Despite the best efforts of the UWUA and the entire labor movement, we suffered some serious defeats in the 2010 elections. These defeats are particularly serious in some high Union dense states where new rightwing governors and legislative majorities are determined to cripple our labor movement by rolling back workers rights. We face right-to- work, the destruction of public employee bargaining and organizing rights, as well as other policies to destroy the gains that labor has fought for and achieved over the years.
The battles being waged in Wisconsin and Ohio with tens of thousands of Union members flooding those state’s capitals in Madison and Columbus is also being fought in other states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey (just to name a few). In fact there are currently 17 states with anti-Union legislation pending. If these legislative attacks against Unions are successful, it will be an end to the labor movement as we know it.
WE NEED A WAR CHEST TO SAVE OUR UNION AND OUR LABOR MOVEMENT.
While no Union fought harder pound for pound in the 2010 elections than our Union, we suffered from a very small political fund.
WE SIMPLY HAVE TO BUILD OUR POLITICAL FUND STARTING RIGHT NOW.
President Langford is asking every local to appoint a COPE Chair and Committee to develop a plan for raising political funds.
The most effective way to do this is to get COPE paycheck deduction. Can you imagine if all 50,000 of our members gave just $1.00 per week to the UWUA-COPE fund? We could raise millions while our members didn’t even notice the money gone from their paychecks. This will, of course, require establishing COPE check-off with the employer. There are several ways to achieve this. For one, many employers have established their own political fund through paycheck deduction and are required by law to make the same accommodation for the Union. While the Companies that you work for are looking after their own political interest, shouldn’t we be doing the same?
Some of our members have been contributing to the UWUA-COPE fund for years (we do not, and will not, use our member’s dues for political purposes). We can no longer rely on contributions from a minority of the membership. This will require some effort and leadership, but it is very doable. This is much easier to do than to find ourselves with little or no power and too late to do anything about it.