ACTION ALERT: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Readies National Guard Against Unions
February 20, 2011
DisInfo.com & Mother Jones Blogs & Progressive Change Campaign Committee
In a page out of the Mubarak/Gaddafi playbook, Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker has threatened to call out the National Guard in a show of armed force to intimidate growing mass protests by citizens angered over Walker's plan to deny workers their historic collective bargaining rights. This is particularly egregious since Wisconsin is known as the birthplace of the country's union movement for workers' rights.
ACTION ALERT: Stand in Solidarity against Walker's Radical Proposal and Threats
Sign the open letter. And check out the growing list of signatures below.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Readies National Guard Against Unions
(February 12, 2011) -- Bah! Who needs democratic rights like freedom of association or collective bargaining? Americans weren’t really usin’ ‘em anyways. From the Huffington Post:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Friday that he was willing to mobilize the state’s National Guard force in order to address the potential repercussions of his stated proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for state employees.
The Associated Press reports:
Gov. Scott Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is prepared to respond wherever is necessary in the wake of his announcement that he wants to take away nearly all collective bargaining rights from state employees. Walker said Friday that he hasn’t called the Guard into action, but he has briefed them and other state agencies in preparation of any problems that could result in a disruption of state services, like staffing at prisons.
On Thursday, Walker told the Associated Press that he will propose removing nearly all public employee collective bargaining rights to help plug a $3.6 billion budget hole.
Walker, a Republican who took office in January, said no one should be surprised by the move he will ask the GOP-controlled Legislature to approve next week given that he’s talked about doing it for two months.
“This is not a shock,” he said. “The shock would be if we didn’t go forward with this.”
But union leaders, and even some Republicans, were taken aback at the scope of his proposal.” This is a shocking development,” said Bryan Kennedy, president of AFT-Wisconsin, which represents 17,000 workers. “It ends collective bargaining for public employees in our state, after 50 years of management and workers solving problems together.”
Defunding the Democratic Party
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones Blogs
(February 17, 2011) -- Wisconsin, the birthplace of public sector unions, is now ground zero for the Republican jihad to destroy them, with a GOP-sponsored bill to strip Wisconsin's public unions of their collective bargaining rights now seemingly certain to pass. The cynicism of the bill might not be entirely clear until you hear the details:
[The bill] would require most public workers to pay half their pension costs -- typically 5.8% of pay for state workers -- and at least 12% of their health care costs. It applies to most state and local employees but does not apply to police, firefighters and state troopers, who would continue to bargain for their benefits.
Except for police, firefighters and troopers, raises would be limited to inflation unless a bigger increase was approved in a referendum. The non-law enforcement unions would lose their rights to bargain over anything but wages, would have to hold annual elections to keep their organizations intact and would lose the ability to have union dues deducted from state paychecks.
Now why would this be? Is it because collective bargaining is somehow less of a problem for public safety employees than for teachers? Because strikes by cops are less hazardous than strikes by teachers? Because public safety employees tend not to be hard bargainers anyway? Because public safety employees are poorly paid?
Or is it because teachers tend to vote pretty reliably for Democrats and public safety employees don't? Bingo.
The irony here is that when you hear those cherry-picked horror stories of vastly overpaid civil servants (usually the result of overtime abuse of some kind), nine times out of ten it involves a public safety employee. It's not teachers who get to retire at age 50 and it's not teachers who end up padding their hours in their last year of work and retiring on 120% of their usual income. Most of the time, it's police, firefighters, and state troopers.
But they're the ones exempt from the Wisconsin GOP's union bashing drive. Go figure.
GOP Union-busting Targets the Birthplace of America’s Union Movement
'Wisconsin was the first state to let public employees organize and bargain collectively and the first to grant workers compensation and unemployment compensation.'
ACTION: If you would like to express your opinions to Gov. Walker, here's his contact info: Governor Walker's official e-mail address:
Here is the switchboard for his office:
And, here is his fax number:
Stand in Solidarity against Walker's Radical Proposal and Threats
Sign the open letter.
Progressive Change Campaign Committee / Bold Progressives.org
Wisconsin Governor Walker has threatened to call out the National Guard against workers who protest his radical plan to cut benefits of middle class workers and strip them of their rights. Stand in solidarity with tens of thousands of workers who have been protesting. Please sign the open letter below.
Members of the Wisconsin Legislature,
The Associated Press reports, "Gov. Scott Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is prepared to respond if there is any unrest among state employees in the wake of his announcement that he wants to take away nearly all collective bargaining rights."
