The 2016 general election has tremendous implications for unions and working families, said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber at a recent rally for union members in southern Illinois.
More than 200 union members from over three dozen unions attended the rally hosted by Illinois Steamfitters Local 439 at the Grizzlie Baseball Field in Sauget, IL.
“Brothers and sisters, our significance as union voters in this election cycle is not to be underestimated,” said Gruber. “A Republican-controlled White House, Congress, State House and local government is a surefire win for national right-to-work and the end of the labor movement.”
Gruber urged union members to support Democratic candidates from the top of the ticket to the bottom, starting with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“A team of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine are a far better choice than a Republican ticket of Donald Trump and Mike Pence,” said Gruber to a round of cheers from the crowd. “Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate in our country. It is imperative that labor does everything it can to elect her as our next president.”
Gruber outlined the significance of the Midwestern states in helping Democrats regain control of the U.S. Senate – the legislative body that will ultimately confirm the next president’s nomination, or nominations, for Supreme Court Justice.
“The highest stake in this election cycle will be control over the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Gruber. “The next president could nominate as many as four Justices. But in order to regain control of the Senate, Democrats will need to gain 4 to 5 seats. We have a great opportunity here in the Midwest to deliver up to four Democratic seats: Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Even Bayh in Indiana, Jason Kander in Missouri, and Tammy Duckworth right here in Illinois.”
Gruber urged rally attendees to take part in their local precinct walks, phone banks and member-to-member interactions.
“On election day, a campaign is only as good as its ground game,” said Gruber. “We cannot have a lax attitude and think our members will simply turn up at the polls. Labor must do everything we can to ensure our futures and the futures of those that will come after us. It’s time to get out the vote, brothers and sisters.”