Show your support for Wisconsin workers: Find a rally in your state!

Last week, we let you know that Gov. Scott Walker wasn’t letting up on his push to scapegoat public workers for Wisconsin’s budget deficit. His threats to cut employee pay, reduce health and retirement benefits, and virtually eliminate workers’ right to bargain collectively mobilized public employees and workers’ rights supporters across the country.

The ongoing protest in Madison, now in its eighth day, is proof that working families won’t stand for these brazen attacks on public employees and their unions—even when faced with the threat of layoffs.

Their resilience has inspired everyday Americans—from nurses to teachers to fire fighters—in every state to follow their lead. In Ohio, thousands of workers gathered at the state house last week to demand that their bargaining rights remain intact. In Indiana, House Democrats took a cue from Wisconsin’s state senators and left the state to protest a “right-to-work” bill.

And, at least in Indiana, it just might be working. Gov. Mitch Daniels has told “right-to-work” supporters to drop the controversial bill.

Regardless of which state you call home, you can help. Click here to find a rally happening near you, and demand that politicians put the middle class and job creation before partisan bickering.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 at 6:14 pm and is filed under General, Jobs, Labor Law Reform. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “Show your support for Wisconsin workers: Find a rally in your state!”

  1. Gayle says:

    You people are disgusting.

    Why is it you are due a retirement on my back? The rest of us make our own retirement, but thanks to blood sucking leeches like you many will likely never make it. You can’t pay less than 10% for your own health care? We have to pay 95% for you? We have to DO A GOOD JOB or get fired (and rightly so!)… let alone getting automatic increases which are likely not commensurate with the COL in our area… but YOU… You get automatic jobs and raises no matter how useless you may be at your given task or how inequitable the income is to the region. And you expect the rest of us to pay for it.

    I don’t know when (or, better still… in a thinking person – HOW) you were convinced the world owed you a living and I don’t care. You aren’t demanding basic rights. You are demanding State sanctioned theft of our property – the fruits of OUR labor. And WE KNOW IT. Thanks to your very public temper tantrums, more and more of us see it every day.

    And – hear this now, because it’s really important!! – WE THE PRODUCTIVE AND SELF RELIANT WHO SUPPORT YOU ARE BROKE. Have you SERIOUSLY not considered what will happen TO YOU (since you clearly do not give a CRAP about the rest of us) when YOU bankrupt us? WHERE will your precious benefits come from after you have bled the rest of us dry?

    If you can’t squeeze a modicum of decency out of your selfish little hearts for ANYONE ELSE… think on that for a bit. What will happen to your precious rights when we have nothing left for you to steal?

  2. Patrick Kelly says:

    No Gayle, YOU are disgusting.

    I don’t know where you get your information about unions, but wherever you do, it’s just wrong. Unions are about establishing basic rights within a democratic workplace for a living wage, benefits, and due process. The fact is that businesses and corporations reach over 20% profits (yes, even now) and the workers that make a company so great do not see a tenth of a percent of the fruits of their labor.

    The fact is that businesses, a long time ago, stopped increasing wages to keep up with inflation and standards of living. If you’ve worked for the average non-union employer for the past 20 years, your wages are likely to be farther BEHIND cost-of-living with every year. This means that, at the same wages, you are actually making less than what you were making when you started working for that company. Is that right? No. So, beyond being treated fairly, having a safe workplace, and ensuring that labor rights are recognized by the employer, a union is there to make sure that a worker’s effective pay keeps up with standard of living costs. We aren’t talking about giving people guaranteed raises regardless of their performance. We are talking about making sure that a good employee, who does their job, maintains the same effective wage, as they should.

    Now, we are talking in this particular case, about public employees, not corporations, the only reason I bring up the general workforce is because a public employee deserves every right that a private one does. Now I have news for you about union jobs, actually all jobs, public or private, if you don not do a good job YOU GET FIRED. There is no protection for a slacker or someone who breaks protocol in a union job, just like there isn’t in any other job. A union is there to protect your rights and ensure that you receive due process in termination. If you are a bad or unproductive worker, if you steal, if you break protocol, there is nothing there union can do. Now, to use a real life (and surprisingly common) example, if an employer attempts to fire you for taking your first sick day that YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN, when you are guaranteed a certain number of sick days per year, then you will keep your job, because the employer was attempting to UNFAIRLY terminate.

    I have no clue where you came up with the idea that public union workers get automatic jobs, those workers have to work just as hard as anyone to get a job. As far as automatic raises go, well, we’ve already covered that the VERY small raises they receive are structured to keep up with C.O.L.I., if you don’t believe me, look at a union contract. As far as inequitable wages, once again I have no idea where you get your information. Public Bargaining Contracts often include sections that specifically address that wages and job quotas are subject to public funding available. In Addition, Public employees make on average LESS than their private counterparts. Also, at the first sign of a budget crisis or balancing measure, the FIRST thing to go are wages of public employees and public jobs. In my state (WA), the last election season wound up in a bunch of slackers unwilling to pay for the public services they receive on a daily basis, and the first move of the state was to drop yearly salaries (in many cases around $10,000-$15,000) and fire workers. This will cause too few workers to work more hours for, in the end, less pay than they deserve.

    he pure and simple fact is that, in a democratic society, collective bargaining, fair living wages and benefits, and due process are rights that EVERY worker deserves. The only way to guarantee these rights is through unions. And I have news for you, as a Labor Historian and Economist, unions are not only necessary, but are INEVITABLE. If you follow any union industry (which tend to be those that companies attempt to take MOST advantage of their workers), you will find that very soon after the establishment of their factories, unions emerge, because collective workers deserve equal rights with their employers. There is nothing that says a CEO, who was most likely born into the position because his great great great great great grandfather in the 1600s, 1700s, or 1800s took advantage of primitive accumulation to rape and pillage to gain wealth, should have more basic human rights than the workers who, from the sweat of their own brow, support his company and make it what it is.

    Union are for EVERYONE and support workers across the world, union AND non-union. It is a fact that unions ensure higher wages and better benefits, not only for union workers in an area/occupation, but also cause other businesses to provide those same wages and benefits for non-union workers as their employers wish to remain competitive. Unions also make ALL workers happier and more secure. Unions also provided everyone with safer work environments, fairer wages, the 8-hour workday, the weekend, and a number of other BASIC RIGHTS that you enjoy as an employee today, and unions are necessary to ensure that you maintain those rights and they are not encroached upon by corporations. Union worker or Non-union worker, unions are YOUR watchdog and YOUR protector in the workplace. If anyone here is selfish, it is you, who refuse to pay YOUR FAIR SHARE to ensure that the public employees who provide YOUR and YOUR FAMILY’S public benefits are paid and treated fairly. Everyone affected by these policy changes in Wisconsin, from Teachers and Nurses to Court Clerks and Postmen deserve your respect. If for no other reason because they work for YOU and ensure that YOUR daily life runs smoothly. So before you

  3. Patrick Kelly says:

    call anyone selfish or undeserving, take a second to check your own information so that you will at least look like an intelligent individual rather than an uninformed, ranting and raving lunatic.

  4. David Piccola says:

    Gayle,
    You’re an idiot.
    In Solidarity with my Brothers and Sisters,
    David Piccola
    Union Iron Worker, Local 387

  5. Jon says:

    To Gayle,

    Gayle, I sympathise with you. You sound like a hard working individual, a middle class worker, who is struggling along with the rest of us to get a piece of the American dream. This recession has got everyone questioning what is important. You are not an idiot. I think that you have very valid concerns about the state of public administration, and those who have been hired to administer the laws of this great nation. I ask you to consider your fellow American.

    These workers, like you, struggle every day. They pay their taxes (in essence paying themselves) like you do. They struggle with bills, like you do. They care about the country, like you do. They have a negotiated wage package that includes levels of pay and benefits commensurate with their skills and experience like you do.

    Many have been hired because of their skill, knowledge, and training. These skills bring a level of productivity to the jobs they do, for you, that creates a level of efficiency not matched in the private sector. They work under a microscope, every dime counted and recounted so that the tax payer doesn’t pay a cent more than they are supposed to for any given service. They pick up your garbage, they fix your roads, they teach your children, they protect you, and they will be there for you in an emergency.

    They are willing to do all this, suffer your insults, and still respond to your needs. They don’t make that much money when compared to their counterparts in the private sector. Yes, the average wage of someone who teaches your children is more than the average wage of a retail clerk… but shouldn’t it be? Do we want a third world education system so that the top 10% can buy another jet? Do you value the country that you live in? I think you do, and I think you understand the importance of an efficiently run government with a professional group of public servants carrying out the job.

    These public employees whom you so berate for doing the jobs you hired them to do are facing unemployment just like you Gayle. Those who don’t lose their jobs will take pay cuts, lose benefits, and suffer declining working conditions, just like you Gayle. They have, and will sacrifice with you, and for you Gayle.

    This fight is as much about your democratic say in the process as it is theirs. Don’t strip them of their ability to participate in the process, in their own communities. Don’t begrudge them their voice in the workplace. Get your own. If you are that unhappy, that used, that job scared, that underpaid, that fearful of retirement… you need a union.

  6. Susan says:

    Dear Gayle:
    It is a free country and you are intitled to your opinion. Without Unions we would not have a 40 hour work week and overtime. We would have no labor laws to protect us. We would not have family leave. These are just a few ways that all of us have benefited from Unions whether we belong to one or not(which I do not).

    The real reason that the Tea Party/Republicans are going after the Unions is because Unions raise the most money for the Democrats. Plain and simple it comes down to money and the 2012 elections. The media is not stressing this point enough.

    You are also not aware that Gov. Walker just sign a bill that would allow non-bid contracts for state projects. This will cost the state money not save it. He can give state contracts to anyone he wants. When he talks about the deficit for his state and the only way to save Wisconsin is through eliminating collective bargaining he is not telling the truth. So why is he allowing no bid contracts?

    Gayle I wish you well put please do not listen to everything the media on TV tells you. Read some quality newspapers like the Washington Post not Fox News.

  7. Rich Austin says:

    Gayle-

    You are entitled to state the facts, just not your version of the facts.

    If your “logic” holds water, every worker in the private sector lives off everyone else. Their pay and benefits are not absorbed by benevolent employers. The costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices!

    Public employees are consumers and taxpayers. According to your rationale you live off them!

    Please remember, the financial meltdown was not created by workers. Wall Street gangsters do not belong to unions. Investors – both foreign and domestic – took our “bailout” tax dollars to their banks. Health insurers charge excessive prices for inferior medical plans. Corporate subsidies are little more than welfare programs that waste our tax dollar while rewarding rich stockholders. GOP (and some Democratic) corporatists in Congress and in state government dutifully carry the water for the richest 2%. That is most aggravating inasmuch as that tiny faction is responsible for the economic crisis that is hurting the rest of us.

    If you want to shoot arrows make sure you pick the right target.

    Know your class and be loyal to it! An injury to one is an injury to all. United we stand, divided we crawl.

  8. Barbara ann says:

    wow Gayle you have to be the stupidest person that has ever opened their mouth. First off if it were not for the UNIONS fighting for FAIR WAGES FOR ALL MEDICAL INSURANCE NO CHILD LABOR IN FACTORIES YOUR SORRY ASS WILL BE WORKING JUST AS THEY ARE IN CHINA , 35 cent an hour towing your kids n grnad kids to the factory to work side by side next to you. AS FAR AS HAVING IT EASY being GIVEN JOBS once again your ass has over loaded your mouth. We are not given jobs . MY HUSBAND IS A proud member of the I.B.E.W. since he was 17 years old he is now 62 years old traveling state to state signing the work books waiting for jobs. for 16 of those years I traveled with him with our three children making sure our jobs stayed here in the USA I bet if I look in your closet the labels will say made in CHINA every where else but here right NOT OURS WE STAND BEHIND AMERICA THE WORKERS THEIR FACTORIES, BET YA DRIVE A RAT CAR TOO HUH So before you open your NON AMERICAN SUPPORTIVE ASS READ THE AMERICAN HISTORY

  9. Debra Clement says:

    I live in Texas and the are laying off teachers that teach our children here as well. I feel this is a sad thing. The teachers here are underpaid but the leaders here have fat wallets and purses. Texas always talks about how inportant the children are and they take from them. Why don’t they cut their wages and benifits? We workers are paying their wages and they need to listen to what is being said. We have given up so much and it is time to fight back’ Let me know when there are any rallys in Texas.

  10. Mandy Holt says:

    Jon,
    I really liked you response to Gayle. However, I disagree with one thing…she is definately an IDIOT!

    Gayle,
    Stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution.

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