Southwest Pipe Trades Association (SWPTA) Political Director Ron Lord appeared on the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and talked about the importance of supporting union-friendly politicians who support pro-labor issues like Prevailing Wage and the right to organize, regardless of their party affiliation.
Members of the SWPTA span both political parties, and their interests deserve representation no matter their personal political views, Lord told AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc on Dec. 1. Politically, the interests of the SWPTA cannot be lumped into any side, he said.
If a politician supports Prevailing Wage, for example, he or she earns the support of the SWPTA, no matter which party they represent, Lord said. Politicians can be pro-union on both sides of the aisle, and they have the backing of the SWPTA, he added.
He also talked about the need to educate and persuade political leaders about the value of the labor movement and what unions can provide workers and society.
In the end, partisan bickering does not solve anything, Lord said. What the labor movement needs is solutions, and it will work with any political leader who can deliver meaningful support, he added.
Face-to-face political canvassing proves most effective
Lord also talked about the nature of political campaigning in the modern era, particularly when it comes to encouraging affiliated members to get out and vote. He said that traditional phone banking and direct mail campaigns are having less of an impact. The best approach is door-to-door campaigning by union Brothers and Sisters, he added.
This can be challenging when there are fewer members on the bench, thanks to a healthy workload across the SWPTA territory, Lord said. Union leaders have solved this problem by hiring members from other unions to do political canvassing ahead of a big election like last month’s midterms.
Achieving a high political turnout from the SWPTA membership is crucial in any election, Lord said. The best way to get out the vote is to have union members talk to other union members, he added.