The Governor’s decision to ask the Wisconsin National Guard to be prepared for a fight against nurses, teachers, and other public employees puts Wisconsin firmly on the wrong side of history. The idea that a governor can use the military to impose his personal, political will on the people he governs is a primitive relic of the past -- one that resulted in almost a century of bloodshed in this country. It must not be repeated again.
Trying to ram through cuts to the health care and pensions of Wisconsin nurses and teachers -- and take away their right to negotiate for fair benefits -- is already unacceptable. But the Governor's threat of military force against Wisconsin citizens who serve their state proudly is even more shameful.
We say "no" to the Governor's budget -- and "no" to the use of the National Guard against the people of Wisconsin. And we ask you to join us.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Markos Moulitsas, Daily Kos
Democracy for America
Patrick Landgraf, President/Business Manager Sheet Metal Workers Local Union #18 AFL-CIO
Mary Rehwald, former Ashland City Councilor
Kent Johnson, Walworth Village Board member
Tammy Downing, President of AFSCME Local 145
Roger Christensen, Past President Local 309 IP&GCU
Justin Givens, AFSCME Local 122, Council 24
Steve Arnold, member UFAS (AFT local 223), member Fitchburg, WI Common Council
Phil Hansotia, Chair: Issues and Resolutions Committee, Door County Democratic Party
Jane Sorley, Shawano County Demoncrats Vice-Chair
Joanne Williams, Sec. Treasurer Walworth Co Democratic Party
Chris Narveson, 2nd Supervisor for the Town of New Glarus, WI
Nathan Timm, Founder of Dane County Grassroots Network
Cindi Haag, Town Clerk, Town of Wilson, Eau Claire County
Ed Garvey, founder Fightingbob.com
Loren Molling, United Transportation Union Local 311: President
Bruce Penny, Past UAW Local 95 President-Janesville, Wi
Val Campbell, Past General Chairman, Green Bay and Western Railroad Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
Sandra Small, former member of the Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Directors; District 5
Christian Vettrus, AFSCME Local 82 Union Executive Board member
Ernest Korpela, Former State Representative-Ashland, Bayfield, Iron and Price Counties
Dorothy Krause, Fitchburg, WI Common Council Candidate
Richard Spindler, Eau Claire Progressive 93rd Team Leader
David Conley, Douglas County Board Supervisor
Ed Wagner, Alderman, City of Marshfield, Supervisor, Wood County Board of Supervisors
Barbara Hazlett, Secretary, Waushara Area Democratic Party
Daniel Wilcox, Member, Board of Directors, Writers Guild of America, West
Susan Covarrubias, Madison Teachers, Inc. Union, Faculty Representative
Dennis Brault, Vernon County Supervisor
Judy Farrell, past Vice-President Whitewater Education Association
Susan Healy, MTEA Building Rep
Michelle Kleppe, Organizing for America, Regional Field Director
Catherine Frederick, Steward, MATC Part Time Teachers Union
David Hamel, Vice Chair, Marquette county Democratic Party
Steven Pfundtner, Union President, AFSCME WSEU Local 1800 Northeast Wisconsin
Terry Bobbe, Secretary, Democratic Party of Door County
Linda Riesen, Past President, Council 10, WEAC
Shelley Anderson, Vice President, Stoughton Education Association
Yvonne Schutte, Union Steward, National Association of Letter Carriers
Thomas Bauknecht, Langlade Co. Democratic Party Chairman, Antigo Alderman
Elizabeth Marshall, American Federation of Musicians Local 166, board member
Kim Jordan, New London Education Association, WEAC
Colleen Hansen, Past Union President of the Ashwaubenon Education Association
James Collins, Former Chair - Chequamegon Dems of Ashland and Bayfield Counties
Andrew Voelzke, Executive Board member of United SteelWorkers Local 2-209
Denise Ehren, Secretary, AFSCME Local 1131
Gail Lando, Burnett County Democratic Party Vice Chair
Barbara Woodriff, Recording Secretary, Green County Democratic Party
Debbie Kinder, Alder, Wisconsin Dells City Council
Tom Crofton, Chair, Rural Caucus Democratic Party of WI, Richland County Board Supervisor
Susan Lucht, Chief Steward AFSCME local 555
Isaam El-Amin, Former Chief Steward Local 46 UAW
Carrie Nelson, Lakewood Uniserve Director, representative
Kathy J Cahill, President Retired, Local 973, AFSCME/WSEU
Kim Ness, Vice President Howard-Suamico Education Support Personnel Association
Thayer Coburn, Treasurer, School Board, Whitewater Unified School District
Richard Tremarello, Executive Board Officer, Milwaukee Musicians' Association, Local 8, American Federation of Musicians
John Owen, Union Steward Wisconsin Professional Employees Council 4848
Penny Urben, Milwaukee Teachers Education Association - Building Representative/Committee Chair
Skip Hay, Past President, Wisconsin Marketing Education Association
Tim Krause, Phd, Trustee, Village of Biron
Larry Goodman, Board Member, Township of Ft. Winnebago
Robert Janke, Member, Eau Claire Area School Board
Kelly Herda, Nicolet Union High School, School Board Member
Kim Waltz, NTCFA Executive Committee Member and CWUC representative
Gwen Carr, Chairwoman, Wisconsin American Indian Democratic Caucus
Anne Hernandez, EA-MTI president
Stacy Thompson, United Faculty-UWEC College of Arts and Sciences Representative
Wendy Haag, Chair, Teacher Rights/Janesville Education Assoc.
