"Right-to-work" being pushed in Wisconsin

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shallah's picture
shallah
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Feb 24 2015 04:12
"Right-to-work" being pushed in Wisconsin

Hey folks,

Daily Kos posted a link here saying that "[a]t a gathering Sunday of influential Wisconsin workers and political activists, a unanimous decision was made regarding how to respond to news that the Republican majority in the state legislature plans to ram through so-called “right to work” legislation this week. Wisconsin’s union and non-union workers have apparently had enough and today every person at the gathering voted in favor of calling for a general strike if the legislation is passed."

Devil's Advocate Radio Network in Madison is saying that "[a] General Strike was the only unifying strategy discussed to block Right-to-Work #RTW, $300 UW System cuts, $127 K-12 cuts, killing the Kenosha casino and 10,000 jobs, failure to expand Medicaid, and cuts to Senior-care and disability programs." They also say to "[e]xpect calls for a General Strike Tuesday when the AFL-CIO rallies opposition to the Republican fast-tracking of #RTW Tuesday at the Wisconsin State Capitol."

Does anyone have more information on this? I'm sure more information will come in tomorrow during/after the AFL-CIO rally. I started a hashtag on twitter, #WisconsinStrike, to monitor what's happening for the time being.

For background/context on Wisconsin and Right to Work: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/22/wisconsin-right-to-work_n_67310...
For information on tomorrow's rally: http://www.bluecheddar.net/?p=41821
For info on IWW activity in the 2011 call for a general strike:
-http://www.iww.org/genstrike
-http://www.iww.org/sv/history/library/iww/general-strike-didnt-happen-re...
-https://thinkinthroughit.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/wisconsin-interview/

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
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Feb 24 2015 04:47

Yeah, I saw this, too. I'm skeptical for obvious reasons. I don't know much about this meeting or who was there, but let's remember lots of people (including heads of unions) said pro-general strike stuff back in 2011. In Wisconsin and elsewhere.

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shallah
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Feb 24 2015 08:13

Yes, both Daily Kos and Devil's Advocate are so light on details (they don't name the labor organizations involved) that I wonder a) how much is true and b) if a significant faction of folks are calling for a general strike, will it be any more successful than four years ago, even comparable? It seems like it would be straightforward for folks up there to agitate around the failure of four years ago (i.e. the recall was a wrong move, we should have gone the general strike route, let's do that now!), but I doubt AFL-CIO leadership at tomorrow's rally would take the call seriously.

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Juan Conatz
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Feb 26 2015 01:07

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, last night the state senate committee hearing was cut short, voted on, and sent to the fulll senate because of a "credible threat". SEIU and Voces de la Frontera (an immigrant rights nonprofit) were planning some sort of action.

From Facebook, it sounds like there were a couple thousand there.

So far, besides the cryptic Devils Advocate piece about 3 union people being for a general strike, the strike talk I've seen in the press was from the Machinists union regional president, who alluded to strike action and a Professor from somewhere.

The ABC affiliate in Milwaukee ran something about how city construction projects would be affected if there was a strike. The piece talks to one construction worker who says there should be a general strike, a professor that says the same, and a retured union worker who is against striking. The reporter says that Milwaukee area unions are considering a general strike, but it isn't clear where they are getting this from.

The WI AFL-CIO President, in an AlJazeera article, in reference to strike action says, "We’re not in a position to support something like that. That would be up to affiliates, locals and the working people of Wisconsin.”

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Feb 26 2015 01:19

I changed the title of the thread, FYI.

Looks like they're debating in full senate right now, might pass tonight. The #wiunion Twitter hashtag has been resurrected, I noticed.

Here's the Capitol, 6 hours ago:

The NFL and NHL Player's Unions came out with statements condemning the push for RTW in WI.

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Feb 26 2015 04:05

I'm not sure what Wobblies are doing. I'm not there this time. From the few I'm friends with on Facebook, it looks like they're showing up at things.

One of them said:

Quote:
do you think a local where the rank and file don't even have access to their own brothers and sisters contact info, would be able to organize a strike? There are 500 things people could do right now to make the possibility of industrial action real before "calling for a general strike"

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Juan Conatz
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Feb 26 2015 04:15

Bill just passed the State Senate. Now Walker just has to sign it.

fnbrilll
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Feb 26 2015 08:38

I think its a mistake to mimic the AFL-CIO's line on "Right To work" laws. Especially accepting that no working class activity can be accomplished in RTW states (something UE has attempted with their North Carolina public workers union, etc).

Spikymike
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Feb 26 2015 13:16

Related article on proposed cut-backs at the University of Wisconsin and recent worker responses in the context of other state wide attacks on working class living standards and attempts to legally stiffle organised strike resistance:
http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2015-02-23/university-of-wisconsin-ma...