Posts Tagged 'Wisconsin'

WISCONSIN / NEW YORK CITY – SAME STRUGGLE / SAME FIGHT

Wisconsin proves that today we must have a strong union movement. Public employees, especially educators, are under attack all across our country. Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Florida are also suffering attacks on pensions, health care plans, seniority, and our long and hard fought right to collective bargaining. Mayor Bloomberg WANTS TO END SENIORITY RIGHTS! In reality, he would also like to destroy collective bargaining.

Fortunately, public employees across this country are fighting back.

New Action is proud that we introduced the UFT resolution on Wisconsin and other battleground states. The membership must be involved. We urge the following actions:

  • set a specified Day of Solidarity and ask every UFT member to wear red
  • set a date with our labor allies for a demonstration of support for workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, etc. and against the policies of Mayor Bloomberg
  • raise support among our members by requesting a voluntary donation for a solidarity fund
  • gather names of members who are willing to fill buses and travel to battleground states

We hope these actions will stimulate discussions at the school level and other UFT venues.

March 2011

UFT Resolution on Wisconsin

… and other states. Passed Exec Board, bipartisan support, after several amendments. Will be presented at the March 9 Delegate Assembly (this Wednesday). Needs to be accompanied by concrete actions, such as those New Action has proposed.

WHEREAS, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is scapegoating public employees, including teachers, for Wisconsin’s alleged budget difficulties; and

WHEREAS, Governor Walker has proposed that contracts be no longer than one year, that public employee unions be banned from collecting dues, and that collective bargaining be abolished for public employees, including teachers; and

WHEREAS, organized labor in Wisconsin, including the State AFL-CIO and the Wisconsin Education Association have denounced these wrong-headed plans; and

WHEREAS, this shocking assault on workers’ rights, and specifically teachers’ rights, is part of a concerted national campaign against workers and their organizations with particularly egregious proposals threatening educators and other workers in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Florida and Tennessee; and

WHEREAS, the teachers of New York City and our union, the United Federation of Teachers, are facing noxious proposals by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as part of this same national anti-teacher union campaign; and

WHEREAS, an injury to one is an injury to all; and

WHEREAS, we UFTers as trailblazers in gaining collective bargaining for teachers which we secured in 1961 only after a strike on November 7, 1960 at which time our members showed great courage and determination to have the basic right to be treated fairly and with respect know only too well the significance and vital importance of collective bargaining for teachers and other workers; and be it

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers expresses its solidarity with the teachers unions in Wisconsin, and with all public employees and their unions in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Florida and Tennessee; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers will publicize the monstrous campaign against the teachers and all public employees in Wisconsin and other affected states; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers will extend offers of material and logistical support to our sister teacher unions in Wisconsin and other affected states; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers will join with our state and national affiliates, New York State United Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers respectively, to likewise express solidarity, publicize the struggle, and offer material support to the teachers and their unions in Wisconsin and other affected states.

The Long Road to Madison, Wisconsin

by Arjun Janah, Brooklyn, February 26th, 2011

In 1959, Wisconsin became the first U.S. state to grant municipal employees and teachers the right to bargain collectively for wages and benefits. In 1967, this was extended to all state employees.  It is perhaps worth noting that the first law was passed under a Democratic governor, at a time when the state Assembly was controlled by Democrats and the state Senate by Republicans. The second law was passed under a Republican governor, with both houses controlled by Republicans.

…we have in place…a global race to the bottom for labor, where the worker must work harder and longer (both in hours per week and years per life) for less, under increasing stress, anxiety and insecurity, and a global “race to the top” … for the wealthiest and their courtiers.

So we see that, by the 60’s, a bipartisan consensus had been reached, at least in Wisconsin (as well as in many other states) about the rights of public workers to have unions and to bargain collectively.

Unions are now at about 12% nationwide, but at around 36% in public sector jobs. So now we see an assault underway against the public sector unions. …we have seen an acceleration of the trend towards increasing income inequality, with the majority of the wealth and income in this country being concentrated…in the hands of a very small fraction of the population.

