Unions Ready for Election Fight

By: Katie Kim Email
By: Katie Kim Email

For Brian Fredline and GM workers of UAW Local 602, this Labor Day is better than the last.

"We went from one shift with an uncertain future to three shifts with maximum overtime," says Fredline.

But with Michigan's 13% unemployment rate, Fredline knows many laborers are out of work -- and that's nothing to celebrate.

"What's going to make America stronger is three words: jobs, jobs, jobs."

Fredline and other local union leaders now find themselves carrying a big responsibility.

"Unions are for working people," says Fredline. "That's what we do. We represent working people and we fight for working people."

And they're looking to elect politicians who will do the same. Local union leaders say they've already played a pivotal role in this election -- helping Democratic Candidate Virg Bernero overcome House Speaker Andy Dillon's 18-point lead to win the primary. And they believe this momentum will continue until November.

"Of course we cant match Rick Snyder in terms of money," says Ray Holman from UAW Local 6000. "But what the unions have, especially the UAW, is people. People on the ground, to knock on the doors, to make phone calls."

Holman says even though Bernero is significantly behind in the polls, the election will turn around.

"People underestimate the power of the unions," says Holman.

"Let's hope we elect politicans that will get jobs, and make next labor day a celebration of union, non-union, just workers," says Fredline. "And let's hope there's plenty of them."

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