Next Tuesday (or maybe even right now depending on where you live), workers have an opportunity to take back their government from the corporate elite and ensure that hardworking Americans have a chance to earn a fair wage so they can support their families.
Wanting such an opportunity shouldn’t be such a huge ask. But increasingly, big business has been able to lure lawmakers with their big dollars to become their corporate cronies. In turn, legislation that tamps down on the rights of workers – like so-called right to work (RTW) – has become increasingly prevalent.
The people have the power to stop it, but only if they use it. That’s where all of us have a role to play. On Nov. 6 (if not before), workers need to go to the polls and vote! Mid-term elections usually suffer from poor turnout, so it is essential that members not only vote, but get their friends, family and co-workers to vote.
“Working people win when they turn out to vote,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “It doesn’t matter whether the race is to elect people to Congress, the Statehouse or City Hall. We need elected officials across the board who will enact policies that support workers and their families.”
Teamsters and other union members saw the importance of elections firsthand in August when Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected efforts to enact a RTW law passed by the Legislation and signed by the then-governor in early 2017. Unions came together in the weeks following the legislation’s passage to get voters to place a measure on the state ballot that would overturn the law.
Despite RTW supporters’ efforts to sabotage the anti-RTW referendum vote by having it moved to the August primary ballot instead of holding it next week as originally intended, working Missourians stood up to business interests on Aug. 7, defeating a law that would have curbed the ability of workers to join together to negotiate for higher pay, benefits and safety on the job.
That is the power of the ballot box! It’s why scores of Teamsters have been going from workplace to workplace in recent weeks all across the country to encourage their union brothers and sisters to vote for candidates who support issues of importance to rank-and-file workers.
Rest assured that the corporate class is doing all it can to stop such efforts. In Georgia, North Dakota and elsewhere, they are using unjust laws to suppress the votes of regular people who are only trying to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
That’s why workers must persist. It’s time to push back on the powerful and let them know voters have had enough!