In the lead up to Labor Day, labor unions, a critical component of the Democratic Party’s base, began to reveal their political plans for the fall campaign season. The AFL-CIO, for instance, promised again this Labor Day to activate its members and push them to help Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka spoke with the PBS NewsHour at the Washington headquarters following the union’s annual Labor Day press briefing. He spoke about the union’s plans for the fall elections, which include direct involvement in 18 Senate races, more than 70 House races and several gubernatorial races.
“We have tens of thousands of volunteers across the country who have already talked to over one million and seven hundred and fifty thousand members while leafleting over 300 worksites,” Trumka said.
As for the struggling economy, Trumka said that President Obama’s $814 billion stimulus package was not large enough and that more government stimulus money is needed to support the economy.
He refused to say how much his organization would spend in the election, but it will likely be tens of millions of dollars. Watch below as he argues that the AFL-CIO will out-politic the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2010 despite an anticipated financial disadvantage.
The Chamber of Commerce did not respond to a request for comment on Trumka’s assertion. That organization also recently announced their fall political efforts: they will spend $75 million on the election and support an [extension of the Bush tax cuts.](http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/09/02/us-chamber-to-push-for-tax-cuts-clarity-on-labor-rules/)
You can watch the chamber’s pre-Labor Day briefing here.
One of the top legislative priorities for labor unions is the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as card check. The bill would make it easier for unions to organize the workplace. The legislation has been far off the radar for the last year once it became apparent that supporters did not have the 60 votes needed for passage in the Senate.
Since then, the legislation has appeared all but dead. However, Mr. Trumka made clear he expects further congressional action on EFCA this year. Watch his comments on that issue here: