The events in Wisconsin over the last few days have captured the attention of the American people. Gov. Scott Walker has used the fiscal crisis in the state to advance an extremist agenda against public employees. He has tried to intimidate and suppress the voices of workers by threatening to call out the National Guard as they peacefully demonstrate against his draconian policies. By doing so, he has undermined the democratic process—a process that all Americans have a right to engage in. He wants to eliminate collective bargaining, restrict workers’ rights, and cut the pay and benefits of workers as much as 10 percent, at a time when many public employees have taken freezes and furloughs already. It’s an all-out attack on the middle class, which is why teachers, nurses, cops, firemen, janitors, bus drivers, and members of the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers have risen up and aggressively opposed Gov. Walker’s attack on the union. The pictures from the Statehouse in Madison clearly show that thousands of workers are fed up, and they are fighting back.
Let’s be clear: Gov. Walker’s extremist agenda won’t create one job. Stripping workers of their rights won’t bring economic recovery. Suppressing workers voices won’t fix the fiscal crisis. In short, it will hurt workers and the Wisconsin economy, and cause a loss of revenue in communities across the state. What the governor is doing is an abuse of power. He is trying to destroy the labor movement—a movement that gives voice to workers and supports decent wages, healthcare and modest pensions for teachers, nurses, cops, firemen and other public employees who provide vital services to the public.
Whether Gov. Walker is successful in carrying out his extremist agenda against working people depends on us. We have to do what unions do best: educate, organize and mobilize. An attack on working people in Wisconsin is an attack on all working people across the country. I urge you to lend your support to our brothers and sisters who are in the fight of their lives to preserve their economic dignity. Use Facebook, Twitter, texting and other social media to alert everyone you can, and urge them to stand up for working people and against extremist attacks on unions.
Go to http://aft.org/newspubs/news/2011/021611wisconsin.cfm and take action!
For updated information, a list of actions that supporters of Wisconsin's workers can take, as well as online resources, visit our We Are One: Wisconsin page.