Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten and Wisconsin Union Leaders Reject Wisconsin Republican Power Grab

For Release: 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—Following the lame-duck Wisconsin state Legislature’s vote to strip newly elected Democratic leaders of their power before they even take office, labor leaders are speaking out on behalf of Wisconsin’s voters.

AFT President Randi Weingarten said: “Elections have consequences. When the people of Wisconsin cast their ballots last month, they made a clear choice to reject the slash-and-burn politics of Gov. Scott Walker in favor of Tony Evers. They voted for a Democratic agenda to provide the people of Wisconsin with access to affordable healthcare and high-quality public education. They voted for a brighter future for themselves and their communities.

“In a democracy, you don’t get to change the rules just because you don’t like the results of an election.”

AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas said: “The people of Wisconsin don’t want this. We’ve lived through years of attacks on our collective bargaining rights, cuts to our healthcare, and tax breaks for the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us. Now, Republicans are trying to strip us of our voice in the state government, which we won back because we saw how dangerous their policies are to working families. We worked hard to elect Tony Evers, and we’ll fight back against these efforts to strip him of his ability to fight for us.”

Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals President Candice Owley said: “Wisconsin Republicans are ignoring the will of the people who teach their kids, take care of their families when they’re sick, and instruct at the state’s universities—the very people who voted them out of office in favor of real problem solvers who get the needs of everyday people and want to help them. Those voices won’t be silenced by an authoritarian attempt to install power, instead of electing it.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.