Labor Must Defend Democracy

October 29, 2020

As the presidential election draws near to its conclusion, there is growing concern around our nation that our current president will not accept the results if he is not re-elected. If this does happen, we encourage all UE members to be prepared to defend our country’s democracy.

These concerns are rooted in explicit statements made by the current administration and Republican strategists that they may attempt to disrupt the full counting of ballots, dispute the legitimacy of the results, or even try to get a state legislature to send a set of electors to Washington DC for the candidate who lost the vote in their state. Every vote counts and every vote must be counted and respected, whether cast by a Democrat, a Republican or anyone else.

The labor movement has a special obligation to defend democratic government. Corporations and the wealthy already are able to buy influence on government policy. One of the few counterbalances to this is the fact that politicians have to face the mass of voters every two, four or six years. If incumbents can simply declare that certain voters’ votes don’t matter, corporate influence on our government will only increase and the working class will suffer even more.

UE prizes our democratic traditions as a rank-and-file union. If union members do not approve a contract through a democratic majority vote, union officers do not have the right to impose it on them. Similarly, without the support of the general public, elected officials, whether a mayor, a senator, or the president, have no authority to govern.

It is necessary for the labor movement to play a leadership role in affirming our democratic institutions. We have material resources, we are organized, and we have the ability to withhold our labor. 

We encourage all union members to plan to participate in mass actions on November 4 and 7, currently being organized by Protect the Results and others, to ensure that all ballots are counted and that the results are respected. And we will need to be prepared to take further action beyond that as needed.

Carl Rosen
General President

Andrew Dinkelaker

Gene Elk
Director of Organization