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Posts Tagged ‘AFL-CIO’

Walkerville tent city up and running

Crooks and Liars
By scarce
June 06, 2011 05:13 AM

MADISON (WKOW) — The makeshift community of protesters against Governor Scott Walker’s biennium budget is up and running.

The two-week long “Walkerville” tent city began Saturday with a kickoff event at 7 pm.

“This is all part of the anger and frustration at politicians that aren’t listening to working class folks from around this state,” said organizer Peter Rickman.

Protesters are calling it “Walkerville” after the “Hooverville” towns set up during the Great Depression.

Overnight camping is allowed along certain streets on Capitol Square, but not on Capitol grounds.

“If the people’s house is going to be closed down we’ve gotta have a presence known,” said Walkerville organizer Peter Rickman.

Rickman hopes to bring back the presence everyone remembers in February.

“We want to hold the politicians accountable for the bad choices they’re making,” said Rickman.

Each day will have a theme. Sunday – a rally was held for K-12 education.

“We’ll take this message of dignity for all workers across this state,” said Peggy Coyne, MTI President during a speech.

“It’s the impact of those dollars across the state that really indicate how bad the choices are going to be,” said Mary Bell, President of the Wisconsin Education Association Council.

“This budget is going to have a long lasting devastating impact on the kind of life we enjoy in Wisconsin,” said Bell.

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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Richard Trumka Threatens To Abandon Democrats In 2012 Unless They Fight Harder For Labor

Huffington Post- Sam Stein

Posted: 05/20/11 02:22 AM ET

WASHINGTON — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka plans to issue yet another warning to Democrats on Friday, proclaiming that if lawmakers don’t push hard enough to stem attacks on labor’s interests, workers will abandon the party in the 2012 election.

The union leader, whose perch atop the 11-million-member federation makes him arguably the most powerful labor official in the country, is slated to speak at a National Press Club luncheon. In excerpts from his prepared remarks, obtained in advance by The Huffington Post, Trumka focuses his ire on the widening gulf between U.S. workers and the wealthy — attaching particular blame to politicians who value ideology over morality.

“Budget proposals unveiled in Washington and state capitals across our country revealed a despicable canvas of cruelty,” Trumka will say, according to his prepared remarks. “And not just meanness. Destructiveness. A willful desire to block the road to the future.”

“America’s real deficit is a moral deficit — where political choices come down to forcing foster children to wear hand-me-downs while cutting taxes for profitable corporations,” the remarks continue. “Powerful political forces are seeking to silence working people — to drive us out of the national conversation.”

Trumka also says in the prepared remarks that party affiliation alone won’t determine how the federation allocates its resources in 2012. If Republican lawmakers embrace parts of the AFL-CIO’s agenda, the union federation will respond in kind. If Democrats abandon the union community’s principles — or if they fail to protest as those principles are attacked — they can expect similar treatment.

MORE HERE

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Labor Vows To Step Up Recall Effort Against Wisconsin GOP, Challenge Anti-Union Bill In Court

Addicting Info- Posted in: News

Knowing that their bill would never pass with the 2/3 support it needed, Wisconsin Republicans drafted a second bill, primarily to strip unions of their collective bargaining rights, which only needed a simple majority to be passed. Labor unions vow to fight it, and to recall GOP Senators.

Via The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — Dealt a major setback Wednesday night in a high-stakes battle over union rights in Wisconsin, labor leaders nevertheless insisted that they would emerge from the three-week long saga energized and eager to continue fighting.

Hours after Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) and his Republican allies in the state Senate took nearly everyone by surprise and pushed through a stand-alone bill stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights, labor officials pledged to ramp up efforts to recall Republicans and challenge the legislation in court.

Only shortly before the vote took place, local news outlets reported that Republicans were splitting Walker’s budget repair bill into two. While the Senate requires a quorum of 3/5 of its members to vote on fiscal statutes, just a majority is needed for other matters. Therefore, Senate Republicans broke off the most controversial portions — including a proposal to strip away the collective bargaining rights of public employees — into a separate piece of legislation that could be passed without Senate Democrats, who were still out of state.

Labor officials quickly lambasted Republicans, calling what they did the “nuclear option.” Last month, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) had said he would not pass any portions of the budget repair bill without Democrats’ participation.

“Senate Republicans have exercised the nuclear option to ram through their bill attacking Wisconsin’s working families in the dark of night,” said Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt in a statement. “Walker and the Republicans acted in violation of state open meetings laws, and tonight’s events have demonstrated they will do or say anything to pass their extreme agenda that attacks Wisconsin’s working families.”

Neuenfeldt’s comment that the GOP may have violated state laws hints at a possible court challenge should the legislation be passed by both legislative chambers and signed by the governor. Later in his statement, Neuenfeldt also said that what Republicans did “is beyond reprehensible and possibly criminal.”

A clearer indication came from Madison Teachers Inc. (MTI), the union representing public school teachers in the city.

MORE HERE

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AFL-CIO poll: Scott Walker overreaching in WI, respondents side with unions

by– DemFromCT  for Daily Kos

Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 09:30 AM EST

A new pair of AFL-CIO polls out from GQRR show support for the protestors and dropping numbers for Gov Scott Walker.  Mark Blumenthal covers the issue:

New polling conducted for the AFL-CIO and shared with The Huffington Post shows Wisconsin voters siding with the state workers, unions and protestors by large majorities and expressing net disapproval of Republican Governor Scott Walker.

While Mark covers some of the confounders (partisan poll, union sponsored), he also notes

In this case, however, the ratings of Walker and his budget and collective bargaining proposal are roughly comparable to an automated survey conducted in Wisconsin last week by WeAskAmerica, a for-profit subsidiary of Illinois Manufacturer’s Association (an organization that has endorsed Republican candidates for state office in Illinois).

Also of interst is this tracking poll:

MORE HERE

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