Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2011 15:11:35 -0600
To: AFSCME Leadership
Subject: Resolution of Support for Battleground States
The showdown over Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s effort to destroy our union continues. The strength and unity of the tens of thousands of public and private sector union members and allies there have shown the nation how to stand up for what’s right. And now the fight is escalating in Ohio, Florida and across the country. In each of these states they are fighting for us all, and they need our help.
Attached is a resolution of support for the workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, and the many other states around the country where governors are following the same script and attacking our basic freedoms. We urge you to distribute this widely, to put it on the agenda of upcoming meetings, and to stand in solidarity with your sisters and brothers.
WHEREAS: Governor Scott Walker has proposed to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for most public sector workers in Wisconsin. In addition to demanding economic concessions from state employees, he proposed to get rid of dues deduction and to require that unions be recertified annually at their own expense, to limit public employee bargaining to wages only, to prohibit wage increases above inflation unless approved by voters and to limit contracts to one year, among other measures; and
WHEREAS: He claims he is taking this action to address a budget crisis, but state employees have agreed to the economic concessions he proposed. He flatly refused their offer, making it completely clear that this is not about the budget; it is about taking away the rights of working men and women to organize and collectively bargain; and
WHEREAS: By threatening these basic freedoms, Governor Walker has united Badgers like never before. He would have succeeded in his effort were it not for the strength and unity of working people standing up for their rights; and
WHEREAS: In Ohio, a similar bill would end collective bargaining for state and state higher education workers and severely limit bargaining for local government employees, authorize the hiring of permanent replacements in the event of a strike, prohibit fair share arrangements and in other ways eviscerate our rights; and
WHEREAS: Wisconsin and Ohio are only two of many states where new Republican lawmakers are seeking to strip public and private sector employees of their voice in the workplace. Lawmakers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, Iowa, Missouri, Maine, New Hampshire and elsewhere are pushing various measures that would severely weaken labor unions in their states; and
WHEREAS: In these states too, workers from all walks of life are uniting to tell these lawmakers that in America we treasure our freedoms and we intend to keep them; and
WHEREAS: These lawmakers understand the power of unions. They know full well that unions are the only collective voice for workers. They know that union members are among the most active participants in our democracy. They know that only unions can effectively challenge Wall Street and multinational corporations; and
WHEREAS: These lawmakers also know that they answer to the Koch brothers and other powerful moneyed interests who got them elected. They know – and we know – that if they win in Wisconsin, and in other states, those interests will be even more powerful and their power will be virtually unchecked.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That we stand with the workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere who are defending our rights and the rights of our children and grandchildren. Their fight is our fight; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That we will provide them with the support they need – be it financial, physical or moral – so that they win this fight, for all of us.