What the world is waiting for
One of our keynote speakers at the Building Stronger Unions event – Stewart Acuff of the AFL-CIO – has written an interesting post for the ‘Huff Post’, one of the USA’s leading political blogs.
His last comment accurately sums up the thoughts of trade unionists around the world:
My mates and colleagues from all over the world made it clear to me over and over again what our immediate role is – elect Barack Obama and pass the Employee Free Choice Act. People across the world wake up and check the polls online. They go to bed after going online to check the polls every night. Billions of average people and workers in every corner of this world are counting on us to make sure Barack Obama is elected. It is not exaggeration to say the world is counting on us.
Stewart is spot on when he says that the Presidential election in the US is important throughout the world. The current financial crisis is rooted in the collapse of the sub-prime lending market in the US, which as Stewart pointed out in his speech earlier this week was a direct result of 30 years of wage stagnation (and latterly decline). Lots of poor people in the US got stuck with mortgages they couldn’t afford, not because they were ‘feckless’, but because their wages were insufficient to cover their housing costs. Add in the impact of US foreign policy, and the export of US ‘union busting’ around the world and you can see why this election is so important!
I’m sure if you’re reading this blog and you have a vote in the US I don’t need to tell you how to use it on November 4 – the rest of us will have to wait and see with fingers crossed!