November election results represent win for working families

(Anna Burger, chair of Change to Win, issued the following statement on November 9.)

The election results in California, New Jersey and Virginia are a win for working families. In California, voters have soundly defeated the anti-worker policies of Governor Schwarzenegger and his big business backers, rejecting their attempts to silence workers' voices. In New Jersey and Virginia, voters have chosen as their next Governors leaders who are committed to standing up for the right of workers to join a union.

In this election, workers turned out as never before to make a real difference for all of us, and the Change to Win unions were an integral part of that effort. In California, we had thousands of volunteers working for months around the state to communicate with our members and the public the disastrous effects the corporate and conservative-backed initiatives of the Governor would have on working families. This culminated in several thousand Change to Win volunteers who worked statewide on Election Day.

In New Jersey, our unions engaged in a get-out-the-vote program that turned out our members in record numbers to vote for candidates who support working families. Through our member-to-member outreach we talked to workers in their homes and in their workplaces, with hundreds of volunteers canvassing neighborhoods and making calls to turn out the vote, including more than a thousand volunteers on Election Day. In Virginia, in spite of the smaller presence of the Change to Win unions, we made more than 250,000 phone calls and recruited hundreds of volunteers to help in the days and weeks before the election.

As the November 8 results have shown, in spite of the money and resources poured into the election by large corporations, when workers unite they can change lives.

Voters have shown today that they are tired of policies that put corporate profits ahead of the well-being of working families. We urge elected officials in Washington to take heed and reconsider tax cuts for the wealthy offset by drastic cuts in funding for health care and other services that working Americans depend on. Americans have sent a message. It's time for Congress and the administration to listen.


© 2005 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen