The Electrical Worker online
October 2014

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At Risk in November

Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.

— Abraham Lincoln

Fire isn't too strong a word to describe what unions and working families face in the upcoming midterm elections. Don't take it from me. Listen to what the candidates are saying.

Listen to Kentucky's Mitch McConnell, who promises to make it a top priority to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act if Republicans win the Senate next year.

Listen to Bruce Rauner, running for governor of Illinois. Rauner, a guy who made $53 million last year and owns nine houses, says, "We may have to do what Ronald Reagan did with the air traffic controllers … and shut things down for a little while."

This issue of the Electrical Worker presents clear evidence how gains won by previous generations of workers could go up in flames if we elect the wrong candidates in November.

Again, don't take my word for it. Review our election coverage in this issue and make your own decision. Consider what has happened since the ban on corporate spending on elections was dropped in the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United, flooding anti-union candidates with unlimited cash.

Follow the money. Right-wing state legislators have replaced reasonable moderates in many states. Thousands of union members, including some IBEW members, have lost the rights to collectively bargain with their employers. States like Michigan and Indiana have even passed right-to-work laws.

States like Kansas have choked budgets, leaving construction workers unemployed as infrastructure jobs are put on hold.

If you're still reading this, you are probably inspired enough to get out and vote for candidates who will work to stop all of this damage to working families.

So, I'm asking you to reach out to your co-workers. Show them the evidence. Do your best to convince them of the necessity to vote for our union-endorsed candidates. I know that's never easy. But if we turn our members out on Nov. 4, we'll keep more bad things from happening to good, hard-working people.

And we'll even make history electing an electrician, Folsom, N.J., Local 351 Assistant Business Manager Donald Norcross to the U.S. Congress.


Also: Hill: Hanging Together — or Separately? Read Hill's Column

Salvatore J. Chilia

Salvatore J. Chilia
International Secretary-Treasurer