Local 98 uses video to urge members to vote for Obama

Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is sending this video to its 4,000 members this week, urging them to vote for President Obama in Tuesday's general election.  The video includes clips of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney pledging to the Associated Builders & Contractors trade group in a February speech to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act on "day one" if elected.

That act, passed in 1931, requires contractors to pay employees the local prevailing wage on federally-funded construction projects.  Romney favors "right-to-work" policies that allow employers to set such wages as they see fit.

Despite Local 98's long history of supporting Democratic candidates, the video makes clear the union anticipates that some members or their relatives might be leaning toward Romney.  Local 98 has backed Republicans in the past, including former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Corbett.

"We have a number of people who are coming out on election day and voting against their own self interests," says Pat Gillespie, business manager of the Philadelphia Building Trades in the video. "We have to stop that. We have to at least make them aware of it."

Local 98 Business Manager John Dougherty calls Romney in the video the "best poster boy for the 1 percent" while claiming that the Republican Party is not interested in people who have suffered during the economic downturn that started in 2008.

NOTE: Dougherty says toward the end of the video that voters should bring their identification to polling places on election day.  Pennsylvania's VoterID law will not be used during this election.  A Local 98 spokesman said Dougherty was urging voters to bring ID as a precaution in case poll watchers challenge their rights to vote.

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