No backing down: Local UAW branch sets up at VW Chattanooga

Yay!

UAW International President Dennis Williams said Thursday afternoon the new chapter is being created in Chattanooga because “the February vote was a narrow loss — 53 percent to 47 percent — and the result showed strong support among workers, despite heavy opposition from outside groups and Tennessee legislators” and because the UAW already has “signed cards from a majority of the workers prior to the election, saying they favored representation.”

So all eyes will now be on the Tennessee Governor, I assume.

Is he still going to threaten to hold back that $300 million incentive package from VW because of his union hate (or that of his financial backers)? In other words, is he still interested in cutting off Tennessee’s nose to spite its face?

Industriall says this is the first time UAW has set up a local union branch with the purpose of representing workers in a single workplace.

Congrats Local 42!

Read more at The Tennessean or read the UAW’s press release below.

Published on Jul 11, 2014
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The UAW today announced the formation of UAW Local 42, a new local union providing representation for employees at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

Organized by Volkswagen employees, Local 42 offers workers the opportunity for a voice in the workplace through the German automaker’s “works council” approach to employee engagement. Volkswagen’s business model is premised on employee representation, and Local 42 will represent any interested employees who join the local as members. No employees will be required to join.

“Earlier this year, the UAW was gratified to earn the confidence and support of many Volkswagen team members,” said Dennis Williams, president of the UAW. “At that time, we said we would not give up on these committed and hard-working employees. We’re keeping our promise.”

Gary Casteel, the UAW’s secretary-treasurer, who previously served as director of UAW Region 8 covering the South, emphasized: “Local 42 will be run by, and for, the employees at Volkswagen.”

“We’ve had ongoing discussions with Volkswagen and have arrived at a consensus with the company,” Casteel said. “Upon Local 42 signing up a meaningful portion of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga workforce, we’re confident the company will recognize Local 42 by dealing with it as a members’ union that represents those employees who join the local. As part of this consensus, the UAW is committed to continuing its joint efforts with Volkswagen to ensure the company’s expansion and growth in Chattanooga.”

UAW officials renewed requests for the State of Tennessee to extend the economic incentives necessary for Volkswagen to add a new product line at the Chattanooga plant, and said the union will continue advocating for increased investment. “State officials have assured the public and the Volkswagen workforce that the decision on incentives for Chattanooga is not related to whether workers exercise their right to join a union,” said Ray Curry, the newly elected director of UAW Region 8. “We are gratified by those assurances, and the state was right to give them.”

UAW officials reiterated the reasoning for recently withdrawing objections to the February election at the plant, which was tainted by outside interference. “As Volkswagen’s works council partner, the UAW’s role is to encourage job creation and promote job security so that Volkswagen employees can achieve the American dream and Chattanooga’s economy can prosper,” Casteel said. “We withdrew objections to end the controversy and put the focus where it belongs: obtaining the economic incentives necessary to ensure the growth of Volkswagen in Chattanooga and the addition of a new product line.”

Volkswagen employees formally announced Local 42 at an afternoon news conference, and immediately began communicating with fellow team members and with the plant’s management about next steps in advancing the works council partnership.

“Being part of the creation of an American-style works council is a chance to do something new and different,” said Michael Cantrell, a Volkswagen paint technician. “This is about securing good jobs for the future of the plant and Chattanooga, and building lasting partnerships between management and team members.”

Additionally, Local 42 members pledged to get involved in the community — as UAW members have done in other communities across the country — to support charitable causes, youth programs and other local needs. “I see Local 42 as an opportunity to give back to Chattanooga and southeast Tennessee,” said Myra Montgomery, a quality inspector in the Volkswagen plant. “As our membership grows, people are going to see us very active in this community.”

Local 42 members declared workforce development to be a top priority, and said they would work with Volkswagen and the UAW to organize job-training opportunities so that employees can continually expand their skills as new technologies emerge and manufacturing processes change.

“Having access to the UAW’s expertise and support will keep the plant competitive and will keep our workforce on the cutting edge of productivity and quality,” said Jonathan Walden, who works in the Volkswagen plant’s paint department. “The members of Local 42 are ready to roll up our sleeves and focus on the future.”

United Automobile Workers (UAW) has more than 390,000 members and more than 750 local unions across America. Since its founding in 1935, the UAW has developed partnerships with employers and supported industry-leading wages and benefits for its members.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, visit http://www.uaw.org/uawvw

The Streak is Over: Wisconsin Loses 4,300 Private Sector Jobs in March

After two months of job gains, I had a feeling the latest job numbers delivered by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) wouldn’t be good. The monthly figures are compiled by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) but Wisconsin’s numbers are often released ahead of time by DWD Secretary Reggie Newson. The better the numbers, the sooner Secretary Newson tends to release them.

Not so this month. The BLS is due to release March, 2012 data for all the states tomorrow. As the days came and went with no early release by the DWD, It was pretty clear we were in for bad news, and here it is:

After two months of job gains, Wisconsin lost 4,300 private sector jobs in March, 4,500 jobs overall.

Wisconsin experienced a net loss of 20,600 non-farm jobs in 2011, but had made some gains in January and February. With the new March figures, and with revised figures from January and February, the Scott Walker administration can now boast that there are 9,800 fewer jobs in Wisconsin than there were when Walker took office.

I would encourage everyone to read the DWD press release issued today, just for laughs. While there is nothing funny about a struggling economy shedding jobs, the carefully-phrased way in which Secretary Newson applies lipstick to the pig that is the Walker jobs record is nonetheless quite entertaining. He highlights the unemployment rate, which dropped slightly to 6.8%, but if the state is losing jobs at the same time the unemployment rate is dropping, it means people have moved out of state, or retired, or found work in border states like Illinois or Minnesota while still residing in Wisconsin, or have stopped looking for work.

Then there’s this…

A total nonfarm decline of 10,200 since December 2010 is entirely due to a drop in government jobs over this time frame.

Cuz, you know, those government jobs weren’t staffed by real people, so they don’t count.

Scott Walker’s pre-emptive tweets today are even funnier…

WI private sector jobs up 15,600 since start of 2012; unemployment rate down to 6.8% (lowest its been since 2008)

Strong job creation predicted by WI employers: 87% say they’ll add jobs in 2012

Put simply: If the economy is losing jobs, it is not recovering, no matter how one plays with the statistics, and no matter how many employers want to add jobs in the future.

Let’s Sway Responsibly

This past year, I have been a frequent participant in the Solidarity Sing Along protests held every weekday in or just outside the Wisconsin Capitol. One of the songs we sing is “Bring Back Wisconsin to Me”, sung to the tune of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”, with new lyrics by Lou and Peter Berryman. It’s a great little protest song that almost dares you to swing your arms back and forth while you sing “Ohhhh…bring back, bring back, oh bring back Wisconsin to me, to me…!”

So we do. We sway while we sing that song.

At some point in the nearly 300 Sing Alongs that have been held since March of 2011, it was suggested that we sway carefully to avoid hitting the person next to us while we swing our arms. It was also discovered that it helps if everyone starts swaying in the same direction.

The advice about proper Sing Along etiquette has become an inside joke that is repeated whenever we sing “Bring Back Wisconsin to Me”. The leader calls out “You may sway if you wish, but if you sway…”, and the crowd yells back “Sway Responsibly!” We usually have a few visitors who laugh. Many of the regulars still laugh, too. Often the joke is followed by a few people advising the newbies to always start to the left. Wink, wink.

It’s a good reminder in politics as well as in choreography. Perhaps if Scott Walker had known enough to sway responsibly, he wouldn’t be in the mess he’s in right now – another budget deficit, record job losses, at least half the voters in the state disgusted with him, and his recall election soon to be scheduled. I won’t even mention the John Doe investigation. Oops. Too late.

