The 750 bus drivers and mechanics of the Milwaukee County Transit System continue to fight for a fair contract. The members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998 consistently work long hours day and night to provide safe, quality transportation in Milwaukee. They have waited long enough for a fair contract.
Bus drivers are coming together to stop the conversion of family-supporting full-time jobs to part-time positions. This dangerous race to the bottom for wages and benefits is the wrong direction for Wisconsin and bus drivers are taking a stand for all of us. County Executive Chris Abele should put the best interest of all of Milwaukee County first and settle the contract without delay.
We are proud to join in solidarity with transit workers who are standing up forfamily-supporting full-time jobs, good benefits, and decent working conditions in order to deliver high-quality bus services to Milwaukee County residents.
ATU Local 998 went on a three-day work stoppage in early July after talks on a new contract broke down. Hiring more part-time workers instead of full-time, pensions and adequate bathroom breaks are among the concerns. Bus drivers require unique training and experience in order to calmly manage and deal with a variety of unique and difficult situations that may arise en route. Bus drivers and mechanics are coming together to stand up for quality family-support jobs and a strong middle class.
A revival of the Rose Tattoo – a folksinging group that featured the now deceased Utah Phillips and Milwaukee’s own Larry Penn – is scheduled for a special Milwaukee performance to be held:
7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015
Historic Puddlers’ Hall
2461 S. St. Clair Av. Milwaukee
Utah Phillips (1935-2008) was the Grand Master of a near-mythological fraternity of tramps, hoboes and rare do-wells known as the Rose Tattoo.
The Rose Tattoo minus Utah and Penn (who died in 2014), will be hooking up to perform in the concert which is part of a nationwide tour. Performers will include various members of the Rose Tattoo: Mark Ross, Kuddie, Bob and Diana Suckiel, Rik Palieri, and perhaps a special guest.
The concert will consist of an informal round-robin song and story swap between the participants. All are finely honed singers, musicians and yarn-spinners.
These concerts will offer a window on a vanishing way of life where a busker (tramp entertainer) could sing his way from coast to coast with only a guitar, a bindle and overpowering desire to be somewhere else. Highly recommended for families especially young adults who think they know everything.
Admission: $10. Advance ticket sales online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rose-tattoo-folksinging-group-revival-concert-tickets-17784797809
Sponsored by the Wisconsin Labor History Society.
Wisconsin workers have come together to proudly endorse Senator Russ Feingold for U.S. Senate. Feingold will challenge Ron Johnson in the 2016 November elections. Feingold and Johnson provide a sharp contrast and therefore a clear choice for working families. Sen. Johnson has repeatedly opposed raising wages for workers, voted against protecting our environmental resources and is one of the most extreme Senators in Congress. Senator Feingold is a proven champion for working families and has repeatedly stood up to special interests and fought for the people of Wisconsin.
“Time and time again, Senator Feingold has been an independent fighter for Wisconsin’s middle-class,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “On issues that are important to working families such as protecting American jobs, raising wages, getting money out of politics, and protecting our environment – there’s no one better than Russ Feingold. Senator Feingold opposed NAFTA which has since cost the U.S. economy some 700,000 jobs. We know that at a time when the economy is bleeding jobs from trade, Senator Feingold will stand up and oppose bad trade deals that ship good jobs overseas.”
“The choice for workers next November could not be clearer,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “The Wisconsin AFL-CIO is proud to educate and mobilize workers for Senator Feingold in 2016. Russ Feingold is ready to protect the founding pillars of our democracy and stand to big-money in politics and the special interests that control so much of politics today. Russ Feingold is ready to go to bat for Wisconsin working families. Russ Feingold is ready to work to strengthen our middle-class and rebuild an economy that works for workers.”
Jumpstart your career by attending an upcoming industrial recruitment event for represented employers.
Join us for an open manufacturing recruitment event on Thursday, July 30, 2015 in Milwaukee. Hosted by the International Association of Machinists, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, United Autoworkers, United Steelworkers, the Milwaukee Area Labor Council and the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership.
