Voters sounded the loudest economic message in Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota, where minimum wage increases were overwhelmingly approved. San Francisco and Oakland also will likely raise minimum wage, and all four ballot initiatives supporting paid sick days passed. The AFL-CIO says that successes such as these “pave the way forward for a host of new ideas, ranging from how worker schedules are formulated to living wage legislation, paid sick leave and equal pay.”
Trumka said, “It’s clear that American workers and their families are way ahead of the political elite when it comes to envisioning the next American chapter. I was out there all fall. I was in almost every contested state. I spoke to hundreds and hundreds of workers. Their desire for bold, comprehensive and lasting economic change is the most real thing I’ve ever heard.”
Where it counted, workers and their unions led intense, grassroots organizing on the ground. These efforts resulted in union members supporting working family governor candidates by 64%-32% and U.S. Senate candidates by 61%-35%.
Since its last convention, the AFL-CIO has been working to build a long-term, year-round mobilization structure that won’t stop with elections. Already the AFL-CIO and allies are gearing up to press the interests of working people in the coming lame duck session of Congress, from immigration reform to trade deals that work for working families, while leading a national conversation on raising wages.
photos: (top) Trumka passes out election flyers at Miller Brewing Co.’s Milwaukee plant; (bottom) AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre talks to voter Loretta Munoz in Denver, CO.