Sunday, October 28, 2012

"This is a violtion of Wisconsin election law"

Media Advisory for Monday, October 29, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Contact: Jennifer Epps-Addison (Citizen Action of Wisconsin) (414) 213-7574     

Faith & Community Leaders Take a Stand -

Announce Formal Complaint Against

Rite-Hite CEO Michael White’s Illegal Voter Intimidation

Milwaukee: Monday at 11:00 AM, faith and community leaders will announce the filing of a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Board against Rite-Hite CEO Michael White for violating Wisconsin election law.  The complaint states that White’s illegal and misleading communication with employees, sent the week of October 21, 2012, was an attempt to intimidate more than 1,400 employees into voting for Mitt Romney.

In his message, chairman and owner Michael White, urged employees to “understand the personal consequences . . . if President Obama is re-elected.” The letter goes on to threaten the security of employees' retirement accounts and health care plans, stating that if the President is re-elected, "Every opportunity to make up for lost profits to taxes will have to be evaluated." This is a violation of Wisconsin election law.

What: News Conference to announce formal complaint against Rite-Hite CEO Michael White
Where: Milwaukee County Courthouse, 901 North 9th Street (on the Wells street side)
When: Monday, October 29, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Speakers: Alderman Tony Zielinski; School Board Director Larry Miller; Michael Lauer, Director, Wisconsin Jobs Now; Jennifer Epps-Addison, Economic Justice Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin; Minister Greg Lewis; Mike Wilder, Director, African-American Roundtable.

Photo Opportunities, Stand Up Interviews, and Visuals Available

“ We demand that Michael White immediately retract his email, apologize to employees, and post that apology publicly at the workplace. ” said Mike Wilder, Director of the African-American Civic Engagement Roundtable, and a member of the staff of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Democracy only functions if workers are free to vote however they choose without fear of reprisal from their boss.”

Wisconsin election law makes clear that no employer can threaten workers’ wages, jobs, or conditions of employment in an effort to persuade them to vote a particular way.
"No employer or agent of an employer may distribute to any employee printed matter containing any threat, notice or information that if a particular ticket of a political party or organization or candidate is elected or any referendum question is adopted or rejected, work in the employer's place or establishment will cease, in whole or in part, or the place or establishment will be closed, or the salaries or wages of the employees will be reduced, or other threats intended to influence the political opinions or actions of the employees." Wisconsin Election Law 12.07(3)

Mike Wilder, Director of the African American Civic Engagement Roundtable and Citizen Action of Wisconsin; Christine Christie, a Milwaukee resident; Minister Greg Lewis; and Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, and others will officially  file the complaint with the appropriate legal authorities.

Organizational sponsors of the media event include: Citizen Action of Wisconsin, the African-American Civic Engagement Roundtable, Wisconsin Jobs Now, AFT Local 212, AFT Wisconsin, SEIU Local 150, All Black Everything (ABE), ATU Local 998, The Transit Riders Union, The Advancement Project, The League of Young Voters Education Fund, 9to5 Milwaukee, Urban Underground, True Skool, Reproductive Justice Collective, MICAH, NAACP Milwaukee Chapter, Afro World Enterprises, and the Center for Progressive Leadership.

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