Labor leaders, union members rally “Take Back Ohio” in Midterm Elections
On Monday evening, a large group of union members, leaders and activists held a rally at UAW Local 1112 in Lordstown to kick-off the Labor 2018 election effort to elect worker-friendly candidates in the 2018 elections.
“The stakes could not be higher,” said Ohio AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Petee Talley of the 2018 elections. “After years of seeing the system rigged against us, working people are engaging in this campaign because we know that our freedom to negotiate is on the line,” she said.
“In 2018, we have a slate of endorsed candidates that have the backbone to stand up against the powerful out-of-state interests that seek to take away our rights, whether it be our right to vote, or our freedom to join in unions,” said Ohio Association of Public School Employees Executive Director Joe Rugola. “Sherrod Brown, Richard Cordray and the entire statewide ticket have earned our endorsement. We stand with them because they stand with us,” Rugola said.
“Rich Cordray and I have always stood on the side of working people and organized labor, and we will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you as the next Governor and Lt. Governor of Ohio,” Lt. Governor candidate Betty Sutton told the crowd. “We need leaders in Columbus who will stand up and fight back against those powerful interests on behalf of working Ohioans who have been left behind,” she said.
“This rally represents the start of something big here in the Mahoning Valley,” said Mahoning-Trumbull AFL-CIO President Bill Padisak. “Our membership is energized and ready to engage in the campaign to re-elect Sherrod Brown, make Richard Cordray our next governor, and elect candidates up and down the ticket that support working people,” he said.
“It’s time we take back our state,” said State Senator Joe Schiavoni. “Rich and Betty have always fought for workers’ rights and working families and actions speak louder than words,” he said.
“The support of working people across the state is critical,” said Secretary of State candidate Kathleen Clyde. “We need to have every voice heard and I am committed to making sure our elections are fair and secure for everyone,” Clyde said.
The Labor 2018 campaign will involve thousands of union volunteers across the state and is designed to reach every union member in Ohio, along with non-union middle class voters. Utilizing neighborhood canvasses, phone banks and worksite leaflets, the program will ensure that working people understand the issues in the election and each candidate’s positions. The Ohio AFL-CIO is comprised of 600,000 union men and women who are affiliated through 41 international unions and 1,500 local unions.
The Lordstown event was the first of six regional kick-off events across the state with other events scheduled this month in Marietta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo.