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November 24, 2014
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What's New at the Montana AFL-CIO


Amanda Curtis for U.S. Senate

Amanda isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade.  She’s ready to make laws that level the playing field. She is a union member and former state legislator.  She knows the needs of the people and a democratic society should be at the center of all decision-making. Curtis opposes laws that guarantee no rights at work, corporate tax dodging and outsourcing U.S. jobs. She supports public education, infrastructure investments, protection of natural resource jobs, and union organizing. Polling shows she’s gaining fast on opponent Steve Daines! She is a breath of fresh air in politics and the one to watch!  We strongly recommend a vote for labor-endorsed candidate Amanda Curtis.

John Lewis for U.S. House

John is a thoughtful policy maker that works cooperatively to find solutions with a reputation for being honest and effective. Lewis was endorsed by the Billings Gazette because he is more knowledgeable, more focused on serving the public, and “most prepared to get Congress working for us again.” He supports a worker’s right to join a union, prevailing wages, public schools, and natural resource jobs.  He opposes free trade agreements, laws that guarantee no rights at work, corporate tax loopholes and job outsourcing. We strongly recommend a vote for the labor-endorsed candidate John Lewis.

NO on LR 126

It’s a measure that would take away Election Day voter registration, which has been around for 40 years. In Montana, almost 30,000 people have used it to place their ballots. As Americans, it’s our civic duty to vote but we have busier lives than our grandparents. We are a society of long work hours, frequent travel and relocation.  This is particularly true of college students, construction workers, seniors, low income folks, single parents, and active military. We should make voting more accessible, not less. Protect your right to vote by voting NO on LR 126.

We can’t fix all of Congress, but as Montanans we should do our part. Please make sure everyone in your household votes! 

See a list of all labor-endorsed working families candidates by clicking on "Endorsements" in the column on the left on this page or copy and past this address:

Easy look up of your personal voting information:

Have more questions? Call us at (406) 442-1708.

Workers Unanimous in Support for Gibson

Where endorsements are concerned, some decisions are simple, others take a closer look. In House District 84, unions were faced with two candidates that had both been active leaders in their unions.

Steve Gibson negotiated the first union contract on behalf of the employees of the Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility in 1978. He was an active union member for more than ten years and the only candidate with a proven record. Gibson won the endorsement of the largest unions in his district and he won the endorsement of the state federation of labor unions – Montana AFL-CIO - with a unanimous vote.

In the 2013 Legislative Session, Gibson was good on education. He opposed a bill that would use taxpayer dollars to subsidize private and religious-based schools that would not have been held to the same standards and criteria for quality education as public schools.  He opposed the creation of private, for-profit charter schools that would compete for funding with Montana’s public schools.

Gibson supported critical projects totaling $49 million to improve our school facilities that also created many high-paying jobs in communities across the state that opened opportunities for more trade union apprentices to break into the industry and begin their chosen career paths.

Gibson was instrumental in passing the state employee pay plan.  He protected secure retirements by opposing legislation that would have terminated all public employee pensions and replaced them with unstable 401K plans. Additionally, Gibson supported a critical increase in state contributions to stabilize the Teachers Retirement System, protecting many thousands of teachers from poverty in their senior years. He supported the Amanda Curtis bill to assure 75% of workers on public works projects be bonafide Montanans so our state’s tax-funded projects actually help reduce unemployment too. He also opposed legislation that would prevent employers from being held fully accountable for the wrongful discharge of workers.

Unions are not bound by political party. Labor-endorsed candidates must have the values, legislative skill and the political finesse to achieve measurable results. We look for those that can protect good laws, prevent bad laws, and be pro-active in passing and strengthening laws that help lift families into the middle class. 

On November 4th, please help elect the labor-endorsed, working families candidate in HD 84: Steve Gibson. 

By Tammy Pilcher, president of the Montana State AFL-CIO

Montana Named One of Top 5 Most Dangerous States to Work
New Report Here: Helena – According to a new report released by the AFL-CIO, Montana had the fourth worst workplace safety record of all states in 2012. This analysis, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that 34 Montanans lost their lives due to on-the-job injuries. Read More...
Download: MT Named One of Top 5 Most Dangerous States to Work.doc
Montana CEOs Paid 61 Times Average Worker, 135 Times Minimum Wage Worker
2014 Executive PayWatch exposes high paid CEOs in the low wage economy Helena, MT, April 15, 2014 – According to the AFL-CIO’s 2014 Executive PayWatch website, the average CEO of a company based in Montana made $2.2 million, 61 times more than the $36,294 earned by the average Montana worker. Read More...
Controversy and Warning: Gianforte and True Higher Ed Leadership
Greg Gianforte and True Higher Education Leadership By Eric Feaver, president of MEA-MFT Apparently this year Greg Gianforte has a corner on the higher education speaker circuit. Read More...
NAFTA after 20 Years/TPP Parallels NAFTA by Great Falls Tribune
Al Ekblad, executive secretary of the Montana State AFL-CIO, said, " in the end we are eliminating the middle class" and displacing that population into "people who need subsidies." Read More...
Download: nafta after 20 years GF trib march 2014.pdf

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