Corporate cronies for years have sought to do everything they can to push their platform to the public in hopes of getting more anti-worker policies passed at all levels of government. But a new report shows that effort might be succeeding.
Conservative groups -- including those whose main objective is to smash workers and unions -- are building a nationwide network to influence and indoctrinate voters, win elections and take over government. The Fight For America’s Front Porch, released by Working America, paints a picture of the right-wing groups erecting state and local offices and recruiting tens of thousands of organizers to advance the corporatist agenda.
“In communities across the country, the radical right, spearheaded by the Koch Brothers and Americans For Prosperity, is making a well-financed and highly organized power grab for the hearts and minds of working class voters,” the report, presented to the AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting in late February in San Diego, declares.
The agenda of the right wing includes takeovers of federal, state and local governments through extensive and permanent political organization down to the local precinct level and destruction of foes – notably unions – who oppose the corporate program. Its agenda includes everything from enacting so-called “right to work” laws to fighting school district taxes.
It’s because of such efforts that the Teamsters are debuting a new program for activists. “Building Teamster Political Power” is meant to get members involved in making polices like the union’s “Let’s Get America Working” platform a reality. Locals will identify members who will be trained on how to talk about political issues and persuade their fellow Teamsters on the issues that matter most to this union.
For nearly a year, staff members from the Department of Political and Legislative Action have been meeting with Joint Council and local union officers and business agents to listen to ideas about how the Teamsters can improve on their already successful political program. The feedback received pointed to a need to focus on working family issues, and have consistent communication with members who believe in our political objectives.
By starting early, the Teamsters can have scores of trained political activists on the ground to participate in the union’s 2016 election program. And workers will need every one of them to push back on the message of the corporate candidates who are seeking to reward their contributors.
Remember -- Teamster Strong, America Stronger!
- Press Associates, Inc., contributed to this report.