2018 Politics Starts on Labor Day as Fight for 15, SEIU Start Voter Engagement Drive

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

Next year’s politics are starting this Labor Day, as political hopefuls planned to join Fight for 15’s mass walkout of fast-food workers and hospital and nurses’ aides on September 4, Fight for 15 And A Union said. And that group and the Service employees also will use the day to kick off what they call “a massive voter engagement drive” in advance of next year’s races.

The walkouts are planned for more than 300 cities across the Midwest, especially those where factories once supplied well-paying jobs but where lower-paying hospitals “now reign,” the two groups said.

Along with the walkouts, the two groups also plan to campaign “to unseat anti-worker politicians” and elect “leaders who support the $15 an hour minimum wage, union rights, universal health care, racial justice and immigration reform,” they said.

Among the hopefuls who plan to join them, Fight for 15 predicts are SEIU Local 199 President Cathy Glesson in Iowa, who is so pissed-off at the GOP’s antics in Des Moines and D.C. that she’s thrown her hat into the Democratic gubernatorial race there.

Also expected to campaign with the fast-food and health care workers are Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls Daniel Biss, Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker in Illinois, Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, Tim Walz in Minnesota, Jerry Springer in Ohio, incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf in Pennsylvania and former Wisconsin Fire Fighters state President Mahlon Mitchell.  Walz is an Education Minnesota member.

The Illinois AFL-CIO, over objections from several unions, endorsed Pritzker, a multi-millionaire, to combat vicious anti-union GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner, a longtime multi-millionaire hedge fund manager. Rauner made destruction of Illinois public worker unions his top goal via budget shenanigans, as has right-wing Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., who seeks re-election.

Randy Bryce, an Ironworker running to unseat U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., planned to join Mitchell and workers in Milwaukee. The Rev. William Barber and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry planned to march in Chicago with the gubernatorial hopefuls and the workers. Rep. Keith Ellison, DFL-Minn., a Bernie Sanders supporter who is deputy Demo-cratic National Committee chairman, will join striking McDonald’s workers in St. Paul. 

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Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

California Protects Precariat Workers

From the AFL-CIO

In a historic win for California’s workers, the California Legislature approved a bill Sept. 13 that makes the misclassification of employees as independent contractors more difficult.

Sponsored by the California Labor Federation, Assembly Bill 5 codifies and expands on a 2018 California Supreme Court decision.

The bill also will help curb the rampant exploitation of workers by unscrupulous employers and give California’s working people the basic rights and protections we all deserve. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the bill into law.

 “The time is up for unscrupulous employers who claim their workers are ‘independent’ in order to cut corners on costs,”  California Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez said about A.B. 5

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