AFL-CIO Takes Up Immigration and Austerity, Even If It Means Fighting Some Dems
Within a week of November’s hard-fought elections, the AFL-CIO and many of its member unions had already started a new campaign. It wasn’t linked to the 2016 presidential race, or any election. It was a campaign to make sure that the politicians whom labor unions had helped to elect, including the president, met the needs of the working people who voted for them.
“In the past our political mobilization was really built around GOTV [get out the vote] and the election cycle,” AFL-CIO political director Michael Podhorzer explained as the AFL-CIO executive council met this week in Orlando, “[AFL-CIO] President [Richard] Trumka’s initiative, which was new, was beginning to develop the capacity to mobilize year-round. So one of the things we’d never done before this cycle was all the people who were participating in GOTV, instead of going home and celebrating, stayed out for the next week and a half or two participating in events around the ‘fiscal cliff’ and making sure there were no benefit cuts and taxes were raised on the wealthy.”