Matt (IBEW Local 80)

Matt Yonka is a family man. He’s committed to his two families, his biological one and his union one. It was his father-in-law who introduced him to the electrician’s trade and to IBEW Local 80, the Norfolk affiliate of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

“Our brotherhood is about working families and my commitment to them is what drives me every single day,” Matt says.

He went through IBEW’s renowned five-year training program that prepares future electricians to do any kind of electrical work that a contractor needs them to do. And nowadays, he’s Local 80’s business manager and financial secretary.

Part of Matt’s commitment to working families includes helping to elect worker-friendly people into public office, or as Matt says, helping to elect people who “deserve to be there to represent working-class families.”

That’s why he won’t support presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the November election.

“If somebody is bold enough to say they don’t care about me,” Matt says, referring to Romney’s infamous 47 percent remark, “there’s no way I’m voting for someone that does that.”

Barack Obama, on the other hand, is a president who’s “not afraid of saying the word union,” Matt points out. And although he’s been stopped from doing well on his promises many times by Republicans in Congress, President Obama is still a friend of organized workers and working families, Matt says.

For Matt, the outcome of the upcoming election matters because the future of our country depends on the future of working-class families, union and non-union.

“We can’t lie down and take it,” Matt says.

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