McGrath is 'the one that's going to support organized labor'

By BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

Union retiree Benny Heady summed up the US Senate contest in a single sentence:

“We need to vote for Amy because she’s the one that’s going to support organized labor."

Heady, a member of Paducah Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 184, meant Democrat Amy McGrath, the former Marine jet pilot who wants Republican Mitch McConnell’s job.

The Kentucky State AFL-CIO endorsed McGrath after she won the June Democratic primary.

Unions consider Majority Leader McConnell one of the most anti-union lawmakers in Washington. He favors a national right-to-work law. The AFL-CIO says he's supported the union position on legislation just 12 percent of the time since 1985, when he was first sworn in.

“If you are a union member of any kind, you need to help elect Amy McGrath,” Heady added.

Mike Stone agreed. He’s a retired business agent for Millwrights Local 1076.

“Mitch has done absolutely nothing for union members and nothing for the middle class,” Stone said. “He has, in fact, helped the rich enrich themselves over the 36 years he’s been in office. So we’ve got to elect somebody that’s going to protect us, and that’s Amy McGrath.”

J.W. Cleary, a USW 550 retiree, believes McGrath “really wants to represent the everyday people of Kentucky.” He said, “if McConnell doesn’t think something’s good for him, he tries to hold the process up.”

He recalled McConnell declaring that “his ultimate goal was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. To me, that’s not representing the people.”

Alton Cunningham III said McConnell has got to go because he’s a foe “of workers’ rights and workers’ issues.” Cunningham, an IUPAT District Council 91 representative, added that “workers’ rights are plummeting under the Trump administration and Mitch McConnell. We’ve got to vote and vote big in November.”

Carol Young echoed Cunningham. She’s the widow of W.C. Young, a national labor and civil rights leader from Paducah, who always stressed voting as the surest path to lasting reform. He marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Frankfort in 1964 and spearheaded many voter registration drives.

“The working people need to get out and vote,” she urged, warning that though the street unrest is happening on the president's watch, it “is just giving Trump more fuel.”

She said peaceful protestors need to be asked, “‘Are you registered to vote?' I’m getting people registered to vote.”