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Wisconsin union protests.

Discussion in 'Anarchism and radical activism' started by JesusCrust, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. JesusCrust

    JesusCrustExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Apr 17, 2010
     
    just got back from the one in LA. Saw only one guy with a syndicalist flag, older man, probably in his 60's. There was some LaRouche guys there too, but off in the distance. I'm assuming you went to the one in SD Mar?

    Here's a few pics from LA City Hall.

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  2. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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  3. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    Here is a quick cell phone video somebody caught me standing with my flag, it amazed me how many union members had no idea what the flag meant or stood for and I had probably 60 to 75 people come up to me and ask, many were very polite and curious older hippie folk...only had one older dude kinda smirk when I told him, but in footage I found around the web I see a lot of people sort of staring at the flag....haha probably Vietnam Vets thinking I was a commie bastard....hee hee :lmao:

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeFk8nmjG1s[/video]
     
  4. JesusCrust

    JesusCrustExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Apr 17, 2010
     
    Wisconsin – Next Stop, the General Strike!

    http://anarchism.pageabode.com/john-jac ... ral-strike


    “This has been a life experience we will never forget. I feel like all of these people are family.”

    Union Supporter and protester, Neporsha Hamlin, of Madison, WI.

    News this week of well over seventy thousand union members and their supporters occupying the Capital Rotunda of Madison, Wis., comes not a moment too soon, as workers around the country have faced vicious attacks on their basic freedom’s in the face of badly managed state budgets.

    Events in the embattled state have unfolded quickly, starting with the public Teachers unions and quickly spreading to other sectors.

    So far, over 40% of the city’s union teachers, acting on their own initiative, have led wildcat strikes in their schools, calling in “sick” to attend protests, closing entire school districts, with thousands of their students following in toe.

    In response, city employers threatened to fire any teacher who skipped school to attend the protests. Thwarting their efforts, Doctors from hospitals across the city joined together and set up a station near the capital to provide the “sick” teachers with notes, covering their absences from work. Family physician Lou Sanner, 59, of Madison, told reporters that many of the teachers he was writing notes for appeared to be suffering from stress.

    Fire-fighters in Madison joined protests last week as well, marching with other union members and supporters, with some even occupying the capital overnight.

    Across the country, protest and rallies have been had in over 60 cities that we are aware of, and solidarity protests were held by the unions on Saturday at every state capital in the country.

    Whats in the bill?

    On February 11th, Governor Scott Walker introduced a bill (which you can read here) that would essentially destroy collective bargaining rights – the rights which legally allow workers to band together to bargain over working conditions – for Wisconsin’s nearly 175,000 state and local government employees. That Bill has now passed a house vote, and is awaiting a vote in the State Senate.

    Barring police and fire-fighters, most workers employed by the State of Wisconsin would lose their right to bargain over wages that exceeded inflation, and could be terminated for participating in legally protected acts of protest if the Governor ever declared a “State of Emergency.” Home health care workers, family child care workers, UW Hospitals and Clinics employees, and UW faculty and academic staff would lose their collective bargaining authority altogether.

    State employees would be barred from negotiating a contract which lasted longer than a year, and employees who have voted to certify as a union would automatically lose their recognition at the end of one year, and have to run an entirely new certification campaign in order to remain union.

    To justify his vicious attack on workers, Walker argues feebly that the state’s budget shortfall has tied his hands. In a letter to Wisconsin State Employees, he cites a strange statistic to back himself up – “In the current fiscal year which ends on June 30, 2011, we face a budget deficit of $136.7 million.”

    He fails to mention that before his recent debt plan, the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported that the state would actually end the year with a surplus. Walker and Republicans themselves sunk the State into debt by spending hundreds of millions on benefits for the wealthy.

    Their new debt plan gave $48 million to private health savings accounts, which reports found regularly only benefited wealthy people – people with an average adjusted gross income of $139,000. The HSA accounts are, in fact, primarily serving simply as tax havens for the wealthy, nearly half of whom reported withdrawing nothing from their accounts.

