Union Reactions to Obama Re-election

Posted: November 7, 2012
Source: Talking Union

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 , and AFGE .

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.