Unions in America have had a tough couple of decades. Declining membership, restrictions on their organizing activities, financial woes, and in-fighting that has led to more fragmentation has meant a lot of bad PR. But politicians who are ready to write them off as a political force had better think twice.
According to Tula Connell at the AFL-CIO, here is the rundown on labor's impact on campaign 2008:
Union voters supported President-elect Barack Obama 67 percent to 30 percent over Sen. John McCain. In the top-tier battleground states the difference was even more stark, with union members going for Obama 69 to 28 -- a 41-point margin.
While McCain won among voters ages 65 and up, active and retired union members older than 65 went for Obama by a 46-point margin.
While McCain won among veterans, union veterans went for Obama by a 25-point margin.
Working America members, concentrated in key states, supported Obama by 67 percent to 30 percent.
60 percent of union members and 56 percent of Working America members said the economy was a top issue.
Union members got a lot of contact from their unions about the election, with more than 80 percent receiving union mail, more than 80 percent receiving union publications, 59 percent getting live phone calls and 32 percent getting worksite fliers.
75 percent of union members say Obama's victory gives him a mandate to make major change. 81 percent support the Employee Free Choice Act.
21 percent of voters were in a union or union household.
With 52 percent and more than 62 million votes, Obama has more than surpassed Bush's 2004 win. His seven-point win over McCain is a decisive victory for pro-working family policies.
In other words...like your new president? Thank your local union.