November 5, 2008
Steelworker Activists Help Secure Victory for Obama and Tom Allen
BUCKSPORT, Maine, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Steelworkers (USW) members nationwide enthusiastically watched last night's polling results and celebrated victories in key battleground states where the USW mounted unprecedented grassroots efforts. Steelworkers and other working families look to an Obama presidency to help American working families by getting the economy back on track.
"When you feel the brunt of the downturn in the economy and wake up wondering if your job is being shipped overseas or whether you can still afford health care, you want change," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "Our members worked like hell to make sure change happened."
In the Bucksport area, USW made major commitments to help Barack Obama be elected president and Tom Allen win a U.S. Senate seat. USW members worked the phones, leafleted work sites and canvassed neighbors to educate voters on issues and the need to go to the polls on Election Day.
Dan Lawson, vice president of Local 4-261 and union safety coordinator at the Verso Paper plant here, said, "Our members have suffered layoffs and plant closures during this campaign, causing economic hardship to hundreds of working families. These hard times have brought people out to campaign like never before.
"In past elections, Republicans have exploited the gun issue because many of our members are avid hunters and fishermen," he said. "So this time we put out a flyer with Obama's position on the second amendment, on the back side had Tom Allen's position to show that both candidates supported their right to own firearms. This campaign was about jobs, health care, fair trade and retirement security."
The USW political campaign had more than 500 people working full-time in 31 states, mobilizing members and working families. More than 10,000 Steelworkers volunteered their time to ensure Barack Obama's victory. The strategy included calling and speaking to more than 100,000 union members in key battlegrounds states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina between Labor Day and the Election. Nearly 5 million pieces of persuasive literature were mailed from USW international, district and local union offices.
"It is essential that the new President and Senator-elect Allen work with other members of Congress to restore the American dream for all of our citizens and for us, once again, to establish our society as a shiny beacon to rest of the world," said Gerard. "Steelworkers families will continue to fight the good fights."
CONTACT: Dan Lawson 207-525-3275
Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080131/DC12982LOGOAP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/PRN Photo Desk [email protected]
United Steelworkers (USW)
CONTACT: Dan Lawson of United Steelworkers (USW), +1-207-525-3275
Web Site: http://www.usw.org/