Nevada labor unions are backing Democratic candidates across the state and the country this election year, but are losing faith in the party's commitment to stand solidly behind them, according to a report Monday in the Las Vegas Sun
“At this point in history, labor is taking a beating,” Richard Miller, vice president of the American Federation of Teachers and a Nevada delegate to the Democratic National Convention, told the Sun. “We are asking those Democrats who promised to do the work to step up and not to take us for granted."
Democrats have traditionally been the party of labor, but the party's past position of near unconditional support has eroded as budget considerations have taken a toll. As a result, salaries, retirement, healthcare, and other benefits have been cut for public employees throughout the country.
And it hasn't helped that Republicans have succeeded in establishing right-to-work laws in 23 states, and have limited collective bargaining rights in others.
As a result, union leaders are now calculating which candidate, will do them the least harm rather than just supporting a straight Democratic ticket.
Concerns about Democrats going soft on labor could be seen in the selection of Charlotte, N.C., a notoriously anti-union town, for the party's national convention this year. According to the Sun, some union representatives refused to attend because it was held in Charlotte.
“We will not be taken for granted,” said Nevada delegate and retired electrician Dick Collins, who runs election phone banks for the AFL-CIO. “We are going to make sure that they take care of the promises they give us. And we’re no longer just going to support you because you’re a Democrat.”
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