According to the Wall Street journal 3 of the top 5 spending political groups in the 2010 midterm election were labor unions. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees spent 93 million on the 2010 election (The Lonely Conservative, 2012). The New York Times reported that Big Labor spent nearly $450 million in the 2008 election electing Obama and the democrats into office (The Lonely Conservative, 2012) possibly making Big Labor the biggest spender in the 2012 election.
The Virginia AFL-CIO is involved in the full spectrum of the political and community issues Virginian face. At the local, county, and state level AFL-CIO has helped make important and beneficial legislation for Virginians. AFL-CIO monitors all legislation affecting the people of Virginia. The AFL-CIO worked to win against laws that would reduce unemployment benefits and lower compensation payments for injured workers who retire (AFL-CIO, 2012).
The AFL-CIO’s legislative and political efforts is organizing the strength of working men and women to win good pay, retirement security, safe work environments, and broad access to quality education for their children. By mobilizing through union movement’s state-level and nationwide get-out-the-vote effort, union members elect candidates who support and will enact a working family agenda (AFL-CIO, 2012).
In states that have newly appointed republican governors and lawmakers they seems to have an agenda to advance corporate influence and lower wages, suppress voting rights and eliminate worker protection on the job (AFL-CIO, 2012). The AFL-CIO slammed the Republican presidential contenders as being defenders of privilege and opponents of working people. “Each of the Republican presidential candidates, has pledged to uphold the special privileges of Wall Street and the 1 percent — privileges that have produced historic economic inequality and drowned out the voices of working people in America”(Tau, 3/13).
The AFL-CIO indorsed Obama because according to Trumka “he honors the values of hard work, of mutual respect and of solving problems together—not every person for himself or herself. He believes that together we will get through the most challenging economic crisis in memory and restore opportunity for all,” Trumka also specifically cited Obama’s focus on the insourcing and the revitalization of the American manufacturing sector in the organization’s endorsement.
He has worked hard to create good jobs; he has made the revival of the manufacturing sector a hallmark of his jobs agenda; he has moved aggressively to protect workers’ rights, pay and health and safety on the job; he has worked for a fair resolution of the housing crisis; and he put his confidence and administration unequivocally behind the workers and companies in the American auto industry—a move that saved hundreds of thousands of jobs and is helping to revive the economy now and for the future,” The AFL-CIO contributes a lot of money to the democratic campaign because they are in line with the belief of the party.
They believe in a quality of life for the workers they represent along with the quality of life for the American people; whereas the Republican Party is for self-preservation. The American citizens that vote for the Democratic Party believe in fair wages, they believe in equality, and family values. The AFL-CIO wants to help achieve the American Dream for working families and they accomplish this through influencing public policies (AFL-CIO, 2012).