Thursday, February 24, 2011

Teamsters take the battle to CT, OH, CA, GA

More from Rally Girl, as she continues to collect stories from the front lines.

Our Teamster brothers rally in Cleveland.
Cleveland, Ohio: For our brother Fred Crow, a Ready-Mix Driver and member of Local 436 in Cleveland, the attack on labor is, in his words, the last stand. That’s why he joined his Teamster brothers and sisters and fellow labor activists at a rally in Cleveland today. Carrying signs and belting chants of unity, the group let their voice be heard in Public Square. Said Crow

This is ground zero for the labor movement. What’s happening is an assault on working families. The good side of it is it’s causing unions to come together in a way that I haven’t seen for years. We need to keep it up.

Sacramento, Calif.: Teamsters from Local 439 kicked ass for the working class by bringing a Teamster truck to a rally in Sacramento on Tuesday.

Local 439 was joined by members of locals 150, 70, and 853—all in California—who met with nearly 1,000 labor activists and concerned citizens at the capital. They were protesting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal that would end collective bargaining for state workers.

Said brother Marty Frates, secretary-treasurer of Local 70:
We support all working people. Whatever action is being taken against public employees is action taken against us.
Atlanta, Ga.: “An injury to one of us in an injury to all of us,” said our brother Jimi Richards, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 728 in Atlanta.

Richards and five van loads of members from his local—nearly 50 in all—showed support for Wisconsin workers at a solidarity rally in Atlanta on Wednesday. Shouting pro-union slogans, hundreds of union members from across the state converged on the steps of Georgia’s capitol to protest Walker’s proposal to end collective bargaining for state employees. Richards was also showing support for his own son, who is a public school teacher. Richards said:
Unlike Georgia, Wisconsin has some of the strongest union sentiment in the country. If they can go after Wisconsin and be successful, they’re going to come after us all. We’re here to speak up not only for Wisconsin, but for every worker and every working family in this country.”
Teamsters in Atlanta

Hartford, Conn.: Teamsters throughout Connecticut rallied in Hartford today to fight for collective bargaining rights and show solidarity with Wisconsin’s workers. Our brothers and sisters from Locals 671, 1035, 559, 443 and 1150 joined with other labor activists and trade unionists at the state’s capitol building to denounce Walker's anti-union plan to strip state workers of their rights to bargain collectively.

Brother Roger Fenlason, business agent for Local 671,
What’s happening in Wisconsin, in Ohio and now in other states is atrocious. This is an attack on unions, plain and simple. Collectively bargaining is something we believe in fully and I hate to see it be infringed upon by Tea Party Republicans or any other group.

Fenlason encourages Teamsters everywhere to stand up and join the revival of the workers' movement that is sweeping across the country like wildfire. Said Fenlason:
This is about our rights and our way of life. Everyone should get on this and be involved.