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article imageAFL-CIO president: Work we did 'held the Senate'

By Michael Krebs     Nov 9, 2010 in Politics
In a post-election message to supporters, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka thanked those that he believes helped keep Democrats in office - saying 'the work that we did held the Senate.'
Coming after an acidic mid-term election that was in large part defined by a shaky jobs creation strategy by incumbents, questionable support for a large-scale health-care program, and an increasing polarity among pro-union Democrats and free market Republicans - AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka praised his supporters for mobilizing on election day.
"The work that we did held the Senate," Trumka said in a video-taped address to supporters. "President Obama called me this morning to thank us for everything that we did."
The AFL-CIO is a long-time political advocacy organization, most recently endorsing Nancy Pelosi's drive to remain as leader of the House Democrats. Pro-union sentiments have led to tariffs on Chinese steel imports, threatening global trade and stoking protectionist emotions. Local political issues have been defined by union activities - such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's face-off with the aggressive teachers union.
Actions by the AFL-CIO have led to predictions that American voters will turn decidedly against unions next.
"Union employees feel their representatives just don't represent them," pollster Frank Luntz told U.S. News & World Report.
And while Mr. Trumka makes claims on AFL-CIO success with election outcomes in the Senate, the Republican Party took more than 60 seats in the House - while paring back the Democratic majority in the Senate.
"This election was a clear mandate for creating jobs and fixing the economy," Trumka said. "And voters rejected the agenda that so many Republicans ran on."
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