The Long Home Stretch to Nov. 6

By President Bruce Hamilton

Since the last issue of @WAR, the Republicans and Democrats have both held their conventions, and political polls show most Americans have already decided if they will vote for President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. Now comes the hard part.

The race is razor thin in “battleground states” from Nevada and Colorado to Ohio and Florida. Romney has the big money. Obama has us. Turnout is everything, and we only have about a month left to register every relative, neighbor, coworker, friend and likely Democratic voter.  Then we have to get them to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

It’s hard to overstate how much is at stake for working people this Election Day. This vote could determine whether unions will have anything close to a level playing field in contract negotiations with employers, or if we will be pushed back to the dark days of organizing underground for better wages and conditions.

Then add in all the major decisions that a President Obama or a President Romney will make during the next four years, from appointing Supreme Court justices to delivering medical care to tens of millions of unprotected Americans.

The Republicans have written Labor off. They tell us over and over that the future belongs to Big Business, and that we better get in line if we want their crumbs. Local 1700 members have never been satisfied with crumbs that fall from the boss’s table. We have waged some of the most memorable battles in the history of U.S. labor, and we have risen to the occasion whenever our backs have been to wall.

This is one of those times. We have a chance – right now – to make a huge difference in our lives and of those who follow. Let’s make the most of it. If we don’t do everything we can to win this election and we lose, we will regret our inaction every day for the rest of our lives.

See your shop steward or call the union office if you don’t know how to register and to get others to register. Join with local AFL-CIO organizations to get out the vote. You will find the effort more rewarding than you think.