We are recruiting for a wide variety of direct hire positions with several companies for experienced workers. You will also learn about pre-employment trainings that lead to permanent full-time positions for successful graduates.
Bring a friend! If you know someone who might be interested please pass this information along.
WHAT: Manufacturing Recruitment
WHEN: July 30, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. and again at 4:00pm
WHERE: 633 South Hawley Road, Milwaukee
HOSTED BY: Milwaukee Area Labor Council/AFL-CIO in partnership with USW, IBEW, UAW and IAM
TO REGISTER CALL 414-342-9787
Qualified candidates will need to bring valid Wisconsin Driver’s License or Wisconsin Photo ID, Social Security card, updated resume, proof of High School graduation or equivalent, and a willingness to learn.
On July 10, USW District 2 and the Next Generation Committee from Local 2–20 in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, sponsored a bike safety class for kids, along with the Kaukauna Police Department and the Recyclist Bicycle Co.
Before beginning their “class”, every child was fitted with a free bike helmet, which was donated by the Steelworkers.
The Kaukauna Police Department set up a course in the parking lot with obstacles consisting of railroad crossings, cars, yield signs, and stop signs. Some of the kids enjoyed themselves so much that they went through the course multiple times.
When the kids were finished with the obstacle course, Local 2-20 had a station set up where they could get some free stickers and bottles of water and Gatorade. The kids also were able to enter a raffle for a chance to win gift certificates good at the Recyclist Bicycle Co.
This type of event shows that Steelworkers are not only committed to safety in their facilities, but to the people and families in the community as well.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO ALL INVOLVED for the great TEAMWORK on making this a successful event: Recyclist Bicycle Co., Kaukauna P.D., Local 2-20, Tyler & Curt Rutten, Jason Wilcox and District 2.
This is a guest column from Mark Horn, member of AFSCME Local 1, which originally appeared in the Union Labor News, SCFL.
Summer is my favorite season and it probably yours too. Enjoy the summer with these quality union made products.
First things first, let’s get the yard work out of the way and there is no better way to get the lawn in shape than with John Deere zero turn mowers, made right here in Wisconsin.
Enough work, time to play. The world’s best outboard motors are made right here in Fond du Lac by Mercury Marine. Your motor is definitely the place to invest in value because nobody wants to be stuck out in the middle of the lake.
Okay, you are not so much for the water; fair enough. Bell Helmets will keep you safe when biking this summer. Now for your ride; there is only one name Harley-Davidson made in Milwaukee, Harley is to ultimate summer road experience. Are you more for human power? Bell makes the best bicycle helmets, as well.
Do you prefer the links to the highway? We have you covered there too. MacGregor golf clubs and Top Flite golf balls are both . I hit Top Flite because I can depend on them to perform consistently even when I do not.
Kicking it back a little more, let’s head for the beach. We all want to protect ourselves and our family from the harmful effects of too much sun. There is no better way than with Bain de Soleil and Coppertone tanning lotion and sun screen. Get the tan without the burn by applying these union made products every time you head outside.
As long as you are relaxing, do it right with a hammock from the Algoma Net Company. These quality hammocks will make any summer day feel like a vacation. Algoma Net also makes outdoor leisure furniture and cushions. Relax and enjoy your summer in style.
All this activity and relaxing is giving me an appetite. Summer picnics start at the grill and Weber grills are the choice of great backyard chefs everywhere. So, what’s going on the grill? How about some brats; Klements, Usingers or Johnsonville? They are all made right here in Wisconsin. For the kids, load the other side of the grill with Ball Park, Butterball, National Hebrew, Hormel or of course Oscar Meyer hot dogs. Don’t forget the condiments including: Heinz Ketchup, Claussen and Vlasic pickles, as well as French’s and Gulden’s Mustard.
