Wisconsin AFL-CIO president: '08 election could be 'last chance' for industrial economy
In the eyes of AFL-CIO of Wisconsin President David Newby, there couldn't be any more at stake this fall for unions.
"There is a sense that we can win this and that we have to, that this might be our last chance really at getting the kind of economic policies and trade policies in place that are going to save the industrial sector of our economy and as a result, some of our major unions in that sector," Newby said in a new interview with WisPolitics.
The Wisconsin AFL-CIO announced a new effort last week to educate its 50,000 members in the state by Election Day on where the candidates stand on economic issues important to working families. Similar efforts are underway in other battleground states. It also offers those workers who do not have a union on the job to affiliate with the AFL-CIO, allowing the same kind of communications and organization that go to regular members.
Newby said Wisconsin's unions remain strong, but the economy is very frightening with rising unemployment, plant closings, international pressure, “bad trade agreements that have had a real impact on the paper industry and in some cases simply bad management or corporate greed, which has resulted in the shutting of manufacturing facilities.
“The reality is that I think as far as our unions are concerned that they are better run and better organized than they have been for many decades and yet we are facing an economy that is very frightening,” Newby said.