Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teamsters fight back against right to work in Wisconsin

Organized labor in the Wisconsin Capitol.
Wisconsin Teamsters took to the right-to-work battlefield this morning, arriving in the Capitol along with hundreds of riled-up union members. The Wisconsin state Senate is ramming through a right-to-work bill starting this morning with a committee hearing on the bill.

Gov. Scott Walker, the Koch brothers' favorite toady, said he will sign the bill when it arrives on his desk.

Brother Tom Bennett, President of Teamsters Local 200 in Milwaukee, tells us the officers and representatives of organized labor who have building trades members met at the Capitol at 7 am and then attended the hearing. Local 200 members are there.
Brother Pat Tappa in Milwaukee.
Last night, Brother Pat Tappa, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 344, inspired the shivering crowd at an outdoor "Defeat Right to Work" rally in Milwaukee.

Wisconsin Teamsters have prepared since last year for this fight. If you live in Wisconsin or know someone who does, help our brothers and sisters out by calling your state senator at 1-844-334-3438 and tell them to vote no on this anti-worker bill.

Today, the NFL Players Association announced its opposition to right to work. The Cap Times quoted NFLPA De Smith:
Our guys work for a living. And when it comes to the issues of working men and women in America, our issues really aren't so divergent from theirs. Our guys want a safe workplace. They want a fair wage. They want a fair pension. And they want to know that they can address all of those issues as a collective team rather than being subjected to an employer who has a significant, if not tremendous, amount of bargaining leverage over an individual.
Packed hearing room.
During the committee hearing this morning, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald sneered that low wage workers should drop their union to save pennies, ignoring the fact that unions raise wages by dollars. And as @cathysherwin, one of our all-time favorite tweeters, pointed out
.@SenFitzgerald keeps saying "freedom" when he runs out of facts. That's cause it can be explained in 3 letters: L-I-E #wipolitics #wiunion
Economist Gordon Lafer testified that right-to-work laws lower wages -- which is the whole idea behind them.

Marquette University economist Abdur Chowdhury told the Senate committee:
If wages are lower, we expect to see an outflow of workforce. The skilled workers tend to leave the state and will go to another place where the wages are higher. 
Good places to follow what's going on in Wisconsin include the Wisconsin AFL-CIO Facebook page and the Defeat "Right to Work" Facebook page. Follow @cathysherwin, @onewisconsinnow, @wisaflcio, @WeRWisconsin, @WEAC and the hashtag #RightToWorkIsWrong. Or you can make a contribution here.