May 15, 2014
By Stephanie West
Newark, NJ – “Labor united will never be defeated,” said Essex-West Hudson Central Labor Council President Thomas Giblin, speaking to a group of union volunteers returning from the final shift of an all-day Get-Out-The-Vote effort in Newark.
A few hours later, when the election results were tallied, those words would be confirmed by the elections of Ras Baraka for Mayor and Mildred Crump, Louis Quintana, and LIUNA leader Eddie Osborne for Council-at-Large – the four candidates endorsed by the Central Labor Council in Newark.
“The solidarity of union and community families made the difference in this election,” stated New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech. “Through the Labor 2014 program we worked to ensure that our volunteers were not only talking to union members about the upcoming election, but were empowering them with the knowledge to choose the best candidates to lead the city of Newark.”
The Labor 2014 program was coordinated by volunteers from 30 different international unions and 76 local unions. Together these volunteers made 150,000 phone calls, knocked on 20,000 doors. Four rounds of direct mail and three local union letters were sent. Over 100,000 fliers also were distributed in four different languages – English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French Creole – to ensure direct communication with the diverse Newark community.