Steelworkers President Slams Palin: 'Stop Using Your Husband's Membership in the USW as a Prop'
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When Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) introduced Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, he trumpeted her husbandâ€™s union membership: â€œThe person Iâ€™m about to introduce to you was a union member and is married to a union member, and understands the problems, the hopes and the values of working people,â€ he said. That day, and again last night, Palin also emphasized that her husband is â€œa proud member of the United Steelworkers Union.â€
Conservatives are hoping the reference will play well in Michigan and Ohio. But the United Steelworkers union (USW) isnâ€™t so pleased. USW President Leo Gerard noted that just because Todd Palin is a union member doesnâ€™t mean that Palin is automatically qualified to represent labor interests:
It is important to realize that while the governorâ€™s husband is a member of a union, this does not automatically qualify her for an on-the-job training program to become a heartbeat away from the presidency. And while her husband is one of 850,000 dues-paying members of the steelworkers union, it does nothing to absolve Sen. McCain of his long history of anti-union sentiment and anti-worker actions.
In fact, McCainâ€™s hostility to unions and union priorities runs deep: