Friday, January 14, 2011

CWA: Feeling the heat as people push back against public-sector unions

The Communications Workers of America blasted an email yesterday decrying the sensible approach of some Republican governors in curtailing the power, and yes, greed, of public-sector unions.

Big Labor is feeling the heat.


CWA, the labor movement and its allies are preparing for battle as states across the country declare a renewed war on unions, with special attacks on the rights, wages and pensions of public employees.

Republican lawmakers in at least 10 states have or plan to introduce anti-union, so-called "right to work" legislation and other bills aimed at stripping workers of their rights to organize, to strike and to negotiate fair wages and benefits to support their families. In Minnesota, lawmakers are even pursuing a "right to work" constitutional amendment to make it harder for workers to form and join unions.

Among new governors, Ohio's John Kasich is "planning the most comprehensive assault against unions," the New York Times said. He wants to take away the right to unionize from 14,000 state-paid child care and home care workers, ban teacher strikes and kill rules requiring that contractors on public projects pay union-scale wages.

In Ohio and "throughout the battleground Midwest, there is a serious attack on our jobs and communities," CWA District 4 Vice President Seth Rosen said, explaining that district activists are already working to build coalitions to show lawmakers and the general public that it's not just unions that care about workers' rights.

"These attacks affect all of us, public and private sector workers, both at work and in our communities," Rosen said. "By uniting labor, community, civil rights and environmental groups, we can wage a powerful fight for good jobs and strong communities."

Ohio's Kasich appears to be competing with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to be the country's most anti-union, anti-public worker governor. Christie has become infamous over the last year for his loud, mean-spirited assaults on his state's employees, despite the fact that 60,000 CWA members and other unionized public workers have made a half-billion dollars in wage and benefit concessions over the last three years. CWA New Jersey continues to aggressively lobby, mobilize and rally to oppose Christie's extreme agenda.
Extreme? Not to me. Not to many others.

Related posts:

The face of Illinois: Public-sector union members chanting "Raise my taxes"
The pay-to-play score in Illinois since '95: SEIU $22 million--AFSCME $12 million
General Assembly overrides Quinn veto on convention reform, blocks Teamster pay-to-play bid
Public-sector unions to spend $100 million saving Democrats
Tough mom fights back against unions and Pat Quinn
New site: Public Sector Inc.

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