As we begin the process of selecting someone to run against Scott Walker from the left, we need to do the same thing the singers do every day in the Capitol. We need to move left, but we need to sway in that direction, not just shove each other out of the way to stake out claims. We need to sway responsibly. That means union leaders have to avoid the temptation to endorse the first person who promises them everything they want. It means center-left Democrats and moderate Republicans who have joined in the fight have to acknowledge that the movement began as a defensive action against the stripping of collective bargaining rights, and that the fight will not be over until those rights have been restored. It means that the leaders of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin must keep all the doors open and all the lights on as they guide the process of selecting a nominee.

We need to continue talking to each other so we know what everyone expects and what everyone is willing to contribute. As we did last year during the big rallies on the square, we need to turn and listen to each other individually, not just cheer someone speaking from a podium at the top of the Capitol steps.

Our fight began with Labor, but the demonstrations grew into a coalition, then a movement because it also became a fight to restore funds for public education and health care. It became a fight to restore environmental regulations, and a fight to take back the local control that Scott Walker and the Republican legislature said they favored, but stole from the citizens as soon as they had the chance.

Finally, it has now become a fight to simply restore decency and integrity to our state government. Every day, new revelations are highlighting the corruption, pay-for-play, and plain old theft of public resources being perpetrated by Governor Walker and his cronies. To truly bring back Wisconsin, we must include on the agenda a vigorous plan to bring back open government where everyone’s voice is heard. Taking unlimited, private money out of our politics has to be a priority.

It’s not either/or. It’s a fight for all those things, no matter how the fight began, and it won’t be over until every battle has been won, to quote a line from another protest song.

A primary election for governor is a great way for us to start working together. It’s clear that this will be an election like no other in Wisconsin’s history. Let’s treat it that way. Let’s be patient but assertive as we do it together, arm in arm, singing in unison as we sway to the left. Let us each promise that we will not go home until every item on the checklist has been marked “completed.” Some will be very difficult to accomplish, so we must take advantage of every opportunity to progress, regardless of where that opportunity resides on the agenda.

We will not succeed unless everyone commits to staying until we’ve sung the final chorus of “Bring Back Wisconsin to Me”. Then we’ll sing one more chorus just for fun, and one more after that to teach it to the next generation.

Observations and Realizations of 2011

As most people do, I have been reflecting a lot on what’s taken place in 2011, and as is my nature, have observed some very interesting things. First and foremost, the uprising of the downtrodden. Whether it be here or abroad, people are sick and tired of being fed lies and deceit. They are tired of being robbed by the rich, and being slaves to corporate greed. They are tired of seeing the rich get away with crimes that the common man would be imprisoned for. And it’s all come to a boiling point.

Growing up during the 60’s, I took an interest in what was going on in the world. The civil rights movement was happening, and even being a white kid in a predominantly white city, I still felt that what was taking place was wrong, and that people of all races should be treated equally. Something I felt the catholic church and school I went to had taught me. Then came the ecology movement, and the anti-Vietnam protests. Through it all, I would read the newspaper, and watch the news with my parents, and would discuss a lot of what I had been reading and seeing on TV. I am ever so grateful to have had parents who were willing to discuss these things. .

I came from a blue collar family, where my Mom was a home-maker and my Dad worked in a factory. We lived in a small 3 bedroom house, with no garage. I was already learning then, how those with wealth had the power, and how “privileged” those other kids from those families were. I remember when the church we attended would put out a listing of all the members donations, and how the rich kids would tease those of us whose parents weren’t able to give as much. I didn’t understand it then, but I realize now they were just repeating what they were hearing at home. And this image of wealthy privilege has stuck with me since childhood. I was 8 years old, and had worked with my Dad to make my pinewood derby car in Cub Scouts. My Dad had been working nights, and we only had a weekend to work on it, and he helped me make a spectacular car. Well, the night of the pinewood derby, I had sewn up 3rd place with that car, and was really proud of what my Dad and I had accomplished together. But before the awards were to be handed out, in walks a well known doctor in town with his son. Although the rest of us all had to be signed up 30 minutes before the event, this guy waltzes in and basically demands that his son be allowed to race. He was allowed to enter his car, and I was kicked out of 3rd place. I learned then that some were more privileged than others, and weren’t made to play by the same rules.

The next year, I was being harassed by the son of the president of pretty big business in the area. He grabbed my shirt and pulled so hard that he ripped buttons off of it, and had tore part of the shirt. This was a shirt that was part of the uniform I had to wear, and I knew my Mom was going to be irate. I try to walk away and this kid keeps harassing me, and I end up beating him up. The next day, after I get to school, the nun sends me to the principals office. When I get there, the head nun starts scolding me for the fight, and when I tried to explain to her about the shirt and him harassing me, she told me I was to sit in her office all day as punishment. Of course, the other kid didn’t get any punishment at all. That was pretty much the last straw with my Mom. Plus the fact that tuition had increased, that was my last year at that school.

As I went through school, I noticed how those who came from money were always looking down at those with less. Mocking our clothes, bikes, etc. This went on all through my school years, seeing those with money getting special treatment. And here’s what I realize. Through the magic of Facebook, many of those same people who were of the privileged class, are now hard-core conservatives. They have little empathy for those who have nothing, because they never had to experience it in their lives. They don’t understand the concept of class struggle, because they themselves were from upper middle-class families that never struggled to make ends meet, and they were always on the winning end of the equation. The division of classes was already taking root at that time. You had white collar vs. blue collar then, where today we have the rich vs. those who aren’t rich.

But what’s different today is that there are a class of people who side with the rich, even though they themselves are being pushed down by their actions. And what I find so puzzling is how many of those who went through those times like I did, being made to feel less than from the kids of the white collar class, are the ones who are now admonishing the lower class and blaming them for all of our ails. And I realize now why that is. Many of them, like myself, wanted to have a better life than their parents did. They bettered themselves, or worked hard to make a better life for themselves. But as corporate greed started to increase, their own wealth and lives started to erode. We didn’t stop working as hard. We didn’t start working less. So what caused this change? It was the old bait and switch.

The age old tom foolery of pointing towards others to take the focus off of the true problem. We did it as little kids. We get caught taking a cookie from the cookie jar, and we point a finger and Johnny and say he did it too. It’s no different with the rich and the big corporations. During the late 70’s and early 80’s, the middle-class were starting to see that shift in wealth taking place, and we just kept thinking if we worked harder, and worked more we could get that wealth too. Then came the cost of health care. Businesses started to require employees to start sharing some of the cost of the increases. We were upset by it, and we were told from insurers that it was the doctors and pharmaceutical companies that were to blame. And the insurance companies told us that it was because of all those people who run to the doctor for every little ache and pain.

In the meantime, wages started to freeze. Companies were more concerned about stock values than they were about reciprocal loyalty to their employees. Then came the first wave of the rich stealing from others. There was the S & L bailouts, and then Black Tuesday. The average American who was lead to believe the stock market was a great investment opportunity, and those employees who were fooled by their corporate employers that investing in stock was a great idea. These people lost their asses. Myself included. Yet somehow, very few corporations folded, and very few on Wall Street lost their ass.

Next came the corporate takeovers. Our wages and benefits were either froze or reduced to help the company “recover” from the investment in our future. Meanwhile, those at the top were raking in huge profits. But, we were told they couldn’t give us raises, and we had to pay more for insurance. When asked why, corporations started to point the finger at the government. It was those high taxes they had to pay, and those people receiving government aid and assistance who were the real culprits. So, some people started to fall for the bullshit. Hell, even I did for a while.

