UFCW members of UFCW Locals 23 and 1776 celebrated last night as the candidate that they worked for, Joe Sestak, surged to victory against incumbent Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter.
The New York Times reports that organized labor suffered a defeat when Sestak won last night, but for Pennsylvania UFCW members, BAC Local 1-PA members, USW 10-1 members, three APWU locals' members, and other labor groups and organizations, that's just plain wrong. Sure, some labor organizations endorsed Senator Specter, but others knew all along that Sestak was their man--the candidate for working families in Pennsylvania.
Kevin Kilroy, Political Director of UFCW Local 23, had this to say about the UFCW's decision to endorse Sestak:
Voters are tired of lukewarm politicians who are unresponsive to the needs of working families. Sestak has a proven record of getting things done in the House of Representatives. He seems to come down on the side of the average work a day person who is struggling to make ends meet. I think that the voters responded to him in kind.And UFCW Local 1776 put out this statement:
Last night’s win by Joe Sestak was a great victory for the working men and women of Pennsylvania. Local 1776 and the entire UFCW family are proud to be a large part of his victory.
Our members told us loudly and clearly that it was time for a change in the US Senate. They know Joe Sestak. They like him and they trust him. They know that he shares our values and that we can count on him to stand up for what he believes in.
We decided to stand with Joe early in his campaign, and our membership supported us every step of the way. He’s going to be a great candidate in November against the anti-labor Pat Toomey. We look forward to working with Joe on a working families agenda that includes job creation and the Employee Free Choice Act.
According to many UFCW, BAC, USW, and APWU members, other labor supporters, and working families across Pennsylvania, the right person for the job won last night. Now all of labor will certainly get behind him and help him win that Senate seat this fall.