Finish loading your plate with Bugles, Doritos, Fritos, Old El Paso chips, dips and salsa,Ritz Crackers, Rold Gold Pretzels, Ruffles, Sun Chips, Tostitos chips, dips and salsa, Triscuit and Wheat Thins. Remember to save room for Babcock Hall and Breyers ice cream. We love the natural vanilla but whatever flavor you choose, union made means quality and great taste in every bite.
Wash your summer picnic food down with refreshing Pepsi and Coke products. Here in Wisconsin adult beverages usually mean beer. Fortunately, there are plenty of great choices. Leinenkugel, Miller Genuine Draft , Miller Lite , Miller High Life , Milwaukee’s Best. Though no longer made in Wisconsin, Pabst Blue Ribbon is still union made and popularly priced. O’Doul’s is an excellent choice if you want a non-alcoholic alternative. Keep those beverages cool in your Rubbermaid Cooler.
When you buy union you get great quality and the peace of mind knowing that the folks who made them have decent working conditions, wages and benefits.
Gov. Walker has failed the people of Wisconsin. From not creating jobs to attacking union rights and dismantling public education, Gov. Walker’s policies have hollowed-out Wisconsin’s middle class and trampled on democracy. Gov. Walker’s actions make it clear that he doesn’t care about working people like us. Scott Walker is a slick politician who will do or say anything to get elected. He only cares about advancing the special interests of his deep-pocketed campaign donors.
TAKE THE PLEDGE: Don’t let Scott Walker do to America what he’s done to Wisconsin. Gov. Walker’s “divide and conquer” tactics are a recipe for disaster. We need to raise our voices as working people and sound the alarm. Take the pledge to educate all our fellow Americans on Gov. Walker’s extremist anti-worker agenda.
In his self-serving bid for the White House, Scott Walker has broken basic democratic principles time and time again. As working families, we need to sound the alarm about Scott Walker.
The Wisconsin AFL-CIO has reviewed Gov. Walker’s record on issues important to working families:
Attacks on Union Rights: Gov. Walker’s Act 10 stripped collective bargaining rights from public employees. Despite professing that anti-worker Right to Work legislation was not on his agenda while campaigning in 2014, just months into 2015 Gov. Walker signed controversial Right to Work legislation into law. Scott Walker’s 2015-2017 Budget rolls back prevailing wage standards for hardworking construction workers and removes the 24-hour rest period required in a 7-day work week, essentially killing the weekend for Wisconsin workers. In 2012, Gov. Walker even repealed a statewide law that helps women receive equal pay.
Where Are the Jobs? In Scott Walker’s 2010 campaign for Governor, Scott Walker promised repeatedly to create 250,000 jobs in his first term. He failed to deliver on that promise. Wisconsin consistently lags behind the rest of the nation in job-growth and has been dead-last in the Midwest for job creation. Currently, Wisconsin ranks 40th in the nation in job-growth.
Weakening of Wisconsin’s Middle Class: Gov. Walker’s bad policies and egregious attacks on union rights have led to a hollowing-out of Wisconsin’s middle class. In fact, according to a 2015 Pew Charitable Trust report Wisconsin ranks worst among the 50 states in terms of a shrinking middle class.
Gutting Public Education: Gov. Walker has enacted the largest cuts to education in Wisconsin history. During his tenure, Walker cut school funding more per student than any other governor in America. With cuts to public K-12 schools, technical colleges and higher education, Gov. Walker has dismantled public education, gutting neighborhood schools in favor of funding unaccountable voucher schools.
Attacks on Democracy: Gov. Walker has created roadblocks to democracy. In 2011, the Republican-controlled branches of government enacted hyper-partisan election districts in a shady power grab. The redistricting is so extreme a current lawsuit charges that the districts are unconstitutional. Gov. Walker signed Voter ID legislation, a known voter suppression tactic, into law. It is estimated that Walker’s voter suppression bill will disenfranchise 300,000 Latinos and African Americans in Wisconsin. In 2011, Gov. Walker even attempted to close DMVs, where citizens obtain an ID to vote. Despite claiming that he had no knowledge of a 2015 budget provision to gut Wisconsin’s Open Records Law, which helps citizens monitor their government, Walker’s office was later found to have been directly involved in creating the provision.
