Unions Remind Dems They Want Results
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WASHINGTON (AP) - With Democrats back in power in Congress, some unions are offering reminders that organized labor helped make that happen -- and have high expectations.
Breakaway unions in the Change to Win federation said in a full-page ad in Sunday's New York Times that they expect action on issues such as health care and jobs.
The ad features a picture of several workers with the message, "We're working hard to achieve the American dream. We expect Congress to do its part."
The ad specifies several areas the unions want to be priorities in the next Congress: "A paycheck that supports a family, quality affordable health care for all, a secure and dignified retirement, and freedom to join a union."
The federation says thousands of workers knocked on doors, made phone calls and sent out fliers to help ensure that Congress got new leadership.
The Change to Win unions and the federation they broke away from last year, the AFL-CIO, put together extensive get out the vote operations, relying on worker-to-worker contact. The AFL-CIO will offer its own set of legislative priorities in the coming days.
After six years with Republicans controlling the White House and Congress, organized labor is eager to promote its legislative priorities to a more receptive congressional leadership. But Democrats may have a hard time delivering on all the programs pushed by unions because of presidential vetoes and Senate filibusters.
The seven unions in the Change to Win federation are the Service Employees International Union, UNITE Here, the United Food and Commercial Workers, the Laborers, the Teamsters, the Carpenters and the United Farm Workers.