Dear AFSCME Sisters and Brothers,
There are new developments in Ohio and Wisconsin that we want to share with you. As you know, what happens in the coming weeks and months in Columbus and Madison will be critical to the future of our union, our jobs, and the services that we provide everywhere.
In Ohio yesterday, after more than 20,000 Ohioans rallied on Tuesday to save the middle class, the State Senate passed SB 5 — a bill that will strip workers of their rights. It was politics at its worst: Republican leaders rammed this bill through by kicking opposing members of their own party off of key committees.
And in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker's devastating new budget proposal has revealed just how out of touch he is with Wisconsin values. He and Republican state senators still refuse to listen to the outpouring of support for workers' right to bargain.
Just yesterday, citizens from around Wisconsin filed recall papers against key Republican senators who have stood with Walker in refusing workers' concessions and are trying to push through his partisan power grab: this is not what the candidates ran on, and not what Wisconsinites voted for. If you support the grassroots recall drive, you can show your support here.
It's clear that we've got a long fight ahead of us to protect Wisconsin's working families. But we're ready for it: even when collective bargaining was taken away in Missouri and Kentucky, we fought and got our rights back.
Anti-worker legislation has also moved forward in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Florida, Georgia and other states; in each case, your fellow members are mobilizing a stiff resistance campaign. If you haven't already, please add your name to our solidarity petition — and if you want to take your support to the next level, make a donation to AFSCME PEOPLE right now.
Public opinion is firmly on the side of the workers. According to four national polls, a majority of Americans oppose Governor Walker's efforts to strip workers of their collective bargaining rights.
In the past two weeks we have been on the ground in Wisconsin, Ohio, New York and elsewhere. The energy of the crowds and the determination of the people are profoundly moving and give us great hope. Please join us in the effort at: www.standforpublicservice.org.
GERALD W. McENTEE
LEE A. SAUNDERS