So now, we’ve got a demographic of people, the baby boomers, who early in life were led to believe that hard work and sacrifice were the way to do better in life. They were shown too how those with more wealth were treated better by the powers that be. This became the goal for many of us. We were then told that even though we were working hard and sacrificing, that we needed to work harder still and sacrifice even more to help the “company” because we were all one big team. So we did. And our reward? We were told that despite all that hard work and effort, it was those government moochers who were causing these corporations to have to make cuts, that had to move jobs overseas, and had to reduce wages and benefits for those still working. It was a concerted campaign by many corporations to make them still appear to be the good guy in all this, and that it was government and those with less than who were to blame, and that if we didn’t all pull together and work even harder, we could lose our jobs too.

And as unions started to wake up and realize what was taking place, corporations were starting to blame the high labor costs for their problems, and switching the focus towards the unions. All the while, the executives at the top kept making more and more money. So now we’ve got unions, and those receiving government subsidies made to look like the biggest reason why the middle class was losing their fight to better themselves.

Enter the anti-union movement. Corporations, not wanting everyone to see how those at the top were seeing their wages increase, started to ostracize unions and paint them as the main reason why products were costing so much to produce. People start seeing their wages and benefits cut, but bigger unions were still able to maintain some of the pay and benefits that many had lost. The propaganda started to emerge to make those who won the battle with corporations to appear as the bad guy. And once again, many were fooled into believing that it was the unions who were being greedy, when all along it’s been the executives at the top.

So now, they’ve cut or frozen our wages. Reduced benefits. Conned us into investing in 401k’s instead of providing pensions like they used to. (and we all know what’s happened to a lot of that 401k money don’t we?). But wait, there’s more. After reducing the wages and benefits of their lower level employees by blaming unions for all their problems. And after getting everyone to think that it was also those who were mooching off the system. They ran out of things to blame their greed on.

Until now. Now, it’s the government employee who is to blame. It is those highly paid employees and all their benefits that are costing these big corporations all kinds of money in tax dollars. Never mind the fact that they are paying less in taxes than they’ve ever paid before. It’s all those non-legislative government workers who are draining the system and causing these corporations to not pay their workers. I finally get it. The wealthy have not only been given the gift of privilege, they’ve also been given the gift of deception, for they’ve pulled off one of the greatest scams of all time.

Ohio gets sanity ball rolling, Walker next to ‘bounce’

In The News

Ohio gets sanity ball rolling, Walker next to ‘bounce’

Helping the victory in Ohio were Wisconsin AFL-CIO leaders Phil Neuenfeldt and Stephanie Bloomingdale, here with National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

By Dominique Paul Noth
Editor, Labor Press
Posted Nov. 0

The United States’ first step back to sanity took place November 8 — most prominently in Ohio but also from Maine to Mississippi. Citizens left and right have clearly had it with seeing their families served up as piñatas to extremist attacks on the middle class, so they are moving to wipe away the gains of a rabid minority in 2010 and exercise the powers of intelligence and common sense.

The next target on the road toward balance is the recall of Wisconsin …

Continue reading at Labor Press

Wisconsin started it: “We are seeing a very real shift happening”

This is just the tail end of Mike Elk’s article on a strike in Pennsylvania and it is what will make you go back and read the whole thing. The workers at this Hershey warehouse are guest workers who are forced to stay in inflated rental housing–buying their housing from the “company store” – -and they wind up taking home only $40-$140 a week. :

…about six weeks ago a guest worker walked into a local legal aid clinic and asked what they could do about the situation. The legal aid clinic put the student and other upset students in touch with local labor leaders and community allies. Community allies, upset that 400 jobs that could be going to Central Pennsylvania residents were instead going to exploited guest workers, vowed to stand by the guestworkers and fight deportation if workers went on strike….

We are seeing a very real shift happening. The solidarity between a group of essentially captive guest workers and American workers is unusual, and gets right at the heart of both global labor patterns and the hallowing out of the American economy,” says Boykewic, who added:

There was something iconic about Wisconsin and there was a new infusion of energy. Before there was a national conversation happening at kitchen tables about the individual problems workers were having, but not at national discourse in the media. Wisconsin was the catalyzing moment that created an energy of people thinking about these connections between each other. …

The strike and protest at the Hershey factory and other recent dramatic actions indicate that we may be in the early stages of a wave of dramatic worker action.

