Union Reactions to Obama Re-election

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

Tonight, working families across the country celebrate the re-election of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden – and breathe a sigh of relief that our country will move forward on the path of sanity and shared prosperity. Nothing about the last four years has been easy, from the Great Recession to Hurricane Sandy, from unrelenting partisan obstruction by Republicans to the greatest onslaught of negative ads ever unleashed against an American president.

Throughout the tumult, President Obama and Vice President Biden have been steadfast allies of working men and women and the values we cherish, focused on repairing the economy, rebuilding the ladder to the middle class and investing in our shared future. That’s why workers and their unions made an historic effort on their behalf, bringing home the vote for the President from Nevada to Ohio, from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania.

With “Osama dead and GM alive” and the economy beginning to pick up steam, we are ready to work together with the President and all willing parties to win greater equality and economic opportunity for all – starting with ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and opposing any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits.

Below are statements from the AFT, UFCW,UAW AFGE , UFW, SEIU, IBEW, and IAM
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American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten

“The importance of this election was far greater than casting a ballot for one candidate over another—as important as that exercise in democracy is. The American people voted today to create opportunity and shared prosperity by sharing responsibility, and to reject the cynical ‘you’re on your own’ philosophy. The results of this election are a declaration by the American people that to rebuild a strong and vibrant middle class and ensure a voice for all, we all have to be in this together. Americans voted for a vision for our nation that says government has an essential role that includes protecting our families in times of crisis, investing in public schools as a foundation of our democracy, guaranteeing access to affordable healthcare, and ensuring retirement with dignity after a lifetime of hard work.

“Election night also was a victory for people power over money power. I witnessed the hard work of our union’s volunteers firsthand as I moved through Ohio, Florida and other states on the AFT’s ‘Your Vote—Your Right—Their Futures’ bus tour. Thousands upon thousands of our members made phone calls, knocked on doors, and reached out in every way they could to get their families, friends and neighbors to the polls on Election Day—an effort that contributed not only to President Obama’s re-election, but also to victories in key Senate, House and gubernatorial races across the country.

“On behalf of the 1.5 million teachers, healthcare workers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel, higher education faculty and staff, and public employees of the American Federation of Teachers, I congratulate President Obama and Vice President Biden on their re-election.”

Statement of AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunder

“This is a good day for the working middle class, the Main Street movement and the American Dream. The American people sent a clear message that we will stand with a President who stands with all Americans. We pulled together to elect leaders who believe that ‘we are all in this together.’

“Working families reelected Pres. Barack Obama, giving him added strength in the fight to create jobs and opportunity. The voters have given a mandate to protect vital programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, and strengthen the middle class.

“Voters elected pro-worker candidates like Tammy Baldwin, Chris Murphy and Sherrod Brown to the U.S. Senate. And perhaps no race more clearly demonstrates the commitment of voters to uphold the values of Main Street than Elizabeth Warren’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race. From the beginning, Warren offered a full throated embrace of Main Street’s fight to curb Wall Street’s power – and the active role that government has to play in the struggle.

“We are proud of the role AFSCME members and our sisters and brothers in the labor movement have played in this critical victory. More workers than ever got involved through the AFL-CIO’s political program, the smartest, biggest and broadest effort we’ve ever run. More than 65,000 AFSCME volunteers went into action, combining cutting-edge voter communications with massive grassroots strength.

“We will continue to pull together and fight for the values that inspire working men and women and have helped to produce these electoral victories.”

UFCW President Hansen

President Obama’s reelection is a victory for UFCW members and workers across the nation. The President stabilized a failing economy, put in place new rules to prevent another financial crisis, and made important investments in the middle class. He reformed health care, made college more affordable, and helped guarantee women equal pay for equal work.

There is much more to be done in a second term. It is time for immediate and bold action to create good-paying jobs. It is time for a tax code that is fair and helps close the gap between the rich and the poor. It is time to strengthen our labor laws so workers can join a union freely and fairly. And it is time to reform our immigration system so those who work hard and play by the rules can become American citizens. Only then can we truly recognize the President’s vision of shared prosperity and shared sacrifice.

“Achieving these goals will require leadership by President Obama. But he also needs a partner in Congress. Tea-party legislators tried—and failed—to defeat the President at any cost, calling it their top priority. I hope they will now put as much effort into addressing the great challenges facing our nation.

“The American people have spoken. It is time to get to work on their behalf.”

UAW congratulates President Obama on his re-election

DETROIT – The UAW is proud to congratulate President Obama on his electoral victory in the 2012 election. It is with great pride that in large part because of a nationwide, grassroots effort by our active and retired UAW members, along with our progressive allies and dedicated community leaders, President Obama won re-election and remains our president for four more years.

“President Obama stood by American workers in their darkest hour, and UAW members and citizens in communities that are part of the thriving auto industry, are grateful for his willingness to bet on us,” said UAW President Bob King.

“Today, the domestic auto industry is roaring back, with investment in factories, new workers and manufacturing returned to our country. This remarkable turnaround is the product of government, labor and community working together to find solutions to our nation’s problems and today it is driving the country’s economic recovery,” added King.

This 2012 election was successful because of the tireless commitment of working people who held steadfast in their belief about the kind of leader America needs: someone who believes in a better America with middle-class jobs, a strong auto and manufacturing sector, Social Security and Medicare for our seniors, Medicaid for those in need, and a fair tax system that favors the 47 percent instead of rewarding the 1 percent.

