MILWAUKEE, June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Leo W. Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers (USW) tonight declared his pride in a boots-on-the-ground historic Election Day in Wisconsin by the coalition of union members who mobilized in unity, only to lose a recall of the current governor that would have given working families a voice for their future.
"Voter turnout and ideology to destroy collective bargaining rights and jobs for Wisconsin workers drove us to the finish line for a narrow defeat of USW-endorsed Tom Barrett as Governor who had pledged to bring us all together again to reverse the direction of the Wisconsin economy." Gerard said. 'It's disappointing, but we're not done fighting for workers rights'
The USW President declared: "Gov. Scott Walker used his tens-of—millions in rightwing corporate monies to buy his way out of the recall. As workers we may be disappointed, but we are still motivated by the injustice of his ideology to divide and conquer. It has been an extraordinary journey until tonight. The courage and convictions of everyday people in Wisconsin, who stood up united, and fought to take their government back, makes me proud.
"This was an uphill battle against corporate money that drowned out the voices of real people. Money won at a shocking eight-to-one factor. We fought for a different outcome, but the sprit of union workers and their families are what were best about the recall Wisconsin election. We will now have to wait and see what happens next and organize to make rightwing Super PACs illegal in the American democracy. The November general election is just around the corner."
Michael Bolton, Director for USW District 2 representing 60,000 active and retired workers employed across the state, applauded the hundreds of union activists who phone banked, door-knocked and rallied to get-out-the-vote for the past several weeks. He said, "Wisconsin workers may not have out-elbowed the big corporate money, but everyone was energized as citizens to go to the polls in numbers that were awesome.
According to the USW state director, "Our union recorded the biggest single day of voter phone calls ever with 78,000 numbers dialed on Monday by our volunteer army." He said that since Thursday, the USW had called more than 200,000 Wisconsin working family voters by the time the state's polls closed.
Bolton declared, "Our GOTV was effective among union families and neighbors, but it was not enough to overcome the rightwing corporate funding of the lies, air war propaganda, mailers and media ads campaign."
He said the USW and the coalition unions fought together on this Election Day recall for more than 18 months that began when Gov. Walker first took office. "We slept on the cold marble floors of the State Capitol, we rallied in the winter snows, and we marched together for jobs and collective bargaining. We won't quit now."
CONTACT: Tim Waters, 412-999-3587; [email protected]
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)