VOTERS TO POLITICIANS: “FOLLOW THROUGH”
Detroit – UAW President Gary Jones said Wednesday that voters sent a loud and clear message on election day: “Enough rhetoric.” Voters made it clear they expect real progress on trade, job creation, job protections and wage growth. He also noted the significant victories of women, minorities, the first two female Muslim members of Congress and the first openly LGBT governor in U.S. history.
“This vote was a loud statement by Americans that they want action on jobs, healthcare, education, fair trade, income growth and a future for their children. If 2016 was a statement about being fed up with politics as usual and wages being too low to make ends meet – 2018 was about working people telling politicians they want less rhetoric and more action and progress. It is time to come together and deliver for working families in this country and future generations. We must not go backwards.”
Voters supported candidates focused on working family issues throughout the country, electing a pro-working family majority in Congress; pro-working family Governors and flipping some Statehouse elected officials and legislators.
“UAW members demand progress and unity from all our elected leaders. They want an end to fear mongering and bickering. They insist on real progress on trade, creating more good paying jobs, raising wages, and lowering health care costs. Progress is needed for not just their sake but for them on their children’s and grandchildren’s future – and they want politicians to stop their constant attacks on their health care, social security, job protections and civil/human rights. Enough is enough.”
Nationally, the election of a pro-labor majority in the U.S. House and a continued narrow margin in the U.S. Senate sent a clear message to Washington, D.C., that working families expect progress and unity, not divisive partisanship.
“The American people told our elected leaders yesterday that it is time to stop dividing us and to start uniting us and work for all of us. For UAW families this should mean an end to the constant assault on common sense health and safety protections in the workplace; on the right of workers to join together to organize; and on economic policies that favor billionaires over working families. This means an end to constant attacks on our right to affordable and comprehensive health care and the ability to retire with dignity. This means putting an end to schemes from special interests and wealthy campaign contributors to gut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Skyrocketing prescription drug and education costs must be curtailed. Powerful special interests must be directly confronted. No more kicking the can. Americans sent a message that they demand an end to divisive politics on civil rights and human rights. Congress must work to protect the dignity of all Americans. The message is clear – it is time to unite and it is time for our politicians to represent all Americans and discard the poll-driven politics of hate that have become so dominant in recent years.
Also Tuesday voters reinforced the message of wanting a government that focuses on the basics, not rhetoric, through key changes in UAW states including:
MICHIGAN: In Michigan, incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow cruised to victory while Gretchen Whitmer won the race for Governor along with candidates for Attorney General and Secretary of State while increasing seats in the Legislature.
CONNECTICUT: Incumbent Senator Chris Murphy won re-election and pro-labor progressive Ned Lamont won the Governor’s race. There were significant gains in the Legislature including former UAW Region 9A Director Julie Kushner who won a long held Republican State Senate seat in the Danbury region.
ILLINOIS: In a decisive message that voters want an end to attacks on working families, voters showed the Rauner Administration the door after one very divisive term — electing J.B. Pritzker to bring a pro-labor, pro-working families agenda to Springfield.
WISCONSIN: Incumbent Senator Tammy Baldwin won an impressive swing state victory and after eight years of continued attacks on working families, voters said enough and showed Scott Walker the door.
KANSAS: Pro-Labor candidate Laura Kelly defeated an anti-labor opponent.
MINNESOTA: Appointed Senator Tina Smith cruised through her special election, along with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, while pro-labor Tim Walz held the Governor’s mansion.
WEST VIRGINIA: Incumbent pro-labor Senator Joe Manchin won a tough re-election battle in an increasingly red state.
“In Statehouses across the country, voters also made their message clear on Tuesday. Voters expect government to focus on quality of life issues like the water we drink, the roads we drive on, the education of our children and the jobs of the future,” Jones said. “The working men and women of this country are tired of partisan attacks on working families, on workplace health and safety, on privatization schemes that benefit wealthy donors who focus less on public services and more on profit. Jones added, “Tuesday, voters told governors and legislatures across the nation to stay out of stoking partisan fires over our private lives and focus instead on our public services. It was a back to basics message.”
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