Over a year ago, I met with Dr. Al Gross who had just launched his campaign for U.S. Senate. The meeting went very well and Al, his staff, and I discussed the possibility of his campaign organizing into the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 1959. The concept of campaign staff organizing into a union was not proposed as a political move or simply as a way to gain some early labor support. Al truly believes that those who are working for his campaign should have the benefit of a collective bargaining agreement and representation in their workplace. The IUPAT has been honored to represent the staff of the Al Gross for U.S. Senate campaign.
Al’s message has resonated deeply with working Alaskans. This is understandable — we all like people who back up their strong words of support with decisive actions. Al genuinely earned the AFL-CIO endorsement, gained support from state and national organized labor groups, and has shaped his platform to advocate powerfully for working families and the middle class. There has, understandably, been a lot of talk during this election cycle about what each candidate can do for you and for the country. I can say unequivocally that Al Gross will be the champion that Alaska needs in the U.S. Senate.
Alaska is not full of millionaires. We are a state with hardworking, middle-class people who love our outdoors and want to see Alaska become a leader in the nation for places to live and work. Al Gross has the plan to ensure that Alaska succeeds in being a destination for people who want to work hard for their future. A tremendous opportunity for improving people’s lives in Alaska is right in front of us. The only thing we need is for real leadership to take place in Alaska. Al Gross is that leader and will be the champion Alaska needs in the U.S. Senate.
• Bronson Frye is a member of IUPAT Local 1959. He resides in Anchorage.