“Join a union and help fix the economy!”
That was the theme of MTD President’s Michael Sacco’s opening remarks to the department’s executive board, which gathered in Orlando March 8-9 for its annual winter meetings.
Noting that organized labor is working on a grassroots level to combat anti-union initiatives across the country, Sacco said, “Fortunately, we’ve proven that we still know how to fight back. We showed it with the recalls in Wisconsin and with a big legislative victory in Ohio, among other places.”
He promised to work with the rest of organized labor to combat the incessant attacks on private sector unions, focusing on what he called the MTD’s number one priority: Jobs!
As he told the board and guests, “Jobs and the economy are really one subject, and that’s going to be front and center not only for the presidential election but for other federal and state campaigns. Unemployment has gotten a little bit better, but it’s still plenty bad…
“I think the president is on the right track when he talks about rewarding companies who keep their production here at home, and NOT rewarding the ones who move it overseas. That’s a pretty simple concept, but it won’t be possible to execute unless we have pro-worker majorities in Congress and a pro-worker administration.”
According to Sacco, accomplishing that goal means getting out the vote; educating the membership; donating to pro-worker candidates; following up with the winners and making them live up to the promises; and mobilizing at the state level.
A silver lining within all of these state attacks on organized labor has been the ability to disseminate just how important the trade union movement has been to securing the American Dream.
“Union members are more productive, earn more money and have better benefits than unrepresented workers. Other reporting—and this is coming from economists and journalists, not from labor organizations—has flat-out stated that one reason the economy is in the tank is because fewer people belong to unions now than they did any number of years ago.”