Workers, it seems, may have reached a breaking point as corporations lower wages and governments cut important social services. As workers around the world from London to Chile to Greece protest corporate abuses and government cuts, it appears that things in the United State may finally be boiling over.

Read it in full. Mike Elk’s article “Hershey Guest Worker Scandal Result of Lax Gov’t Oversight,Immigration Expert”

Interview with John Nichols at today’s march against Walker’s budget

Here’s an interview of John Nichols discussing Walkerville, today’s march against Walker’s budget, and Wisconsin Act 10.
I was doing some live Ustreaming and ran into him on Carroll Street.

He’ll be in Washington D.C. tonight to stand with National Nurses United. More information on a national registered nurse rally is HERE.

If you’d prefer to see this with video, John starts talking at the 48 minute mark on my archived Ustream from today:

Video streaming by Ustream

Independent Egyptian Unions Express Solidarity with Wisconsin Workers

Please read this—

TRANSLATION: (The poster in the background shows photographs of some of the recent young victims of the Mubarak government. The writing says they are among the martyrs of the 25 January Revolution.)

KAMAL ABBAS: “I am speaking to you from a place very close to Tahrir Square in Cairo, “Liberation Square”, which was the heart of the Revolution in Egypt. This is the place were many of our youth paid with their lives and blood in the struggle for our just rights.

From this place, I want you to know that we stand with you as you stood with us.

I want you to know that no power can challenge the will of the people when they believe in their rights. When they raise their voices loud and clear and struggle against exploitation. Continue reading

Where there is Andrew Breitbart, there are lies.

Not pigpen. I recall that Charles Shultz is a conservative. Instead, I present a dirty pig.

Some people leave a wake of garbage in their path. Reminds me of Pigpen from Charlie Brown .

Andrew Breitbart spoke at Madison, Wisconsin yesterday to approximately 3,500 Tea Party and Pro-Walker people. They were there to do their darndest to match the numbers of Progressives, workers, and students that have rallied since last week February 14 against Scott Walker’s union-busting “Budget Repair Bill”.

Now there are rumors left behind to dispel. Picking up garbage is something we thought we’d have to do after receiving 60,000 visitors. But this?: A doctored video Continue reading

Wisconsin Breaking: Workers rush to Capitol, UW to Stage Walk-out, Senators to Try to Sneek In & Out, Rally Noon

A UW Madison student and teacher assistant walk out is planned today for 9:15AM behind Lincoln’s statue on Bascom, with 10:30AM rally in Library Mall, and an 11AM Capitol Square rally to follow. Rumors circulate that Wisconsin’s Senate will rush to get in the Capitol early and begin their vote on a radical “Budget Repair Bill” before an onslaught of humanity covers Madison’s city square for the fourth day in a row and fills its Capitol building with raucous chanting and drumming. Note: UW Madison has approximately 50,000 students. Continue reading

Thousands Gather at Today’s Worker Rally, Madison Wisconsin

An iron worker from Waupaca

I’ve put up just a few pictures for now – more to come very soon. I’ve heard that there are 10,000 people here. I’m not sure.  It’s difficult to know since the capitol building is full of people and they also flow out and down to State Street. Certainly we are in the thousands. I feel a sense of determination when I speak with people. They are angry but also worried.

About 200 people are registered to speak at the public hearing on Scott Walker’s budget” bill (which if you’re new to this, bans collective bargaining by workers and takes away other union rights in Wisconsin). I’d like to be in that room, but only 10 people are allowed in at a time, and even those people are only allowed 2 minutes. Last I knew, the entire East Wing of the Capitol was roped off. I asked staffers but they were not aware why, but mentioned maybe there is a security issue.