Now, a full half century later, we see Scott Walker, Republican governor of Wisconsin, attempting to take away public workers’ right to collectively bargain for pensions and other benefits.  He is not content that they have agreed to cuts in these, and to pay more for them, even though the alleged budget deficit can be directly traced to hundred-million-dollar tax cuts given recently by governor Walker to the wealthy in his state. His goal is to accelerate the process of dismantling what is left of the union movement in this country.  In this, he is in active partnership with other Republican governors and their billionaire backers. Continue reading ‘The Long Road to Madison, Wisconsin’

Statement to workers of Wisconsin from Egyptian Trade Union Leader

February 20th, 2011 3:45 PM

‘We Stand With You as You Stood With Us’: Statement to Workers of Wisconsin by Kamal Abbas of Egypt’s Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services

About Kamal Abbas and the Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services:

Kamal Abbas is General Coordinator of the CTUWS, an umbrella advocacy organization for independent unions in Egypt. The CTUWS, which was awarded the 1999 French Republic’s Human Rights Prize, suffered repeated harassment and attack by the Mubarak regime, and played a leading role in its overthrow. Abbas, who witnessed friends killed by the regime during the 1989 Helwan steel strike and was himself arrested and threatened numerous times, has received extensive international recognition for his union and civil society leadership.

This is the transcript of a statement Abbas made (video and translation here on Michael Moore’s website). It was reprinted here on the AFL-CIO Now Blog.

KAMAL ABBAS: I am speaking to you from a place very close to Tahrir Square in Cairo, “Liberation Square”, which was the heart of the Revolution in Egypt. This is the place were many of our youth paid with their lives and blood in the struggle for our just rights.

From this place, I want you to know that we stand with you as you stood with us.

I want you to know that no power can challenge the will of the people when they believe in their rights. When they raise their voices loud and clear and struggle against exploitation.

No one believed that our revolution could succeed against the strongest dictatorship in the region. But in 18 days the revolution achieved the victory of the people. When the working class of Egypt joined the revolution on 9 and 10 February, the dictatorship was doomed and the victory of the people became inevitable.

We want you to know that we stand on your side. Stand firm and don’t waiver. Don’t give up on your rights. Victory always belongs to the people who stand firm and demand their just rights.

We and all the people of the world stand on your side and give you our full support.

As our just struggle for freedom, democracy and justice succeeded, your struggle will succeed. Victory belongs to you when you stand firm and remain steadfast in demanding your just rights.

We support you. we support the struggle of the peoples of Libya, Bahrain and Algeria, who are fighting for their just rights and falling martyrs in the face of the autocratic regimes. The peoples are determined to succeed no matter the sacrifices and they will be victorious.

Today is the day of the American workers. We salute you American workers! You will be victorious. Victory belongs to all the people of the world, who are fighting against exploitation, and for their just rights.



on Wisconsin

New Action initiated a bipartisan resolution in support of our colleagues and all public workers in Wisconsin, and linking their struggle to our own. As soon as it is approved, we will publish it.

Without waiting for the resolution, we have proposed several specific steps for the UFT to consider taking:

  • Publicize what’s happening
  • Hold a press conference, and bring out lots of members to it
  • Request a voluntary $5 a member donation for a solidarity fund
  • Make a UFT $$$ contribution to our struggling colleagues
  • Set a “wear red for Wisconsin” day
  • Work with other NYC unions to build a demonstration in support for workers in Wisconsin

We are Wisconsin

Stand with Wisconsin. Governor Walker is putting forward legislation to end collective bargaining and the right to belong to a union. He must be stopped.

Sign the petition. They will send you updates.

The website is called “We are Wisconsin.”


Content Policy

Content of signed articles and comments represents the opinions of their authors. The views expressed in signed articles are not necessarily the views of New Action/UFT.
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