As 2011 draws to a close, right-to-work-for-less legislation is poised to rear its ugly head again after being defeated in several states this year. This week’s Battleground Bulletin examines the plans of anti-worker legislators in Ohio, Indiana and New Hampshire to resurrect these misguided proposals.
The Fight Against Right-To-Work-For-Less Continues
Despite the big victories working families across the country scored in defense of workers’ basic rights this year, some anti-worker legislators and their allies have ignored the voters and plan to continue their attack on workers.
With a final vote of 240 to 139, New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien fell 12 votes short of the two-thirds majority necessary to override Governor John Lynch’s veto of right-to-work-for-less legislation. O’Brien has been trying to override the governor’s veto since May, but has repeatedly delayed the vote in the hope that enough pro-worker citizen legislators would fail to show up, thus changing the outcome. Since the original vote on the bill, four pro-worker candidates—three Democrats and a Republican firefighter—won special elections for seats previously held by O’Brien allies. All won after vowing to vote to sustain the governor’s veto. Read the rest of this entry »
This week’s Battleground Bulletin reports on AFSCME members’ fight for working families at the Women’s Conference in Milwaukee and on the steps of City Hall in New York.
AFSCME Women Show They are Ready for 2012 Battles
U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis with AFSCME Women's Conference Attendees
More than 900 AFSCME women assembled in Milwaukee, WI this past weekend to listen, learn and demonstrate in preparation for state battles through the remainder of 2011 and into the 2012 election season. These strong AFSCME women were joined by sisters who are leaders in the workers’ rights movement including U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. Both praised the activists for their fight on behalf of American workers. Read the rest of this entry »
Dear Union Sisters and Brothers,
Forty-three years ago, a struggle by 1,300 AFSCME city sanitation workers who were being denied the fundamental right of collective bargaining brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis, Tennessee. After marching with these workers, Martin Luther King Jr. declared: “Work that serves humanity… It has dignity and it has worth.” Dr. King was assassinated hours later on April 4, 1968. Read the rest of this entry »
You have probably heard by now that tens of thousa Como Se Tornar Um Macho Alfa nds of our AFSCME brothers and sisters in Wisconsin were stripped virtually overnight of their rights to collectively bargain by Governor Scott Walker.
This was a particularly painful moment for us, as Madison is the birthplace of our great union. But we continue to fight in this battle and in others around the country, and will not sit by while workers are being stripped of their very right to have a voice on the job.
Right now there is a need for you to step up in this fight. Please take a minute to e-mail a thank you note to the 14 Wisconsin Democratic State Senators who left the state in order to stall this anti-worker bill. Read the rest of this entry »
MADISON, Wis. — The monthlong saga over Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to drastically curb collective bargaining rights for public workers in Wisconsin took a turn Friday that could force a dramatic rebooting of the entire legislative process.
A judge temporarily blocked the law from taking effect, raising the possibility that the Legislature may have to vote again to pass the bill that attracted protests as large as 85,000 people, motivated Senate Democrats to escape to Illinois for three weeks and made Wisconsin the focus of the national fight over union rights.
But Walker’s spokesman and Republican legislative leaders indicated they would press on with the court battle rather than consider passing the bill again. Read the rest of this entry »
Post by Mary Bottari. Center for Media and Democracy
on Huffington Post, March 12, 2011
On the day that the bill passed the Wisconsin Assembly effectively ending 50 years of collective bargaining in Wisconsin and eviscerating the ability of public unions to raise money through dues, a new front opened in the battle for the future of Wisconsin families.
Bagpipes blaring, hundreds of firefighters walked across the street from the Wisconsin Capitol building, stood outside the Marshall and Ilsley Bank (M&I Bank) and played a few tunes — loudly. Later, a group of firefighter and consumers stopped back in at the bank to make a few transactions. One by one they closed their accounts and withdrew their life savings, totaling approximately $190,000. After the last customer left, the bank quickly closed its doors, just in case the spontaneous “Move Your Money” moment caught fire. Read the rest of this entry »
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has won his drive to strip the state’s government workers of nearly all of their collective-bargaining rights, prevailing after a three-week standoff that brought tens of thousands of protesters to the Capitol and transfixed the political world.
The new legislation, which Walker signed into law Friday, represents a major setback for organized labor, but the political battle over public employees and their rights to bargain is likely to continue – not only in Madison. Read the rest of this entry »
Students, unionists, and other community members and activists attended “Labor and Community in Times of Crisis,” a day long conference in the Education Technology Center on March 4.
Discussion panels were chaired primarily by City College faculty. From “Maquiladora Workers’ Struggle” with Chicano Studies professor Enrique Davalos to “Women in Labor” with labor studies coordinator Kelly Mayhew and “Student Activism” with political science professor Larissa Dorman, the panels discussed a diverse array of issues.
According to a promotional flyer, the conference was geared toward fostering “connections between workers in different unions, workers centers, communities, industries and countries to strengthen the movement – from the bottom up.” Read the rest of this entry »
Speech delivered at Wisconsin Capitol in Madison,
March 5, 2011
Also see/hear speech; video posted below
America is not broke.
Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.
March 3, 2011
From your international union, AFSCME
There are new developments in Ohio and Wisconsin that we want to share with you. As you know, what happens in the coming weeks and months in Columbus and Madison will be critical to the future of our union, our jobs, and the services that we provide everywhere.
In Ohio yesterday, after more than 20,000 Ohioans rallied on Tuesday to save the middle class, the State Senate passed SB 5 — a bill that will strip workers of their rights. It was politics at its worst: Republican leaders rammed this bill through by kicking opposing members of their own party off of key committees. Read the rest of this entry »
This is really about Wall Street and Big Corporations against the working class and their unions”
Scores of protesters hit the streets on February 27, 2011 in front of the Los Angeles City Hall to stand by the workers of Wisconsin.
Staff and elected officers from UDW stood together with members, IHSS providers, family, and many community supporters:
People who attended & in pictures;
Laura Reyes (UDW President) Lien Tuong Rose Nguyen (UDW Secretary Treasurer) Donta Harrison (Regional Coordinator) Raul Romero (Lead Organizer) Ly Nguyen (Lead Organizer) Miguel Mondragon (Organizer) Janet Avila (Administrative Support Staff) Cesar Chaves (Organizer - in photo at left) Catalina Andrade (UDW member) Javier Lara (UDW member) Read the rest of this entry »
UDW Organizer Ly Nguyen, Christine Nguyen Chapter Chair, Member Silvia Briseno and her daughter/recipient Berenice Briseno
On Thursday evening, February 24th, UDW hosted a candlelight vigil that was held in front of the State Office Building in Santa Ana. Homecare providers, clients, family, UDW staff, and other supporters came to stand in solidarity for the workers of Wisconsin. UDW President Laura Reyes also attended and spoke to the crowd.
“Federal law has allowed workers to form unions. Attacks on workers’ basic rights have been sweeping the country and we must stand together to ensure it doesn’t happen here!”
The tens of thousands of Wisconsinites who have marched and protested at the state Capitol and throughout the state this past week are American heroes. It is not often in this country that thousands gather to fight for the dignity and the rights of their fellow citizens. Yet for days now, workers and their families, students and retirees, clergy and businessmen, LGBT activists and veterans have joined together to have their voices heard. The people of the Badger State are making history happen. Read the rest of this entry »
Thousands of union members and supporters, including UDW members from as far away as Modesto, Merced and Santa Barbara, sent a message of solidarity to public employees in Wisconsin at a candlelight vigil at the State Capitol in Sacramento. Read the rest of this entry »