TUC stands with US trade unionists reclaiming Wisconsin
A year ago today, Republican Governor of the mid-west US state of Wisconsin rammed through a law stripping public sector workers in Wisconsin of their rights to collective bargaining in an illegal meeting in the dead of the night. Tomorrow, trade unionists, their families and their communities will march in the state capital, Madison, demanding the recall of Governor Walker. Already they have collected twice the half a million signatures required to force a re-election (having removed a number of state legislators last summer through the same process). Now they are campaigning to kick him out of office and re-establish their bargaining rights.
Wisconsin AFLCIO President Phil Neuenfeldt says that
“by recalling Scott Walker we can return to a Wisconsin that is fair, a Wisconsin that honors justice and a Wisconsin that treats its workers with dignity and respect.”
British trade unions have been following events in Wisconsin closely, inspired by the popular struggle that the Wisconsin AFLCIO have waged, and TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has sent a message of solidarity to the marchers. You can add your voice to the campaign by signing up to the online petition (just select ‘other’ in the box which asks you for your state) or downloading their campaign materials.
We’re also learning the lessons of their campaign for our own activities, with Wisconsin AFLCIO Secretary-Treasurer Stephanie Bloomingdale joining a TUC organisers course last week by skype. The campaigners have managed to connect with the voters of Wisconsin with a message and a campaign that has enthused voters in precisely the way we need to in the UK and Europe. We are Wisconsin!