KC Labor Statement on the Election

We Need Unity on Working Class Issues No Matter Who Ultimately Wins

It's been more than a century since America has seen such a crisis over a presidential election. Four days after the vote it appears Gore has a tiny plurality in popular votes while Bush has claim to the electoral votes needed to win. This could change pending recounts, absentee votes, legal action, etc. We will attempt to give a rounded analysis of the election once we know who's won. But for now we want to address another urgent question coming out of this election.

Most of the leadership of organized labor, along with allies in the feminist, civil rights, and environmental movements, backed Gore. But, for the first time in many years, significant sections of these movements supported an alternative candidate—Ralph Nader. Nader was endorsed by the UE, the California Nurses Association, and a number of local unions around the country. Exit polls show about six percent of union household voters voted for Nader. Overall Nader received about three percent of the national vote and he registered totals that exceeded Gore's margin of loss to Bush in a few states—including infamous Florida.

A number of movement leaders have issued vicious attacks on the Nader campaign and have threatened retribution. This is not only unfair; it is also short-sighted and self-destructive. Whether Gore or Bush emerges as the ultimate victor we can be sure there are major battles ahead on such crucial working class issues as trade, Social Security, health care, safety, and labor law. While continuing our important debate over electoral strategy we should all be uniting for action in these coming struggles.

November 11, 2000