NALC President Fredric Rolando responded to the results of the recall elections in Wisconsin with a call to union members to learn lessons and prepare for the next election this fall. “We can’t expect to win every election, but we can succeed in the long run,” Rolando said. “The history of labor is full of setbacks like this, but we responded by doubling our efforts.
“The most important lesson is that we can only win when we have both the commitment and the resources.” Rolando noted that just last fall, letter carriers and other union members in Ohio won a referendum that restored collective-bargaining rights for the state’s 350,000 public workers. Ohio voters overturned the anti-union law championed by Republican Gov. John Kasich by a solid margin.
To win in Ohio, unions leveraged their greatest advantage—volunteer work on the campaign by union workers. But they also raised enough money to get their message out to voters, keeping pace with anti-labor groups that poured money into Ohio.
Noting that Walker enjoyed a huge advantage in funding over his Democratic challenger, Rolando urged more letter carriers to support our own political war chest—COLCPE. “Only a small percentage of letter carriers give to COLCPE on a regular basis,” he said. “Imagine what we could do if everyone pitched in.
“Don’t give up hope—turn around and fight back,” Rolando said. “The tides of politics shift quickly sometimes. We can win crucial elections this fall, but only if we work together.”