Labor Voices: UAW endorses Schauer, Peters

Dennis Williams

On Nov. 4, Americans will be asked to cast their ballots in an election that will determine what direction we as a country want to head in by choosing between candidates who will move the country forward and stand in support of the middle class, and those who will focus their time in office on benefiting the wealthiest and most influential few at the expense of the average worker. The issues at stake in this election affect all of us, and just a few votes could make the difference in a number of races.

As president of the UAW, I’m proud to cast my vote for candidates who understand what direction this country needs to head in in order to move us all forward. This election should be about getting our economy working for everyone, and ensuring that the American Dream can be a reality for anyone who’s willing to work hard.

That’s why the UAW is endorsing Mark Schauer, who is running for governor, and Gary Peters, who is running for U.S. Senate.

Schauer stands in support of working families and the communities that rely upon them, and understand what we’ve always believed to be true—that economies are built from the bottom up, and that a strong middle class ensures a strong future for Michigan’s economy.

Schauer never wavered on his support for working families, standing with us during the auto crisis by supporting loans to help auto companies and their suppliers to keep Michigan’s economy strong and reinvigorate the auto industry that so many of Michigan’s families rely on.

In stark contrast, Gov. Rick Snyder has made it clear that he’s not the candidate for working families. Not only did Snyder cut funding to public schools and taxed seniors to give tax cuts to corporations, but he enacted the ‘right-to-work’ law that weakened Michigan’s economy and hurt its workers by resulting in lower wages.

We’re also proud to endorse Rep. Gary Peters in his race for Senate. Peters stood alongside Schauer in supporting Michigan’s working families and the auto industry, working to secure the loans that saved millions of American automotive jobs. He stood with workers, fighting to make sure the new General Motors subcompact would be built at the facility in Lake Orion instead of seeing it sent overseas to China. That Lake Orion facility, closed for 18 months because of the auto crisis, now employs 1,800 Michiganians.

Meanwhile, Peters’ opponent, Terri Lynn Land, supported Mitt Romney who would have let Michigan die during the auto crisis. Land may now try to whitewash her record, but a candidate who demeaned their livelihoods by calling GM “Government Motors” won’t fool Michigan’s workers.

It’s time to send a message to candidates who care more about special interest groups than Michigan’s workers — we’re standing together, and we’re going to turn out in support of candidates who support us. On Nov. 4, the voices of America’s workers will be heard.

Dennis Williams is president of United Auto Workers.

Labor Voices

Labor Voices columns are written on a rotating basis by United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams, Teamsters President James Hoffa, Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift and Michigan Education Association President Steven Cook.