DETROIT -- A multi-state UAW radio advertising campaign, sponsored by the union's Voluntary Community Action Program (UAW V-CAP), will support candidates for the U.S. Senate in key battleground states, the union announced today.
The ads, which focus on jobs, trade and Social Security, will support union-endorsed candidates in Kentucky, Minnesota and North Carolina.
"Members of our union will be working hard during the next eight days to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. "We want to be sure he has a strong team of legislators working with him to implement his progressive agenda: tax cuts for working families, affordable health care for all Americans, and revitalizing our economy with good jobs, good wages and strong support for U.S. manufacturing industries."
In Kentucky the UAW is supporting Bruce Lunsford, a business leader whose father was a union member at General Electric, and who has spoken out strongly in favor of the right to organize and bargain.
"Working people are really hurting right now, and we need a senator from Kentucky who will listen to our concerns," said Kirk Gillenwaters, a retired member of UAW Local 862 and vice chair of the UAW CAP Council in Kentucky's 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts. "Mitch McConnell has been in Washington for 24 years, but every time I have tried to speak to him, he has constantly refused to meet with us. We deserve better representation."
In Minnesota the UAW is backing Al Franken -- a member of four different entertainment unions -- who is committed to keeping good-paying industrial jobs in the United States.
"We recognize Al's commitment to workers in the manufacturing industry and retaining manufacturing jobs," said Dan Manuel, a vice president of UAW Local 125 and chair of the UAW Minnesota CAP Council. "We're committed to working with him to beat Norm Coleman and John McCain and their policies that attack workers and working families."
In North Carolina the union has endorsed State Sen. Kay Hagan, who has been ranked as one of the 10 most effective legislators in the state by the non-partisan North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research.
"Elizabeth Dole has been in Washington a long time, but she hasn't gotten much done for working families," said Bob Riggins, president of UAW Local 5285 and chair of the North Carolina UAW CAP Council. "Kay Hagan helped pass an $840 million tax cut for families in North Carolina, and that's what she'll do in Washington -- get rid of Bushs tax cuts for the rich and get some relief for the middle class."
The UAW-endorsed Senate candidates, said Gettelfinger, "are very qualified individuals who will represent the public interest." The candidates they are running to replace, he said, "have shown during their years in Washington that they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
"Mitch McConnell has for many years been one of the loudest voices in the U.S. Senate against working people and our unions," said Gettelfinger. "Elizabeth Dole was ranked at the bottom -- 93 out of 100 -- in terms of effectiveness in the U.S. Senate. And Norm Coleman campaigns as an 'independent,' but once he got to Washington, he voted with George Bush more than 80 percent of the time.
"Incumbents usually have an easy time getting re-elected," said Gettelfinger. "But each of these races is very close. Members of our union are proud to support Bruce Lunsford, Al Franken and Kay Hagan -- because each of them will work hard in Washington on behalf of working people."
The UAW radio ads, which began running on Saturday, Oct. 25 and will run through Election Day, are paid for by UAW V-CAP. UAW V-CAP is funded by voluntary contributions from UAW members and their families.
This portion of this Web site is paid for by the UAW V-CAP (Voluntary Community Action Program), with voluntary contributions from union members and their families, and is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.