big business’ influence on the political process.

Feingold (D) lost a close re-election race in 2010 to Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in a terrible year for Democrats. Now he is the choice of the Teamsters to help his party recapture control of the U.S. Senate and push a pro-worker agenda through Congress. He is prioritizing issues such as his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, increasing the federal minimum wage and enacting paid sick leave.

Feingold also wants to help the nation’s future generations while providing a secure retirement for those about to leave the working world. He advocates for reducing the cost of higher education and for allowing the refinancing of college loans, while at the same time calling for the expansion of Social Security so seniors can live with dignity.

Catherine Cortez Masto

Candidate for U.S. Senate, Nevada

Nevada’s former Attorney General, Catherine Cortez Masto, stood with labor when it was attacked. She stood with working families when anti-worker politicians sought to take away their protections and rights. She has spent her career fighting to protect Nevada’s workers. Now, she’s trying to be the state’s next senator.

The Teamsters are proud to support Masto in her bid to replace Sen. Harry Reid, and not only because she’s the daughter of a Teamster. The union endorsed Masto because she’s good for working families.

“For too long we have watched as Washington, time and time again, has failed the American people and refused to take up the real challenges that we face every day. It’s time for the politicians in Washington to stop the partisan bickering and start working together to solve problems,” Masto said recently at the Teamsters 29th International Convention.

“Instead of creating problems, Washington should be creating an economy that works for everyone,” she said. “That means equal pay for equal work. And that includes tearing down the barriers to the middle class. That means stopping anti-union policies, defeating job-killing trade deals, and making sure billionaires and corporations pay their fair share.”

Electing Koster as Missouri Governor is Key to Defeating RTW

For a long time, the Teamsters and other pro-worker allies have had a friend in Jefferson City, Mo. who had the backs of hardworking people.

Year after year, Gov. Jay Nixon (D) vetoed the efforts of corporate cronies in the Missouri Legislature who wanted to enact so-called right to work (RTW).

But Gov. Nixon’s second term as governor is ending. And with a Republican supermajority still expected to be in place in the state legislature, it is imperative that everyday Missourians get behind the candidacy of current Attorney General Chris Koster (D) to be the next governor in the state.

Koster, a former Republican who became a Democrat in 2007, is a pro-labor elected official who knows how to work across party lines. And like Gov. Nixon, he has been an outspoken opponent of RTW, telling attendees at a recent union gathering “how important it is for Missouri’s next governor to be a champion for workers and to always fight back against right to work efforts in the capitol.” That stands in direct contrast to his GOP opponent for governor.

He recently told the Kansas City Star, “Collective bargaining is what created 75 years of middle-class wages in this country. I can’t see why undoing collective bargaining is a wise use of governmental policy.”

The “Show Me State” has been ground zero in big businesses’ battle to implement anti-worker legislation.

Corporations, not satisfied enough with their sky-high profits, have repeatedly attempted to rally Missouri lawmakers and pass RTW in an effort to drive down salaries and hamper workplace rights of everyday workers.