    The handouts to the wealthy – which happened to also bankrupt the state – have prompted SEIU president Mary Kay Henry to speculate that this year’s “budget crisis” may well have been engineered specifically to justify anti-union legislation.

    Perhaps most revealing of all, however, is the recent discovery that Wisconsin tax payers are not in fact paying for the pensions and health insurance plans of state workers – one of the biggest rallying cries of conservatives.

    In a brilliant piece of investigative journalism, author Rick Ungar found that: “Gov. Scott Walker says he wants state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to “contribute more” to their pension and health insurance plans. Accepting Gov. Walker’ s assertions as fact, and failing to check, creates the impression that somehow the workers are getting something extra, a gift from taxpayers. They are not. Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’ s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.”

    As it turns out, workers receive their pension and health insurance plans using ”deferred compensation” – money that employees otherwise would have been paid as cash, but instead have placed in the government operated pension fund where the money is then invested.

    What next for us workers?

    When asked why she was attending protests in Madison, 30 year old Virginia Welle, a teacher at Chippewa Falls High School, told reporters in no uncertain terms that she was “fighting for my home and my career.”

    More than that, though, workers in Wisconsin are fighting on the frontline of what is quickly becoming a heated nationwide assault on workers’ rights. Already, similar bills have been proposed in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee, and Iowa.

    But in Wisconsin, the next step for the Republican controlled government is to kick the protesters out of the capital.

    They may try a number of things to do so. They have already, in fact, passed new rules barring protesters from sleeping overnight in the capital building – a move opposed so thoroughly by the public that even the head of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association called on the governor to keep the Capitol open.

    But that will not be enough to end the unrest. Even “If they kick us out,”says Dan Wise, a 19-year-old Technical College student who has been attending class by day and protests by night, “we will protest outside.”

    The smarter, and more likely move that the Walker administration will take is to try to “compromise” on the bill, offering to the Democrats and Union Leaders a more watered down version of the same crap.

    If the workers stay out in the streets, and continue to occupy the capital, Walker will eventually come to terms with the fact that he has to compromise in order to quiet the crowds. The problem is that Walker, in an effort to keep as much of his bill as possible, will look to compromise with Democrats, and not with the workers themselves (who undoubtedly have much more at stake than the politicians).

    The Democrats, in turn, will lean on their lackeys in the union leadership to begin helping to reign the crowds in.

    The rank and file of Wisconsin, if it is interested in stopping this bill, has to ignore the calls that may soon come from their union leaders should the Democrats reach a “compromise” with Walker. The union bureaucracies of every country have always, when push came to shove, been fundamentally on the side of the employers – on the side of the state. Although they may support the basic rights of their members, and may even at times support their militancy, the union leadership has an interest fundamentally at odds with the rank and file.

    The union leadership, in the end, is interested in dues collection. The union leadership is interested in “seats at the table” with the Democratic Party, and the union leadership is interested in maintaining its position as “union leaders.” They will, at all costs, defend this holy trinity of modern business unionism, if necessary against their own members.

    The creative and brave initiative of the Wisconsin rank and file, in fact, have put some of these interests at risk. Union leaders are at this moment scrambling to regain control over their workers, who without being instructed, led one of the most brash wildcat strikes in recent memory. They are concerned the workers may realize that not only are they capable of acting independently of their union presidents, but that their independent action is twice as effective!

    The single most important thing to do now is to keep that independent spirit alive amongst the workers of Madison.

    To do this, and to bring more workers on board with the Teachers, workers must devote all of their energy to building for the general strike in Wisconsin, which the South Central Federation of Labor (representing 45,000 workers from 97 different unions) has recently announced it endorses. The prospects are superb, with an outpouring of solidarity the likes of which this country has not seen for years.

    In using this spirit of mutual support and understanding to build a general strike, workers in Wisconsin can definitively show that our greatest power, and our greatest virtue, is our ability to withdraw our labor power from society, and in so doing, pound the forces of reaction into submission.

