Support The Candidates Who Support Working Families in The December 4th Runoff

Below is a statement from Charlie Flemming, President of the Georgia AFL-CIO, on the importance of voting for Labor endorsed candidates in the December 4th Runoff Election.

We Stand with Candidates that Support Working People – No Matter Their Party

In August of this year, the Georgia AFL-CIO made endorsements of candidates in races up and down the ticket and across the state of Georgia. Two of these candidates now face a run-off election. In this time of hyper-partisanship, it is rare for organizations, or even people, to “split” their ticket between the two major political parties. At the Georgia AFL-CIO we aren’t about partisanship, we are about supporting the candidates who are going to do the right thing for working families in the state of Georgia. That is why Georgia’s Labor movement is supporting John Barrow, a Democrat, for Secretary of State and Chuck Eaton, a Republican, for Public Service Commissioner District 3.

The Georgia AFL-CIO’s affiliated unions vote to endorse candidates based on their positions on issues that their offices oversee, and how their policies will affect the working people in Georgia. Both the offices of Secretary of State and Public Service Commissioner face a set of unique and specific challenges, with policy decisions that will directly affect working families.

Our next Secretary of State must fix our broken elections system that disenfranchised so many working people this year. Voting should not take all day and voters should be able to know their vote will be counted. Making voting a burdensome and hours-long process is a direct attack on the rights of people who must work for a living and risk their jobs if they are late because of long lines at the polls. That is why Georgia’s Labor movement is supporting John Barrow for Secretary of State. He will fix and update our broken elections system. He has plans in place and the experience to execute them, while his opponent can’t even manage to show up for a debate. When it comes to experience and accountability, which is so desperately needed in this office, John Barrow is the clear choice. His long history of working across the aisle, building coalitions and getting things done only further proves that he is the only person who can fill the needs of Georgia’s Secretary of State at this time.

Georgia is also one of the most rapidly growing states in the country. Securing a sound energy infrastructure is one of the most important tasks of Georgia’s Public Service Commissioners. Unfortunately, building Georgia’s infrastructure can often be done in a way that leaves working people behind. Building projects lack Project Labor Agreements and the people who build Georgia’s future are left out with low wages, no benefits and are often misclassified as independent contractors. Chuck Eaton understands that we cannot have a strong energy infrastructure unless we have a skilled workforce with fairly treated workers to create it. He stands with the working people of Georgia and understands that family wage jobs are important, as well as making sure that Georgia had the diverse energy infrastructure needed to power it into the future. That is why we are supporting him for re-election the Public Service Commission.

The December 4th runoff will decide who will fill these key positions. I voted early on Thursday and my early voting location was basically empty. With the holiday season upon us, it is easy to let the opportunity to vote in this runoff slip your mind. However, Georgia’s future is on the line. Union members voted in record numbers in this midterm election. I hope that both Union members and all the people of Georgia will shatter records again and vote in this runoff election on December 4th.

Charlie Flemming,
President, Georgia AFL-CIO