Our fundamental right to have a union is under attack from Wisconsin to Maine. The right-wing billionaire Koch brothers are funding a coordinated effort to destroy collective bargaining in states across the country. Many of you have been reading about the massive demonstrations by public school teachers, university workers, teaching assistants, firefighters and others in Wisconsin who are fighting to maintain their unions. In fact, in 1970 the Teaching Assistants’ Association at UW-Madison was the first graduate employee union in the United States to win recognition and ratify a contract. Their victory broke ground and helped pave the way for graduate employee unionization across the country.
Given our own history of being subjected to right-wing policy makers taking away our collective bargaining rights in 2004, this attack hits close to home and we must do all we can to support public sector employees retain their right to have a union. Our international union, the UAW, is working closely with the rest of the labor movement to coordinate a mass mobilization of UAW members and allies across the country to support the Wisconsin workers and fight off these right wing attacks to destroy unions and the middle class. Although we’re operating on short notice, the situation is urgent and we are asking GSOC/UAW members and supporters to participate in the following activities:
Wednesday, February 23rd:
The NYC Central Labor Council will coordinate an 11 AM press conference and rally at City Hall. A delegation of Wisconsin protesters will be part of the conference. For all of those who can take the time, please come down to City Hall. We want to have a huge crowd.
Thursday, February 24th:
WEAR RED IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE WORKERS OF WISCONSIN. Red is Wisconsin’s state color and this is a simple, coordinated way for us to send a message of support to the Wisconsin workers and insure that our own employers here on the east coast get the message as well.
This fight is crucial for all of us, wherever we live. Please support your union by attending any solidarity event you can and by wearing red on Thursday. If you come out for the press conference, please try to bring others with you. We hope to see you out there!