    Perhaps Joe Hill, the famed “troubadour of the IWW,” said it best, when he observed that:
    “If the workers took a notion they could stop all speeding trains; every ship upon the ocean they can tie with mighty chains.”-Joe Hill
     
  5. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    And that's the Truth Ruth....Union Leaders are the corrupted end of Unions, I know this from first hand experience not hearsay, they will sell their members out faster than you can blink every time. :@
     
  6. JesusCrust

    JesusCrustExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Ohio Union Bill Aimed At Reducing Bargaining Rights Passes State Senate

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/0 ... 30565.html

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The bargaining rights of public workers in Ohio would be dramatically reduced and strikes would be banned under a bill narrowly passed by the state Senate on Wednesday.

    The GOP-backed measure that would restrict the collective bargaining rights of roughly 350,000 teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public employees squeaked through the state Senate on a 17-16 vote. Six Republicans sided with Democrats against the measure.

    Firefighters and teachers shouted "Shame!" in the chamber as the legislation was approved and moved on to the GOP-controlled House, where it is likely to receive strong support.

    The bill is similar to the Republican-supported collective bargaining bill in the Wisconsin legislature that has sparked national debate in its weakening of public employees' ability to negotiate contracts – although there are differences between the two. Wisconsin's bill exempts police and firefighters from the collective bargaining restrictions, while Ohio's does not. And the bill there would affect 175,000 unionized public workers.

    The Ohio bill would ban strikes by public workers and establish penalties for those who do participate in walkouts. Unionized workers could negotiate wages, hours and certain work conditions but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. The measure would do away with automatic pay raises and base future wage increases on merit.

    The legislation would also set up a new process to settle worker disputes, giving elected officials the final say in contract disagreements. Binding arbitration, which police officers and firefighters use to resolve contract disputes as an alternative to strikes, would be eliminated.

    "It's a fair bill," said state Senate President Tom Niehaus, a southwest Ohio Republican. "It's more balanced and fair for the taxpayer whose money these elected officials will ultimately spend."

    But Sen. Edna Brown, a Toledo Democrat, said the bill muzzles public employees.

    "This bill tilts the balance of power toward management and does not give one new right to employees," she said.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican like his counterpart, Scott Walker, in Wisconsin, praised the development. Both have pushed the collective bargaining bills as part of budget-balancing measures.

    "This is a major step forward in correcting the imbalance between taxpayers and the government unions that work for them," Kasich said.

    Republican Sens. Tim Grendell, of Chesterland, and Bill Seitz, of Cincinnati, spoke out against the new provision to resolve disputes. Grendell said the process would turn workers into beggars before city councils and other officials who oversee them.

    "No one can be a judge and advocate in their own cause," Seitz said. "That's called heads I win, tails you lose."

    The bill had passed a Senate committee after leadership replaced Seitz on the panel after he expressed disappointment in the bill, a move that secured the votes needed to get the legislation before the full Senate.

    Extra chairs had to be brought in to accommodate the public attending the debate in the Senate chamber. Prohibited from clapping, many wagged or waved their hands in response to pro-labor comments.

    The bill now goes to the state House, where the GOP holds a 59-40 majority. If passed there, it would go to Kasich, a strong supporter.

    Anthony Caldwell, spokesman for the Service Employees International Union, District 1199, said the union's focus will now turn to the House. Members there serve shorter terms and may be more vulnerable to repercussions at the ballot box than senators, he said.

    "We hope that the members of the House will understand the valuable role working families play in their districts," he said. "The House is a two-year body. Whatever happens, people are going to remember that. This isn't just about union issues, this is about working people."

    During the debate in the chamber, Republicans defeated Democrats' request to have the entire bill read aloud. GOP Sen. Scott Oelslager, of North Canton, sided with Democrats on that issue, as he did on the bill.

    The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Shannon Jones, said the bill, which would change a 27-year-old Ohio law, is long overdue and would help state and local governments control costs.

    "The time has come to make some very tough decisions," she told her Senate colleagues.

