Friday, February 3, 2012

Teamsters fight back against right-to-work-for-less

You wouldn't call him a man of his word. But you could call him a weasel.
Hoosier politicians who serve corporations rather than the people who elected them might get the feeling that working people despise them.

These corporate manservants They haven't seen anything yet.

The recent passage of right-to-work legislation, by 28-22, has caused a firestorm among Indiana’s working families. They have pledged to fight both the legislation and those politicians who supported it. And our brothers and sisters are leading the charge.

Starting Friday, Feb. 17, International representatives will travel to Indiana to teach business agents about right-to-work-for-less legislation, what it means, how to work under it and, most importantly, how to overturn it.

Bobby Warnock, president of Local 364 in South Bend, said Indiana Teamsters are already developing a statewide program to educate working people—union or not—about the legislation. The core of the training will focus on the politicians who voted in favor of right-to-work legislation and why they voted the way they did. Said Warnock:
We know who supported us and who didn’t. We are going to great pains to reach out to our members, other union members, community supporters, neighbors and friends to tell them who voted for right-to-work. We’re going to remind everyone why these particular politicians voted the way they did.
Unlike Wisconsin, Indiana does not have a recall process. But all of the House seats will be up for election and re-election this November. Through education, perseverance and pure anger, Warnock hopes labor will be out in full force during the election season to vote corporate manservants out of office.
This has woke up a lot of people. The vote count was so close—we lost 28-22. One way of looking at that is, if we could have turned just four people to our side, we wouldn’t be a right-to-work state right now. On the other hand, if four more people who cared about working families had been elected, this wouldn’t have happened. There were people before who weren’t energized and didn’t think they could make a difference. I think that vote count showed them that there is power in the voting booth.

We had a governor who campaigned openly time and time again that he would never support right-to-work. Then, his very last year in office, when he’s not running again, he completely flipped and supported this legislation openly with television and radio ads. When asked who paid for those million-dollar ads, the governor refused to say. That has also angered many people here. People in Indiana feel betrayed.
Warnock encourages Hoosier Teamsters to educate their friends, relatives, and neighbors about what right-to-work will do and who supported the legislation. He encourages Teamsters in other parts of the country to write letters of support to Indiana’s working people and talk openly with any friends, relatives, or business associates they have in Indiana. Said Warnock:
We’re not giving in. It is possible to turn this over, but we’re going to need all the support we can get. Every little bit helps.