Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hats off to IN Teamsters

Teamsters at the March 10 rally in Indianapolis
With the return of 39 Democratic representatives to Indiana, the Legislature can now get back to work with reordered priorities. Instead of attacking workers, lawmakers can now focus on creating jobs. The Democrats' walkout, and the hard work of Indiana unions and their allies, resulted in  following victories:
•Right-to-work legislation is off the table, preserving collective bargaining rights;
•The permanent ban on public employee bargaining is off the table in the House;
•Enabling legislation for private takeover of public schools is off the table in the House;
•Private school vouchers will be limited to 7,500 students in the first year and 15,000 in the second year, rather than the largest voucher program in the nation the Republicans had proposed;
•Rather than an outright ban of Project Labor Agreements as Republicans wanted, PLAs still can be included with projects passed by public referendum; and
•The threshold for applying the common construction wage to projects would be $250,000 for 2012 and $350,000 for 2013, rather than the job-killing $1 million threshold the Republicans wanted.
Teamsters International Vice President Brian Buhle says the War on Workers is far from over:
We dodged a bullet in this session but the attacks against the middle class will continue and we must be mobilized more than ever to ensure a fair deal for the working class. We must beat them at the ballot box.
Buhle, who is also secretary-treasurer of Local 135 in Indianapolis, thanked the thousands of Indiana Teamsters who protested at the Statehouse for six weeks.
Without their help giving the Democrats some cover, this victory over a radical anti-union agenda by the far right wing would not have been possible. Members from all Teamster locals across Indiana kept up the pressure and the Teamsters Union led the way, day in and day out. Hats off to Indiana Teamsters.