TAKE THE PLEDGE: Don’t let Scott Walker do to America what he’s done to Wisconsin. Stand strong to stop Scott Walker’s anti-worker bid for the White House. Together we can educate voters on Walker’s failed economic record. The last thing America needs is a Scott Walker Presidency.
America needs a leader who will bring people together to fix our economy by investing in the middle class by expanding workers’ rights, raising wages and creating jobs. Scott Walker has enacted policy after policy to weaken workers’ rights and cripple our middle class.
As Scott Walker announces his Presidential run, it is important to look to Wisconsin to get a sense of how Gov. Walker’s failed leadership and poor policy making has taken the state backwards. From failing to create jobs, gutting public education, attacking collective bargaining rights for workers, demolishing prevailing wage standards, and completely blundering a taxpayer-funded jobs agency, Gov. Walker’s failed record has hollowed-out Wisconsin’s middle class and left the people of Wisconsin behind.
“In Wisconsin, Gov. Walker has enacted policy after policy to weaken workers’ rights and cripple our middle class,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “At a time when Scott Walker should have been focusing on creating jobs, lowering income inequality and raising wages for workers, he has focused on extreme partisan politics and lining up campaign donors. Scott Walker has governed with little regard for the people of Wisconsin and total affection for pleasing those who write his campaign checks. When you look to Wisconsin’s economy under Gov. Walker, you realize that a Scott Walker presidency is a scary, scary thing for America.”
“Scott Walker’s leadership has failed the people of Wisconsin,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “Now is the time for workers to come together to put a stop to Scott Walker’s divide and conquer tactics that dismantle our middle class and crush economic opportunity. Scott Walker has made it is mission to crush the ability of workers to come together, stick together, have each other’s backs and have a meaningful voice at work through their union. America needs a sharply differently approach than what Scott Walker has brought to Wisconsin. At a time when workers are already working longer hours for less pay and struggling to make ends meet, Gov. Walker’s blatant disregard for working people is a recipe for disaster on the national stage.”
The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO reviewed the governor’s record on issues important to working families:
Attacks on Workers’ Rights and Wages: Gov. Walker’s Act 10 stripped collective bargaining rights from public employees. Despite massive citizen protest from hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites, Scott Walker pushed forward a union-busting policy that his own party called “the nuclear option” and “dropping the bomb.” A 2011 report by the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future found that Act 10, combined with Gov. Walker’s first year policies, cost Wisconsin 18,000 full-time, private-sector jobs. Despite professing that anti-worker Right to Work legislation was not on his agenda while campaigning in 2014, just months into 2015, Gov. Walker signed controversial Right to Work legislation into law. Right to Work laws are linked to lower wages and lower standards of living. Scott Walker’s 2015-2017 Budget rolls back prevailing wage standards for hardworking construction workers and removes the 24-hour rest period required in a 7-day work week, essentially killing the weekend for Wisconsin workers. In 2012, Gov. Walker even repealed a statewide law that helps women receive equal pay. Gov. Walker has repeatedly refused to raise Wisconsin’s minimum wage and even removed a state statue stating that Wisconsin’s minimum wage must be a living wage.
Weakening of Wisconsin’s Middle Class: Gov. Walker’s bad policies and egregious attacks on union rights have led to a hollowing-out of Wisconsin’s middle class. In fact, according to a 2015 Pew Charitable Trust report Wisconsin ranks worst among the 50 states in terms of a shrinking middle class, with real median household incomes falling 14.7 percent in Wisconsin since 2000.
