|IAM District 10 members braved the snow on Wednesday to protest a right-to-work bill being rammed through the GOP-controlled Wisconsin state legislature.|
Wisconsin’s state Senate approved a right-to-work bill in an “extraordinary legislative session” on Wednesday, cutting off debate on the measure that will weaken unions and transfer even more power from workers to corporations.
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The anti-worker legislation now goes to the GOP-controlled Assembly, where it is expected to pass and go to the desk of anti-union Gov. Scott Walker (R), who said he would sign the bill to make Wisconsin the 25th right-to-work state in the country.
But Wisconsin’s workers aren’t going down without a fight.
Thousands protested at the state capitol in Madison on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then labor activists testified at a rushed hearing on the bill, before being told to go home by Republican state legislators set on delivering the latest blow to organized labor in the state.
IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Phil Gruber gave a rousing speech from the steps of the snowy state capitol Wednesday, calling it “one of the darkest chapters in organized labor’s history.”
Watch a video of Gruber’s speech here.
“These politicians will take every damn thing left away from us,” Gruber told the crowd.
The Wisconsin bill is almost a word-for-word copy of what the Big Business-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) proposes for right-to-work legislation, which guts unions by making it illegal for companies and workers to negotiate contracts that require union-represented workers to pay their fair share of collective bargaining costs.
Still have questions about so-called right-to-work laws? Watch “The Truth About Right-to-Work Laws” on the Machinists News Network.
Gruber ended his speech with a call to action: “Every person who carries a union card or used to carry a union card, we need to band together and stop this from happening!”
Follow the Wisconsin AFL-CIO’s blog for continuously updated information on right-to-work protests.