Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Halter and Lincoln face off Tuesday

Tomorrow, a number of unions will find out if their blood, sweat, tears, and cash–lots of it– paid off in Arkansas when Blanche Lincoln faces off to labor backed Bill Halter. According to the New York Times, labor in Arkansas has “knocked on 170,000 doors, made 700,000 phone calls, sent 2.7 million pieces of mail and spent almost $6 million on television and radio advertising.”

If you are still not convinced of how serious they are, here’s a round up of quotes from some major unions:

Communication Workers of America in the New York Times:

“We’re sending a message here,” said Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America. “Our members have had it — not just in Arkansas, they have had it across this country.”

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees president Gerald McEntee in the Wall Street Journal:

“We go out and work like hell” to elect Democrats in 2008, “and yet we’re getting screwed,” said Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Mr. McEntee said he was especially unhappy to see Mr. Clinton, who benefited from labor support in the past, attacking unions in the Lincoln ad. “To see him in full form in Arkansas bleeding us out, we felt was a disgrace,” Mr. McEntee said.

A state level A.F.L.-C.I.O worker says that the level of mobilization is extreme:

“This is pretty new for Arkansas,” said Justin Nickels, the communications director for the state A.F.L.-C.I.O. “It’s sort of like we’ve been thrown into the N.F.L.

And the SEIU, who’s pumped millions into a state where they have a mere 1,000 members, is running ads that will make any voter who pays attention to the news…..blanch.


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