I did just get a tweet that Senator Dale Schultz’s office is closed due to a threat.

There was a rumor that Tea Party counter-protesters would be here, but I’ve seen none. We are a mix of men in work coats, people in dress coats, younger people with kids, older people. A few young people who look to be students. I heard that an entire high school class came. Most of the people are in work coats or jackets.

Somebody asked me on twitter if we see national guardsmen. The answer is “no”. A few police are casually walking around, and they seem unconcerned, just chatting with each other.

I’m going back outside to take a lot of pictures. There’s no internet in the capitol building. It’s not too cold outside in Madison, but the wind is very high, so those folks standing out there for hours are tough!

Students and Staff Filled Wisconsin’s Capitol Monday

Hundreds of UW Madison students fill Wisconsin's Capitol Building, Feb. 14, 2001

The voices of University of Wisconsin staff members, students and community members shouting “Kill this bill” reverberated through the Capitol rotunda Monday as nearly 1,100 protesters marched down State Street to the governor’s office door.

The event, organized by the Teaching Assistants’ Association, included handing off thousands of valentines reading “I heart UW, Governor Walker, don’t break my heart,” signed by UW students and faculty members in opposition to potential state budget cuts for the university….More at the Badger Herald

What A Friend Sent to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board

It’s time for a post from somebody else, who shall remain anonymous for the moment. My friend wrote an excellent letter responding to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial, “Walker picks a fight – and it’s the right fight”.

Your editorial on the state budget committed a cardinal sin of good journalism: you buried the lead. The real story of the budget was not the stance that Governor Walker took on government employee compensation; it’s the method he’s taking to enforce it.

Most state employees recognize that bargaining is a give and take process, and like private sector workers they have already made sacrifices in a recession that was not of their making. Continue reading

Wisconsin Responds to Governor Scott Walker’s attack on public employees and worker rights

Carl Aniel speaks to Channel 27 at Governor Walker's mansion as approx. 70 picketers walk by. Click image for more.


Wednesday February 16

SEIU lists buses leaving from 17 Wisconsin locations for the Capitol

  • 10 a.m. Legislative Briefings at Masonic Temple, 301 Wisconsin Ave, Madison
  • 11 a.m. Lobby Visits, State Capitol
  • Noon Rally on Capitol Square
  • Tuesday – State Street Capitol Steps
  • Wednesday – King St. Capitol Entrance
  • 1 p.m. Resume Lobby Visits, State Capitol
  • 3:00 to 7:00 Candlelight Vigil, with speakers at 6:30.
Again, for those who cannot get out of school, there will be vigils at the Capitol Square both evenings from about 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. with speakers at 6:30 p.m. 

Free bus rides are being organized from several locations throughout the state More at WEAC

Fond du Lac – Feb. 16, 5-5:45PM Family vigil for Education at the home of Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt. Details forthcoming. See WEAC

Menomonee Falls – Feb 16, 4-5:30PM  Senator Alberta Darling’s district office  N88 W16621 Appleton Ave.

Rob Koenig in front of Governor Scott Walker's mansion in Madison, Wisconsin. Click the image to link to others.

Click “read more” to jump to the long list of past events, Sunday – Tuesday. Continue reading

Ohio bill gives clues as to what Scott Walker has in store for Wisconsin unions

Walker thinks that unions harbor weapons of financial destruction or WFDs

[Here’s a LINK to the Wisconsin union-busting bill Scott Walker unveiled.]

Friday February 11th Governor Scott Walker will drop a bomb on public sector employees in this formerly blue state:

“Gov. Scott Walker told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Thursday that he will propose removing nearly all public employee collective bargaining rights to help plug a $3.6 billion budget hole…

Going after collective bargaining rights in such a dramatic fashion will almost certainly set off a firestorm in the state Capitol, not just among the workers but even Republicans who will be reluctant to go as far as Walker wants.” from Bloomberg.com

Because Walker and Governor John Kasich of Ohio Continue reading