US unions ‘Defending Democracy’

In a web based briefing for unions from around the world, officials from the AFL-CIO (the US trade union umbrella organisation) outlined why they were confident that Joe Biden was destined to become the next president of the US and how unions had been instrumental in getting the vote out to defeat Trump.

There was also big thanks too for the British TUC for the statement of support sent to the AFL-CIO by General Secretary Frances O’Grady.

Despite Trumps unending and unfounded legal threats and tweets of the election being stolen by the Democrats Liz Shuler of the AFL-CIO said that the union movement was defending democracy.

She said it it would have been easy to quit – with their heads in their hands or listen to the polls and get complacent ‚Äď instead unions organised for a Biden win, working relentlessly – giving an example in Wisconsin where over 100 labour organisers worked day and night to ‚Äôflip’ the vote from Trump to back to Biden.

They had also ‘flipped back’ Michigan and Pennsylvania into the ‚ÄėBiden column‚Äô (previously Democrat states which went for Trump in 2016) and new ground was broken in Arizona and Georgia.

In Detroit, Michigan Trump supporters tried to storm one of the counts at 3am on Wednesday morning. Unions organised members to come down to the count to ‚Äėdefend democracy‚Äô.

 Ms. Shuler outlined some of the top line survey voting figures as of 3:00pm on Friday.

Union members went 58% for Biden ‚Äď Harris – the public at large went for Biden by just 3%

Women union members voted 61% for Biden – Harris;

Latino union members went 71% for Biden – Harris;

And among African American and young people the union margin out performed expectations

 Her message was to be patient and wait the outcome and make sure every vote is counted.

¬†But there was also a big dose of realism with AFL-CIO officials saying they needed to ‚Äėdive deeper‚Äô and to ‚Äėbetter understand‚Äô why after everything Trump has done so many people stayed with him. “We need to understand why there is such polarisation in the USA‚ÄĚ

Nonetheless, they were confident that Joe Biden will restore America‚Äôs place in the world and “will be pro-worker” – but the key had to be getting the economy running again and get the virus under control.

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