Special Election Alert: Springfield Union Locals Come Out for Coakley

Springfield Union Locals Come Out for Coakley

By Paul Soutar/KansasWatchdog.org

The Service Employees International Union local 1199 in Springfield is coordinating a canvassing campaign to support Mattha Coakley, the Massachusetts Attorney General, running for the Senate Seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy.

Ten volunteers went out this morning, each canvassing 30 to 40 houses according to a volunteer coordinator who said he expects more than 50 volunteers to show up today, most working for more than one shift.

Canvassers will ask if any voters at home intend to vote, encourage them to vote for Coakley and ask them to take other voters in the home to the polls.

Peter Matcovich arrived from Albany, New York, this morning to work for Coakley at the SEIU office. He said he received several emails a week through.

Matcovich said maintaining the supermajority in the Senate is important. "The Republicans are a solid block and stick together. Each individual Republican does not vote the way they feel. They go along with the party."

"I hope that some form of health care passes. Apparently that isn't going to happen unless the 60 votes hold together," Matcovich said during an interview at the SEIU local at 20 Maple Street in Springfield. He said he doesn't expect to get exactly the legislation he wants because there have to be, "extreme compromises to hold them together."

Michael LaFleur, business manager for the 400-member Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 63 said many trades union members are being directed to the AFL-CIO operations to make phone calls, "even to neighbors with Brown stickers."

"Because of the recession a lot of our out-of-work members are involved. We're reaching out to retired members too," he said.

He said local members definitely see the importance of the election and electing a Senator who supports labor. "They want to maintain democratic leadership in the state of Massachusetts."

The Brotherhood of Carpenters local 108 displays a large Martha Coakley campaign sign across the street from the Forest Park Middle School at 46 Oakland Street. Rocky Thompson, an employee at the union office, referred questions about the local's activities to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters but did say phone bank and canvassing activities are planned.