🚗 🚙 Turn your trusty old car into trustworthy journalism Learn more

The power of AFL-CIO support

Jill Barshay Jun 26, 2008
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The power of AFL-CIO support

Jill Barshay Jun 26, 2008
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: The AFL-CIO is the biggest union federation in the country, and it’s expected today to throw its weight behind Senator Barack Obama today. Union support doesn’t mean what it used to, but Democrats hope it’ll be enough to influence middle-class voters in key states. Jill Barshay has more.


Jill Barshay: Just 12 percent of the U.S. workforce is unionized. In the private sector, not even 1 in 13 workers is a union member.

So what’s the endorsement of the AFL-CIO worth? Money for one thing. An endorsement can bring in millions of campaign dollars from electrical workers and engineers, for example.

Michael Lux is president of Progressive Strategies, a political consulting firm. He says union support can tip the scale.

Michael Lux: Elections are decided by very, very small margins. So any organization that can deliver 1 percent of the vote, or can influence 1 [percent] or 2 percent of the vote, is a very big deal.

The AFL-CIO says it plans to focus on influencing its own members, their families and union retirees in five battleground states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

I’m Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.