Machinists: Murray works for this Washington

Leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers praised incumbent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray for her work on behalf of Washington’s working families, and called on union members to support her in her re-election campaign.

“Our candidates bring one word to the campaign — jobs,” said IAM&AW International President Tom Buffenbarger. ” We’ve got to keep senators in Washington, D.C., that understand what that four-letter word means.”

“She has fought for us on every issue we’ve asked of her,” added IAM&AW Western General Vice President Gary Allen. Working Americans will not get the same kind of support from her opponent, Dino Rossi, said Allen, who went on to call Rossi “the lap dog of the rich.”

Murray spoke to nearly 400 members of the Machinists and Painters unions who gathered at IAM District 751’s Seattle Union Hall on Tuesday, along with representatives from other labor organizations.

She drew praise from District 751 President Tom Wroblewski. Unlike Rossi, he said, “Nobody has to wonder what Washington Patty Murray works for.”

Murray attacked Rossi’s positions that favor Wall Street at the expense of working people, and mocked his recent attacks against her support of federal funding that helped local governments keep teachers and cops on the job — funds that were generated by eliminating certain corporate tax breaks.

“Who in the world would support corporate tax loopholes over education for kids?” Murray asked. “If it hurts his corporate sponsors, he’s not speaking for you.”

Republicans like Rossi “want to go back the policies of George W. Bush that took care of the wealthy on the back of you and your grandchildren,” Murray said.

Yet this election is not just about party, said Ray Sesma, the general vice president of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. “It’s not about Republicans and Democrats, it is about people who really care about America’s working men and women,” he said. “Patty Murray is second to none as a senator. We’re there now when she needs us and we’ll be there for her down the road.”

Murray also attacked Rossi for accepting support from South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, who was one of those who worked behind the scenes to lure Boeing second 787 line to Charleston. “Last I checked, Jim DeMint was attending a 787 groundbreaking ceremony in South Carolina.” 

On the other hand, Buffenbarger praised Murray for her support of Washington’s aerospace industry, for attacking unfair European Union subsidies to Airbus and for supporting funding of aerospace apprenticeships that will train the next generation of Washington aerospace workers.

That kind of smart investment is not “pork” — as Rossi insists — Buffenbarger said.

Above all, Murray’s been a tenacious advocate in support of Boeing’s bid to build the next generation of U.S. Air Force refueling tankers, Buffenbarger said. “If it were not for Patty, brothers and sisters, Europeans would be build the tanker right now.”

Allen agreed, and told the Fightin’ Machinists that Murray “is a fighter also — she deserves our support.”

Along with her support for aerospace, Buffenbarger said, Murray has been an advocate for reforms that have helped all working Americans: health care, education and protecting Social Security from Republican attempts to privatize it.

The last one is particularly important, said George Braun, a District 751 retiree. “We’ve all seen how dangerous it would be to hand over our retirements to Wall Street,” he said. “When you rely on a 401(k) for your income, it can’t become a 201 fund.”

Murray touched on her “Mom in tennis shoes” roots, and asked the union workers to “lace up your tennis shoes” to support her campaign. “This is an important election and I need every vote,” she said. “Don’t let any union member sit at home and not vote.”

Union leaders echoed that call. “When the workers of this country unite and vote, we are successful,” said District 751 Secretary/Treasurer Susan Palmer. “Because we know the workers of this country far outnumber the Wall Street millionaires.”

“It’s rare we have a friend like this,” Buffenbarger said. “We have to demonstrate that our friendship is a two-way street.”

Become a fan of IAM 751 on Facebook.

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  1. […] story about how Local Lodge 86 members in Spokane have supported the re-election campaign for U.S. Sen. Patty […]

  2. […] on District 751′s political involvement, including its strong support for incumbent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, and its strong oppositon to Initiative 1082. Wroblewski explained how the […]

  3. […] on District Lodge 751′s involvement in the recently concluded political campaigns, including the union’s strong support for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray; […]



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