Tim McNaughton, Vice President and Steward, AFSCME Local 2486, Wood County Courthouse and Professional Unit, WI Rapids, WI
Teresa Schmidt, North Lakeland School Board, Vice President
Dee Ives, SEIU International GOP Advisory Committee, WI representative
Jim Wieczorek, School Board Member - Reedsburg
Jeff Kriner, Negotiator - Bayfield Education Association
Tammy Dawson, American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO Local 6196 Union President Portage, WI
Sagar Tolani, AFT Local 2169 Exec Board Member and VP representing Graduate Employees on the AFT-Wisconsin Board
Lorie Bednarek, AFSCME Local 40 (Columbia County) - Bargaining Committee
Leslie Crawford, Past steward - CWA local 4630
Colleen Davis, President, School District of the Menomonie Area School Board
Todd Hissong, National Board Director, Screen Actors Guild
Holly Rataczak, American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO Local 6196 Union Vice-President Portage, WI
Carrie Schultz, Recording secretary, Local 379
Cherryl Belliveai, Council Woman, City of Rhinelander
Joseph Salzer, Alderperson, Rhinelander City Council
Jim Ronge, Union Steward, Local 695 Teamsters, Alderman, City of Juneau
Susan Gogue, Secretary Baraboo Education Association
Omavic McMurray, Former Bargain team member, Child Care Providers Together
Sue Conard, President, AFSCME Local 1240
Paul Oosterhouse, Vice President, Taycheedah Correctional Institution
Nancy Schauer, Union Vice President, AFSCME Local 79b
Judith Gatlin, AFSCME Local 1914, Council 24
Julie Allen, Council 40 Executive Board Member for District 7
Caryl Ligler, Past Unit Director NUE-Spooner
Annette Fazzari, Vice-President of APWU Local #778
Elaine Welin, Past Local Union President and WI-AFT Retiree Member
Matt Wimmer, Assistant Shift Union Steward, Teamsters Local 695, Madison, Wi
Richard Gallo, President, Kenosha, WI American Postal Workers; Dir. Education & Organization APWU of Wisconsin, Board Member Kenosha AFL-CIO Council
Kathi Hansen, Former Negotiator, Kaukauna Education Association, WEAC
Harold A. Olson, Jr., Past negotiator, Local 516 AFL-CIO
Pattie Salter, Town of New Glarus, Clerk-Treasurer
Beth Heidersdorf, Ex Union President for AFL-CIO Garment Workers. Oshkosh B'Gosh
Margaret Olsgard, USW Local 9460 Vice President
Candice Bar-Lev, Shorewood Education Association President
Aimee Auer, Vice President of WEAC-Fox Valley
Mia Laursen, Union President of the Turner Education Associatioin
Jim Beaver, Union Representative with our UniServe SCEA
Maureen Write, President Local 777, Workers United
Lois Ames, President, American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1882
David Ames, Chief Steward AFGE Local 1882
Lynn Freimuth, Local 79B Oneida County Courthouse Workers Treasurer
Eugene Barufkin, Wisconsin Single-Payer-Network Founder
Jennifer Lake, President of Northwood Education Association
Daniel Seibel, Former District 8 WSP Representative
Charles Pampuch, NATCA (National Air Traffic Controllers Association) Milwaukee Local President
Carri Karschney, Secretary, AFSCME Local 281
Merrill Wyatt, President of local lodge 1260 IAMAW
Dennis Davis, Teamsters Local 160 shop steward
Leslie Wright-Bobholz, SEIU board director
Frederick W Fleishauer, Circut Judge