The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) surveyed workers in five key states about the upcoming elections and revealed broad support for a surprising list of basic pocketbook issues.
“Samuel Gompers once asked, ‘What does labor want?’” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “As we head into the 2006 Labor Day weekend, the answer is clear. Labor wants more jobs, tougher utility regulation, lower insurance premiums, shorter and less costly daily commutes and more educational opportunities for their children.”
The survey, conducted for the IAM by Fingerhut, Granados Opinion Research, polled 625 likely voters in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Unlike surveys released earlier this week outlining broad problems facing U.S. workers, the IAM survey uncovered concerns that could be successfully addressed at the state level.
The issues that drew the largest margins of support: tax policies to discourage outsourcing; an excess profits tax on oil companies and health care coverage for working families, should encourage Democratic candidates that the populist themes that once defined the party and its candidates still resonate for voters.
“The connection voters have to these issues does not automatically translate to support for Democratic candidates,” warned Buffenbarger. “Many voters are still concerned that some Democratic candidates have abandoned their commitment to the basic economic issues of ordinary working Americans.”
“Given the gridlock in Washington, the best hope for progress on these issues lies in the governor’s office,” said Buffenbarger. “Action at the state level on any one of these issues could save working families in these states thousands of dollars each year.”
The IAM is also launching an internet campaign at www.RallyAround.Us to engage workers across the country in these all-important governors’ contests. Voters in 36 states, including those surveyed, will elect governors in the upcoming midterm elections.
The IAM represents more than 700,000 active and retired members across North America. For more information, go to www.goiam.org.