We employ an inclusive and nonpartisan effort to support candidates and policies that champion the goals of working people, promote needed infrastructure investments, and support fair trade. We interview candidates seeking support, promote political involvement and voting among the membership, and assist in campaigns. Members are encouraged to attend government meetings and public hearings where issues affecting them are discussed and to reach out directly to the officials they helped elect.
We are currently working to establish a presence with elected leaders across our 11-state footprint by utilizing political committees.
What do SSMRC’s political committees do?
SSMRC political committees operate at the state, county, and city levels. Our parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, handles federal-level government matters. Our council’s committees work to form partnerships that will help pass labor-friendly laws and give council representatives access to the table to discuss how our members could be assets to major projects. Committees also promote political involvement and voting among our membership.
Just as large corporations have political pull, union political committees seek to provide similar influence for working people. Some of the labor issues we discuss with legislators include right-to-work laws, health and welfare benefits, unemployment-insurance programs, prevailing wages, workers’ compensation, workplace safety, tax fraud in relation to construction projects, and apprenticeship standards.
We provide bipartisan support.
Following the example of our UBC parent organization, SSMRC political committees are bipartisan and open to working with all politicians who champion the goals of working people. When approached by candidates who have held office before, our political committee directors review voting records, and we monitor the voting records of politicians we have assisted previously. We hold those elected officials accountable to the promises they made.
Why union political committees are needed:
The Southern States Millwright Regional Council’s goal is to have a political committee or footprint in every state in our district. We need to do this because every year, state-level bills and other legislation threaten the rights of working people. Some of those bills have been successful in recent years. For example, Arkansas’ prevailing-wage law was lost in 2017 – a defeat that hurt working families across the state. On the other hand, we have won victories as well. For instance, many thousands of man-hours our members have worked in northeast Arkansas’ burgeoning steel industry during the past six years are directly tied to SSMRC’s Arkansas Political Committee.
When union members vote, politicians listen.
All Americans have a constitutional right to vote. Below are steps to take to make sure your voice is heard. If you are not comfortable voting in person, you likely can vote via absentee ballot.
Verify your voter registration.
Make sure you’re registered to vote at your current address. If you’ve moved, changed your name, or haven’t voted in a while, you might need to re-register to vote.
If you aren’t registered to vote, register now.
You can register at Vote.gov by clicking the button below, or you can register in person at your state or local election office. You might also be able to register at a motor vehicle department or armed forces recruitment centers. Check with the specific location first. Learn more about voter registration at www.usa.gov/register-to-vote.
If you aren’t comfortable voting in person, apply for an absentee ballot.
Voting by absentee ballot is safe and secure. Each state has its own rules about who can vote absentee, but many states have expanded eligibility because of the coronavirus. Applying for an absentee ballot at vote.org/absentee-ballot takes only 2 minutes.