Bobby Kasper: Our movement is on the rise, but we can’t stop now

Bobby Kasper

(Bobby Kasper is president of the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, which represents more than 100 affiliate unions with over 50,000 members living or working in Ramsey, Washington, Dakota and Chisago counties.)

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer in Minnesota. But at the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, it’s the beginning of an all-out push to elect candidates who share our vision for a fair and just economy.

It’s important work – this year more than ever before – and we can’t do it alone. We need union members and retirees like you to get involved as Labor 2018 volunteers.

How will our volunteers make a difference? By doing what organizers do best: talking to each other. Our volunteers reach out to fellow working people by phone and at the door, and remind them how much is at stake this year, from our paychecks and benefits to our basic dignity on the job.

Working people have the power to create the fair economy we deserve, and right now is the perfect opportunity to put our power to work. Why now? Because something is happening in America.

Our movement is on the rise.

As a wave of collective action sweeps the country, working people are standing together to demand what we deserve. We are marching and striking and organizing. We are refusing to accept business as usual.

For too long now, corporations have tried to keep us weak and divided. They have rigged the economy to work for the few at the expense of the many. They have tried to destroy our unions and pit us against each other. And too many of America’s leaders have done their bidding, waging an assault on our most fundamental freedoms.

As a result, the wealth of a few corporate elites continues to reach unprecedented heights, while working people are left out of the immense prosperity we create every day. CEOs now earn 361 times the average worker, and we still are denied the wages, health care retirement security and quality of life that we have earned.

Rather than taking action to unrig our economy, too many politicians in Washington are only interested in making it worse. Look no further than the tax scam passed this year by President Trump and congressional Republicans, including our own Jason Lewis. They promised these cuts, targeted overwhelmingly toward corporations and the rich, would lead to raises for workers like us. Instead, we’re seeing corporations reward their executives and buy back their own stock.

Of course, as union members we have never looked to corporations or politicians to validate our movement. The rights of working people have always been won and sustained by our own desire and passion for change.

Our power lies in the hundreds of thousands of workers carrying new union cards – three-quarters of them younger than 35. It lies in the tens of millions more who would vote today to join a union if given the chance. Our movement’s capacity for change lies in the workers across the country who are standing together, marching together and fighting together, arms locked in unflinching solidarity.

The midterm elections present the next critical opportunity to secure a brighter future. We can reverse course and start building an America that works for all of us by winning on Nov. 6.

We have the power to create the fair economy and just society that we deserve. And that means making our voices heard loud and clear on the campaign trail – and, in the process, electing labor-endorsed candidates like Tim Walz for governor. We are mobilizing locally to defeat corporate-backed politicians and fill the halls of power with genuine allies of working families. Victory in November will be delivered by conversations between friends, family and co-workers. More than anyone, you have the ability to win hearts and minds and ensure that working people have a say in the future of our country.

Are you ready to make history? Find a volunteer shift that works for you, or call us at 651-222-3787. Let’s put the power of working people on full display this election season.

Have a great Labor Day!

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