Failed Job Promise: In Scott Walker’s 2010 campaign for Governor, Scott Walker promised repeatedly to create 250,000 jobs in his first term. Scott Walker failed to deliver on that promise. Five years later, Gov. Walker is just over halfway to his first term goal. Under Gov. Walker, Wisconsin has consistently lagged the rest of the nation in job-growth and has been dead-last in the Midwest for jobs. Currently, Wisconsin ranks 40th in the nation in job-growth.
Unaccountable Jobs Agency: Gov. Walker created the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation in 2011, privatizing Wisconsin’s former jobs agency. Since, its creation the WEDC has been shrouded in scandal and mismanagement. In 2012, the agency was found to have lost track of $12 million in taxpayer-funded loans. A scathing 2013 audit by Wisconsin’s nonpartisan audit bureau revealed dozens of ways in which WEDC was breaking the law, including giving awards to ineligible recipients, for ineligible projects, and for amounts that exceeded specified limits. In 2014, WEDC was even found to have been helping Wisconsin companies ship jobs overseas. A WKOW News investigation found that at least two multi-national companies who received millions of dollars in WEDC taxpayer-funded loans later laid off Wisconsin workers and moved their jobs overseas. One company even received a second WEDC loan after outsourcing. In June 2015, WEDC again made headlines when it was found that Gov. Scott Walker’s flagship job-creation agency had made at least 27 awards totaling a whopping $124.4 million to companies without even conducting a formal staff review.
Gutting Education: Gov. Walker has enacted the largest cuts to education in Wisconsin history. During his tenure in Wisconsin, Walker even cut school funding more per student than any other governor in America. From cuts to local school districts, technical colleges and higher education, Gov. Walker has dismantled public education by gutting neighborhood schools in favor of funding unaccountable voucher schools. It is estimated that 55% of Wisconsin school districts will see a reduction in aid in the coming years. Walker has even attacked the University of Wisconsin System – a world renowned higher education system that lets students from all economic backgrounds obtain a college degree without going into massive debt. Along with cutting $250 million from the University System’s operating budget, Gov. Walker removed tenure for professors and shared governance – a way for students, staff and administers to jointly make decisions -- from the institution.
Attacks on Democracy: Gov. Walker’s tenure has brought roadblocks to democracy. In 2011, the Republican-controlled branches of government enacted hyper-partisan election districts in a shady power grab. The redistricting is so extreme a current lawsuit charges that the districts are unconstitutional. Gov. Walker signed Voter ID legislation, a known voter suppression tactic, into law. It is estimated that Walker’s voter suppression bill will disenfranchise 300,000 Latinos and African American in Wisconsin. In 2011, Gov. Walker even attempted to close DMVs, where citizens obtain an ID to vote, but later reversed his decision. Despite claiming that he had no acknowledge of a 2015 budget provision to gut Wisconsin’s Open Records Law which helps citizens monitor their government, Walker’s office was later found to have been directly involved in creating the provision.
AFSCME Council 24 - Wisconsin State Employees Union: http://wseu-sepac.org/
AFSCME Council 40: http://afscme40.org
AFSCME Council 48: http://afscme48.org
AFSCME Local 91: http://local91.union-local.org
AFSCME Local 1397: http:wi//laborweb.afscme.org/sites/WI_C_40/local1397/
AFSCME - WI Political & Legislative Council: http://wiafscme.org
Building and Construction Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin: http://btrades.com
Communications Workers of America Local 4603: http://cwa4603.com
Fond du Lac County Labor Council: http://fdlcountylaborcouncil.org
The Greater West Central Area Labor Council: http://sites.google.com/site/greatereauclaireclc/
IAMAW Lodge 66: http://www.unitedlodge66.org/
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 107: http://boilermakers107.com
International Union Of Operating Engineers Local 139: http://iuoe139.org
Ironworkers Local 8: http://iwl8.org
Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin - IAFF: http://pffw.org
Rock County Central Labor Council: http://rocklabor.org
Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local 18: http://smwlu18.org
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local 65: http://rooferslocal65.com