Despite being an “off-year” election, the 2015 ballot was filled with issues and races that matter to UFCW members and their families.
In Kentucky, a closely watched race for Governor between Attorney General Jack Conway and Matt Bevin could decide whether or not an anti-worker right to work law comes to the “Bluegrass State.” For months, UFCW members have been helping to mobilize support for Conway. If he becomes Kentucky’s Governor-elect on November 3rd, UFCW members from Locals 227 and 75 will be a big reason why.
In Ohio, UFCW Locals 75, 880, 1059, RWDSU, and ICWU are supporting Issue 3, a ballot question that will ensure the Buckeye State chooses smart regulation over failed prohibition when it comes to marijuana. If it passes, Issue 3 will create 3,000 new union jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars of new tax revenue to support Ohio communities without raising taxes on hard-working men and women.
For the first time in over 300 years, Pennsylvanians will be choosing three judges to sit on the state supreme court. UFCW members are working hard to ensure that all three openings are filled by qualified judges who will fight to stop gerrymandering and defend the rights of workers.
Numerous UFCW Locals have also played important roles this election season in helping to pass local laws that will raise the minimum wage and provide people with paid sick and family leave. Our election efforts help to ensure that UFCW members have both better laws and legislators.
Here’s what some UFCW members working to get out the vote this election season had to say about the importance of voting:
“I vote for a better world for all of us. As a gentlemen told me in a grocery store today, we are all about supporting the troops but by not voting we are stepping on the rights they are fighting for on our behalf,” said Will Reynolds Young, UFCW Local 23.
“It’s important for people to vote because elections do affect our lives. The sad fact is that there are candidates who want to destroy our rights and reduce wages because they care more about corporations than the rest of us. If we don’t vote, we’ll lose,” said Abigail Shake, UFCW Local 227, Kroger.
“We have to vote this year because I want to maintain our voice in the workplace. If this election goes the wrong way, Kentucky could easily become a right to work state. If that happens, my family and my friends would all be hurt by it. Voting is our way to fight back to help make sure that doesn’t happen,” said Chawan Morgan, UFCW Local 227, Kroger.
“I’ve been doing everything I can since August to make sure working people vote. There are candidates running this year who are blatantly attacking us and our rights. People need to understand that we can make our lives better by voting and being involved,” said Shajuan Cook, UFCW Local 227, JBS Swift.
“We are stronger in numbers. If more of us vote and understand the issues then we’ll be able to have better lives. If you sit home and don’t vote, you don’t have a voice. It’s scary, but by not voting our wages, benefits, and health care can be put instantly at-risk,” said Sharon Bayens, UFCW Local 227, Kroger.
“I think we all have a stake in this year’s election. Health care, education, and wages in Kentucky are all at-risk if this election goes the wrong way. When I talk to people in the community, I try to make them understand that by working and standing up together we can earn better lives,” said Samantha Cole, UFCW Local 227, Kroger.