Labor leaders celebrate, gird for fight

This image by @BarackObama was retweeted a record-breaking 675,000 times.

It was a great night for working people and a very bad night for Karl Rove, who refused to believe President Obama won a second term long after Fox News had called the election for the incumbent.

In addition to re-electing Obama, voters trounced measures in California, Idaho, Michigan and South Dakota that sought to reduce union influence in elections. Despite a massive infusion of out-of-state corporate cash, California’s Proposition 32 took a pounding at the polls.

“I’ve never been one to rely much on the political system to solve my problems, but clearly this election was good news for anybody fighting for workers,” said Carl Hall, executive director of the Pacific Media Workers Guild.

“Maybe now the NLRB can get down to real business, and health care will get fixed as well as we can hope under Obamacare.”

See how union ballot measures fared.

“Had Romney and Prop 32 won, we’d have been stewing today in some of most foul right-wing anti-union juices imaginable,” Hall said. “Now we have a reinvigorated Obama administration, and all the corporate money guys must be wondering why they wrote all those big checks.”

Some collective bargaining measures lost — and the big-business forces behind their defeat will continue to pose a threat to working people during the next four years, CWA president Larry Cohen said.

“At the start of the next Congress we will have a real chance to reform outdated Senate rules that make progress on any issue just about impossible,” Cohen said in an email message. “The obscene amount of money in politics that was all too evident in Election 2012 has spurred new action at the national and local level to reign in uncontrolled spending. And we will fight against voter suppression and barriers to legalization for millions of immigrants which have no place in our democracy.”

Here’s what other labor leaders are saying:

Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO: “The same corporations and right-wing billionaires who spent record amounts trying to buy the election for Mitt Romney have their priorities, and they’re already spending millions more to bully Congress into falling into line behind them.

“So it’s up to us to fight like hell for the working people in our communities.”

Bob King, UAW: “President Obama stood by American workers in their darkest hour, and UAW members and citizens in communities that are part of the thriving auto industry, are grateful for his willingness to bet on us.”

Ed Hill, IBEW: “Last night wasn’t just a victory for Obama – it was victory for every American who believes in shared prosperity, investing in our middle class and economic opportunity for all.”

Workers at Dianda bakery in North Beach are part of BCTWGM International. Why not swing by?

Frank Hurt, BCTWGM International:

“The re-election of Barack Obama represents a major victory for this nation and working people.

“He has stood with working people and the labor movement time and time again on workers’ rights, workplace health and safety, job creation and economic growth.  Now it is time to stand with our President, united, to pursue policies which create jobs, strengthen the middle class, close the gap between the rich and poor, and fortify this nation’s labor laws.”


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