His disregard for workers and their issues was never more evident than in his press release issued Wednesday regarding the Department of Commerce. Walker wants to change the current Department of Commerce to an "authority" and in a very cavalier way has said that state employees currently at the Department of Commerce can certainly re-apply for their jobs, but there are no guarantees.
This is only the opening scene to what may be a meat axe approach to state agencies and the services they provide. We believe there may be some legal protections for those workers affected at Commerce, and we will do whatever we need to do to protect them and their services.
Unfortunately however, any and all communication with this administration to date has been through newspapers, radio and TV. The Governor has not reached out to us, in spite of our efforts to communicate, which creates an unfortunate environment of reaction rather than change. It was the same way he did business in Milwaukee County.
Monday's inauguration rally really drove home the thousands of lives this administration and the new legislature either already have or will be negatively affecting. Well over 500 protesters assembled at the Capitol representing wide and diverse interests including trains, stem cells, and public sector services. All were speaking in one voice – we will hold this administration accountable to taxpayers, to citizens, and to working men and women.
On the other side of the mirror, folks attending the inauguration inside were well clad in their minks, sables, and $1000 suits. During the inauguration, the general public was locked out of their Capitol, which was only accessible through invitation or ticket. A fine example for Scott Walker – governor of the "people".
The union is organizing response teams throughout the state to deal with upcoming issues including our collective bargaining rights. Your staff representatives are the organizers – bringing together state employees, city and county employees, private sector workers, community groups and area residents to be responsive to attacks on public services and Wisconsin's values. We strongly encourage each local union to participate in these response teams, and help in building our resolve to protect public services in Wisconsin.
Stay tuned as we will also be rolling out a substantial public relations campaign and other activities in response to the Walker Administration and the tea party zealots in the Assembly.
For those who voted for Scott Walker, we would only say this – you bought the ticket, now you are going to have to watch the movie.
Authority: Marty Beil
AFSCME Council 24
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