Friday, March 9, 2012

Working spirit alive in FL a year after WI uprising

Exactly one year ago today, anti-worker politicians in Wisconsin gamed the system to take away collective bargaining rights for government employees. More than 100,000 people -- including famers on tractors -- came to the Capitol the next day for the biggest labor protest in the state's history.

(Tomorrow there'll be another big rally to reclaim Wisconsin. Teamsters should meet at the Teamster truck on the Square at 11 a.m.)

The working families who rose up in Wisconsin inspired people throughout the country. The spring of 2011 was a period of labor activism that hadn't been seen in generations. That same spirit animated the the Occupy Wall Street movement in the fall.

A year after the Wisconsin protests, the working spirit is still alive all over the country. Workers everywhere are rising up and fighting back.

They fought back hard in Florida during the Legislature's 3-month session, which ends today. Teamster correctional officers and their allies defeated a plan to privatize prisons. A coalition of workers beat back a bill to slash the minimum wage for tipped workers. A lawsuit brought by the Florida Education Association, the Teamsters and others blocked the Legislature's attempt to break its promise to workers and force them to contribute to their pensions.

The video above shows working people inside the Florida Capitol yesterday, singing, "Whose Side Are You On?"

A very good question to ask all our elected representatives.