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With 2016 election past, MRLF plans to continue union member outreach

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, December 16, 2016

By Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou, President,
Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation

Every election we build a robust electoral program that deploys hundreds of union volunteers to talk to thousands of union members about what’s at stake when they enter the voting booth. The 2016 election is not far behind us, but Labor 2018 — our 2018 electoral work— already is underway.

No longer can we wait until the summer of an important election year to start our door-to-door conversations. Before we even start discussing candidates, we will be spending the next year and one-half talking to union members throughout our seven-county region about the economy, our workplaces, and the values we share in this workers’ movement.

These conversations will be a two-way street where we discuss unions, history and the everyday pressures workers face on the job and at home.

No longer can we wait until the summer of an important election year to start our door-to-door conversations.

After a year and one-half of building a network of members who share common interests, we will be more prepared than ever to face one of our most important elections in November 2018— one where the state of working families in Minnesota will be determined for generations to come.

But even more important than the election, we will be preparing our movement to stand up against the inevitable national and local attacks on workers’ rights—including attacks on the fundamental right to collective bargaining. 

We need to strengthen our unions to resist division and maintain our bargaining power not only for our members, but for all working families who are not protected by a contract.

While we represent only a fraction of workers, millions more non-union workers look to us for support, share in our success, and count on us to continue to hold the line in a very uncertain time.

Workers want to be a part of an economy that works for them. While the corporate elite are great at selling their story, they don’t deliver on payday.

For the next four years, we will be holding the Trump administration and the Republican Congressional majorities accountable to a narrative that claimed to stand up for, protect and support some workers. To be clear, neither President-elect Trump nor the Republican majority ever promised to stand up for all workers — only for some workers.

We will resist the strategy to divide workers against each other and we will advance counter-proposals that show workers what a real family-sustaining agenda looks like. We will particularly focus on how to protect workers in our local communities.

We are stronger than we know. No other group has members in every community and in every neighborhood.

We are diverse. We come from many backgrounds and we have many different political beliefs, but ultimately the shared value of work is what connects us and propels us forward. 

We need everyone, from all corners of our movement, to work together to redefine and advance our shared priorities.

We can’t do any of this work without you, the everyday union member.

We need all of us to be leaders in our communities, workplaces and unions—it is the only way we will be heard.

Add your voice.

Contact MRLF president Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou at 612-321-5670 or chelsie@minneapolisunions.org.


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Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
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