Americans have spoken – and they want President Obama to stay on the path of continued improvement for our economy. This election illustrates the hope people have for social and economic justice for our entire country and creating a ladder to the middle class.

But our work is not done, and we will continue to fight for social and economic justice for all Americans.

AFGE STATEMENT ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement in response to the presidential election results:

President Obama’s reelection is a victory for the nation and for all working class people.

Under President Obama’s leadership, our country rebounded from the brink of economic collapse. Job growth is up, unemployment is down, the housing market has finally turned a corner, and America’s prestige in the rest of the world has been restored.

We campaigned vigorously for President Obama’s reelection, so obviously we are very pleased that voters gave the president another four years to continue what he’s started.

Now that the election is over, we look forward to working with the president and our elected representatives in Congress to pursue a legislative agenda that protects and preserves our vital government services and programs and recognizes the substantial sacrifices that federal employees and agencies already have made toward reducing the deficit.

United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez

Latinos voting largely on the issue of immigration reform provided a key to victory for President Obama in Florida, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Virginia. The writing is on the wall for the Republican Party and its candidates: Abandon your hostility against immigrants and Latinos or accept permanent minority status in crucial swing states and across the nation. Genuine immigration reform must become a top legislative priority. Latinos will hold both parties accountable for making it happen.

The United Farm Workers and other immigration reform advocates will continue mobilizing our communities to ensure families stay together and that 11 million hard-working, tax-paying new Americans earn the ability to continue contributing to vital sectors of the U.S. economy, including the agricultural industry. The time for humane and realistic immigration reform is now.

By re-electing President Barack Obama tonight to lead our country, working people voted for a vibrant middle class fueled by good jobs, where everyone has a fair shot at the American Dream. Voters rejected the notion that the rich should be allowed to run roughshod over our economy with shameful tax breaks and let off the hook by not investing in America. In states like New Hampshire, Ohio and Nevada working people rejected Mitt Romney’s ‘you’re on your own’ vision and embraced a country where our deeds are guided by the core American value that ‘we’re all in this together.”

Mary Kay Henry, President, SEIU

“President Barack Obama’s re-election tonight is a victory for working people, whose voices were heard despite some of the most coordinated and insidious obstacles to their participation in our democracy in history. When the right wing flooded our electoral process with obscene amounts of money, working people mobilized to energize voters around a better vision for America. When extremist state legislators tried to suppress the votes of broad swaths of Americans, working people responded by standing up for their constitutional right to cast their votes. When Mitt Romney and the Republican Party sought to dismiss entire communities, voters in states like Nevada responded loud and clear: ‘Ignore us at your own peril.’

“Our union, including the more than 100,000 SEIU members who were on the ground during this campaign, made history as we stood with President Barack Obama – the most volunteers in SEIU history, knocking on millions of doors and making millions of phone calls to talk about the critically important issues at stake. We are also incredibly proud of our early and sustained work in the Latino and African American communities, which was ultimately critical in tonight’s outcome.

“Together, we were galvanized by our belief that President Obama is the leader we need to help get our country on track by creating good jobs now, requiring the rich and corporations to pay their fair share, to invest in healthcare, education and other vital services and by creating a pathway to citizenship for immigrants.

“Our hard work paid off – but it’s not over. We will stay in the streets until our agenda for working people is a reality.”

IBEW President Edwin D. Hill

I congratulate President Obama and all of last night’s winners. I want to give a big thank-you to all of our members who worked so hard to make this victory possible. All the brothers and sisters who made the phone calls, knocked on doors, talked to their co-workers about the importance of making their voices heard at the polls – you and the entire labor movement helped turn the tide against the politics of obstruction and economic extremism. Last night wasn’t just a victory for Obama – it was victory for every American who believes in shared prosperity, investing in our middle class and economic opportunity for all.

Tom Buffenbarger, International President,  IAM

“It is with great pride and pleasure that I extend the congratulations of the Machinists Union to President Obama on his dramatic and decisive election to a second term as President of the United States. I want to also acknowledge and thank the thousands of IAM volunteers who worked the phones, pounded the pavement and never gave up on the person-to-person type of campaigning that remains the undeniable foundation of a successful election.

“The election of President Obama to a second term is worthy of celebration for so many reasons, and celebrate we shall, but with the nation struggling to recover from a great recession and with millions still unemployed and underemployed, we must quickly turn our attention to the pressing work at hand.

“The nation is rapidly approaching a showdown over massive budget cuts that could trigger mass layoffs and push the country back into recession. I am confident the President will make good on his promise to prevent the sequestration cuts from taking effect on January 1, 2013. I sincerely hope the new and returning members of the House and Senate will join the President in this effort and make this nation’s economic security their highest priority.”

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2 Responses

  1. [...] are statements from the AFT, UFCW,UAW , and AFGE [...]

  2. I think it was an election struggle between the rigt and the far right, for tactical reason I would have voted for Obama, but to call it a succes for the workingclass. You should win back all the workers from the rebublicans the democrats have been allinated over the last years, no possitive discriminatian, harden on crime and immigration controles, not more hispannic workers. The trade unions should make a Labor Party like in Britian, and a candidate from the Lbor Party and the trade unions. Atte Houtsma; chairman of the sector Health from the Dutch civelservant union.

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