    Jones said the bill is not an attack on the middle class, prompting snickering and coughs from members of the public in the crowded chamber. Democratic lawmakers pointed out teachers, pipefitters and public safety workers from their districts at the start of the hearing.

    Standing in the Statehouse Rotunda after the vote, Columbus firefighter Terry Marsh said he understood Legislature's need to look for ways to save on costs and examine collective bargaining.

    "But to ram something through within a few weeks is irresponsible, and to blame the budget woes of the state on the workers is a downright travesty," he said.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Andrew Welsh-Huggins and Julie Carr Smyth contributed to this report.
     
  7. SurgeryXdisaster

    SurgeryXdisasterExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 8, 2009
     
    So Walker signed into law the anti-union bill this morning...
    The battle is lost but the war is just beginning with this Walker character
     
  8. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    I think this is going to blow up in their faces and more than likely Obama will be re-elected, which means nothing.
     
  9. QueerPunk

    QueerPunkExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Dec 29, 2009
     
    Pitty nobody is game enough to open fire on Scott Walker... :ecouteurs: :ecouteurs:
     
  10. JackNegativity

    JackNegativityExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Nov 9, 2010
     
    Who knows what might happen? I bet he's looking over his shoulder more these days.
     
  11. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    Judge strikes down Wisconsin's anti-union law
    The ruling indicates that the Legislature violated the state's open meetings law when it approved the bill that would limit public workers' collective bargaining rights.

    [​IMG]
    Judge Maryann Sumi rules against Wisconsin's anti-union law. The battle will move to the state Supreme Court. (Michael P. King / Associated Press / May 27, 2011)

    By Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times

    May 27, 2011
    In yet another twist in Wisconsin's bitter fight over unions, a judge Thursday struck down the Republican-sponsored bill to strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights, moving the battle to the state Supreme Court.

    Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi ruled that the Legislature violated the state's open meetings law in approving the bill championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker that sparked massive protests and the flight of 14 Democratic senators to Illinois in a futile effort to prevent its passage.

    The state Supreme Court is scheduled to decide June 6 whether to hear the case.

    As the Wisconsin fight intensifies — with six Republican and three Democratic senators facing recall elections, most likely July 12 — union workers and their allies in Ohio are halfway toward their goal of collecting more than 450,000 signatures to put a measure on the fall ballot that would repeal that state's anti-union law, which sharply curtails the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

    The recall proponents need to gather 231,149 valid signatures by the end of June. They say they had collected 214,399 signatures as of last week.

    In Wisconsin, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican, said, "The Supreme Court is going to have the ultimate ruling," adding that the bill is "still a critical part of balancing Wisconsin's budget."

    Walker's office referred calls to the Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, who said, "We look forward to the reforms of the budget repair bill being enacted in the near future."

    In Washington, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka cheered Sumi's decision, saying it "underscores the point that when people's rights are blithely violated, our politics is broken."

    Wisconsin's Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca added: "Gov. Walker cost the taxpayers by refusing to respectfully sit across the table from his employees, look them in the eye and take yes for an answer on the benefit concessions they offered."

    Charles Franklin, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said he expected the Supreme Court to resolve the issue quickly. If the GOP-led Legislature should lose, it could pass the same bill again, he said.

    But the recall elections may complicate things because they could cost Republicans their Senate majority. If the Legislature has to act again, "the closer such a vote is to July 12, the more it reinvigorated the issue for the recall voters," Franklin said.

    Sumi, appointed to the bench by former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, earlier had put the law on hold, finding that legislators provided two hours' advance notice of the meeting, instead of the 24 hours required by state law.

    But Steven Means, executive assistant in the state attorney general's office, contended that the Legislature could provide less than 24 hours' notice "for good cause" and saw the judge's ruling as interfering with the legislative process.

    In addition to ending collective bargaining for most state workers, the Wisconsin law would require them to pay more for healthcare and pensions, amounting to an 8% pay cut.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld ... 9406.story
     
  12. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    :thumbsup:
     
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