Amnesty condemns Wisconsin anti-union law as judge blocks it
A Wisconsin judge has temporarily blocked the passage of the Bill to take collective bargaining rights away from public sector workers which has caused huge protests in the state and beyond, and Amnesty International has urged several US states to abandon planned legislation that would drastically restrict workers’ rights. The TUC is gearing up for a solidarity rally on Monday 4 April, as part of a day of action called by the AFL-CIO, the national union confederation of the USA. Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen and leading industrial relations Professor Keith Ewing will be keynote speakers at the TUC rally (more details to follow). Meanwhile, US activists are taking the campaign to the people who pay for the Republican Party’s anti-union politicians.
Shane Enright, Amnesty International’s trade union adviser, said:
“State governors must withdraw support for these measures which, if adopted, would violate international law. The US has an obligation to uphold the rights of American workers – including the specific right to organise and bargain collectively.”
And Tim Beaty, Director of Global Strategies at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reports that:
“hundreds of protestors – fired up by the inspiring battles of workers in Wisconsin – broke through security lines and took over the atrium of the downtown Washington DC building where lobbyists were holding a fundraiser for Wisconsin Republican Party leaders on Wednesday 16 March. Teamsters and allies around the United States are organizing ‘Stop the War on Workers’ rallies pretty much everyday. Teamster President Jim Hoffa has visited Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio in recent days to express the solidarity between private and public sector workers.
“Corporations and the super rich who were bailed out after causing the 2008 economic collapse, spent some of their bail out billions supporting anti-worker politicians in the 2010 mid-term elections. The new Republican majorities at the state level have targeted workers and their unions by stripping our freedom of association, collective bargaining rights and by rolling back our pension and health care benefits while giving huge tax breaks to the corporations that supported them. “