“Why is our union getting involved in politics?”
Now is more important than ever for union members to be involved in politics. There is legislation all over the country including our own state being introduced that hurts unions and workers. It is our job to protect the rights that have been fought for by the workers who came before us and to make it better for the workers who come after us. Things like the 40 hour work week, the right to organize, protections like FMLA, the ADA, overtime pay and employer benefits do not come free. These were fought for by the blood, sweat, and sacrifice of union members and we need to honor that by getting protections in place in government so these cannot be taken away.
“What does a Political Action Team do?”
A political action team will work together to volunteer during elections to talk to union members and recruit more union members to help phone bank and door knock for union endorsed candidates. Union political action teams, though it may seem like it, is not party specific. They will always side with the candidate that is for the working class and labor unions and will help protect the rights to organize, and protect the rights of workers. Regardless of a candidates party, we always endorse the candidate who stands for our values and work hand in hand with the MN AFL-CIO when screening the candidates before endorsing them.
“Do my union dues go towards supporting these candidates the union endorses?”
No, it is illegal for the union to send money from union dues political candidates. However, the international does have a voluntary PAC fund called the JB Moss fund that members can voluntarily contribute to that helps fund the political program. If you wish to contribute or increase your donation please reach out to your union representative to make this happen. They would be more than happy to assist you in getting this started for you.
“How do I sign up to join?
Please email Kelsie or Devin and we would be happy to talk to you and give you more information about future meetings and trainings. For now we are trying to get members committed to join so we can have a big training in the spring.