AFL-CIO announces largest ever voter mobilization ahead of midterms
The AFL-CIO on Friday launched an organizing drive that will aim to connect more than 100,000 volunteers with nearly 8 million voters ahead of November’s midterms.
The mobilization effort is the largest in the history of the labor federation, which represents more than 12.5 million workers. AFL-CIO volunteers will meet with workers in person and send a flurry of texts, phone calls and digital messages in a bid to shore up support for pro-union candidates.
The AFL-CIO aims to translate a wave of organizing around the country and strong public support for unions into political victories in November.
A recent Gallup poll found that 71 percent of Americans support unions, the highest figure since 1965. That comes after workers successfully unionized locations at large corporations like Starbucks and Amazon, overcoming hardline anti-union tactics.
Volunteers will focus on reaching out to voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The AFL-CIO will lean on in-person meetings with union members and other workers, which it believes will be more effective than TV ads and other forms of communication.
“This mobilization’s focus on personal connections to engage working people on issues that have a real impact on our families and communities will cut through the political noise to make a critical difference locally and nationally this November and beyond,” AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said in a statement.
As part of its organizing drive, the labor federation will highlight voting rights, access to legal abortion and other key issues in addition to labor policies.
The mobilization could be a boon for Democrats, who are closely aligned with the AFL-CIO and other labor organizations and have long sought to win back blue-collar workers by touting their pro-union proposals. Those include the PRO Act, a bill to strengthen workers’ ability to organize, which passed the House but couldn’t win 60 votes in the Senate amid GOP opposition.