Sanitation workers, equipment maintenance specialists, water department workers, traffic engineers, municipal court clerks and other city of Milwaukee workers who provide essential services to residents gathered at Red Arrow Park Monday evening to alert the public about upcoming healthcare changes that would impact city workers and their families.
Workers detailed how they have tightened their belt for years, doing their part to improve city finances, but can no longer survive on austerity policies. Workers with families and chronic illnesses would be severely impacted by looming changes in city healthcare plans that are proposed for 2015.
Undertaking a new form of collective action – the public speak out -- city workers emphasized the need to talk with coworkers to explain that the union is still strong and working in new and innovative ways to lift up the voices of city workers.
“We make the city run,” explained Ken Wischer, a truck driver and equipment operator for the city. “This rally is bringing people together to raise our voices as one and hopefully impact the workplace in a positive way. These changes will hit the lowest paid workers and the workers who use their healthcare the most -- young families with kids or elderly workers will see big changes.”
To support city workers call the Mayor’s office or your local Alderman and tell them to incorporate workers into the healthcare change process. Any changes need to be fair, equitable and sustainable for families.