Labor - USA

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The Recall Is Not the End

Ruth Conniff, The Progressive, June 7, 2012 It was a tough night in downtown Madison on Tuesday. The scene around the square was wonderfully familiar: the firefighters with their bagpipes, the horns honking "this is what democracy looks like," the homemade recall signs, the teachers on the march. All of what was great about the grassroots uprising in Wisconsin was on display. Early on, the mood was jubilant, as reports of record turnout in Dane County and Milwaukee came in, with poll workers running out of ballots as people waited in long lines to vote. It seemed, for a brief, shining moment that we had pulled it off. ... The

Scott Walker's win is a permanent defeat for US labor unions

The Wisconsin recall result was seismic for reasons Democrats barely realise. Their major funder is on the run in state after state. Grover Norquist, The Guardian, June 7, 2012 When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker defeated Mayor Tom Barrett, 53-46%, in Tuesday's recall election, many observers immediately asked how this would affect the fight for Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes in the November presidential election between Obama and Romney. The best Republican get-out-the-vote effort, funded by millions of dollars of contributions from across the nation, went up against millions of dollars of union dues from all 50 states – and the Republican won by 53% ... Scott

The lessons of Wisconsin

Patrick Martin, World Socialist Web Site, June 7, 2012 The rout of the Democratic Party and the unions in Tuesday’s Wisconsin recall election has provoked a predictable response across the official political spectrum, from crude triumphalism on the extreme right to self-justification and hand-wringing among the liberal and pseudo-left apologists for the Obama administration. The Wall Street Journal trumpeted the victory of Republican Governor Scott Walker, calling it the defeat of “a furious and well-fed special interest that wants a permanent, monopoly claim on taxpayer wallets.” ... The

After the Heartbreak in Wisconsin

Tom Hayden, The Nation, June 7, 2012 The triumph of Scott Walker and the Tea Party Republicans in Wisconsin is heartbreaking for the many thousands who devoted over a year of their lives to one of the most inspired social movements of the current century. Electoral campaigns are governed by deadlines and voting results, unlike social movements, which can ebb and flow for decades. The pain of a stunning defeat inevitably takes a psychic toll on its participants, similar in ways to a seven-game World Series. It takes time to recover, and some never will. But politics never stops. ... After

What Labor’s Loss in Wisconsin Does - and Doesn’t - Mean

David Moberg, Working In These Times, June 7, 2012 There's no point mincing words: By rejecting the recall of Republican Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin voters dealt a nasty blow to organized labor and progressives in the state and beyond. That was especially true since Wisconsin unions and liberals picked this particular fight, even if it was a justifiable but politically risky response to the governor taking away the rights of public workers. Quickly, right-wing leaders and commentators - and even some liberals - declared the vote the death knell of unions, especially in the public sector, and a public legitimation of hard-line anti-union strategies. ... What

Don’t Mourn – Organize!

Utility Workers’ Stewart Acuff Calls For Massive Organization To Win A Better Life For Workers
Doug Cunningham, Workers Independent News, June 7, 2012

Utility Workers of America Chief of Staff and former AFL-CIO Organizing Director, Stewart Acuff says now more than ever before working people must massively organize to overcome powerful rich interests intent on dominating our democracy to the detriment of working Americans.

“And everything that’s ever been done for people in America has not been done for them, but been done by them. And it’s always taken organization. It’s time for us to organize in a massive way. And that organization requires more than just voting. And that’s never been more important than it is right now.”

Teamsters President Jim Hoffa Says Despite Outcome Wisconsin Recall Election has Made Labor Stronger

Doug Cunningham, Workers Independent News, June 7, 2012 Teamsters President Jim Hoffa says the Wisconsin recall election made labor stronger, despite the outcome. Hoffa says Wisconsin’s fight back has made the labor movement more active, more energetic and informed. Hoffa says Tea Party governors will think twice before launching more attacks on workers’ rights and benefits. Hoffa said Teamsters across the nation are more active and educated because of this historic Wisconsin recall election.

AFL-CIO: Wisconsin Recall Is Beginning, Not An End, As Union voters Go 75-25 Percent Against Walker

Doug Cunningham, Workers Independent News, June 7, 2012

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says, despite Walker’s win in Wisconsin, union voters overwhelmingly backed Walker opponent Tom Barrett in the historic recall election. A Hart Research Associates poll shows union voters voted against Walker by a 75 to 25 percent margin. Among public sector union members it was 85 – 15 percent against Walker. Trumka says this isn’t the end of the story, but the beginning.

“We have been awed by the tremendous outpouring of solidarity and energy from Wisconsin’s working families, against some pretty overwhelming odds. The new model that Wisconsin’s working families have built won’t go away after one election - it will only grow.”

The Message From Wisconsin

New York Times Editorial, June 7, 2012 When Governor Scott Walker moved to strip Wisconsin public employees of their collective-bargaining rights last year, a few weeks after taking office, it was clear that he wasn’t doing it to save the state money. If that had been the case, he would have accepted the unions’ agreement to pay far more in health care and pension costs. His real goal was political: to break the unions by demonizing their “bosses,” ending their ability even to collect dues and removing them as a source of money and energy for Democrats. On Tuesday ... it became clear just how effective that strategy has been. ... The

Wisconsin: What Happens When Movements Turn Into Campaigns

Bruce A. Dixon, Black Agenda Report, June 6, 2012 How did we get from hundreds of thousands in the streets of Madison, Wisconsin demanding union rights for everybody and fundamental economic justice for all, to a desultory set of Democratic campaigns for the candidates who, as they say, sucked the least, and ended up losing. Sixteen months ago the eyes of the nation and the world were on Madison, Wisconsin. Crowds in the tens of thousands surrounded, occupied and refused to leave the state capitol building. Local cops ignored orders to disperse them, and when authorities finally evicted protesters from hallways, offices and legislative chambers, their numbers grew ... Wisconsin

Heartbreak in the Heartland: Voices from Wisconsin

Labor Notes, June 6, 2012 Tom Barrett got 154,000 more votes against Scott Walker yesterday than in 2010, but it wasn’t enough, because Walker got 202,000 more votes than last time around. In 2010, he beat Barrett 52-47 percent, by 125,000 votes. This time, he beat Barrett 53-46 percent, by 173,000 votes. We're sharing some immediate reactions to the defeat in Wisconsin. Please join in and add your comments below. ... Heartbreak

Walker Victory: Democrat Fail and Wisconsin Crazies

Rob Kall, OpEdNews, June 6, 2012 Well, this is one, to be articulately accurate, sucky day. Governor Walker won by a big margin. The Democratic party came in late, with too little. Big Right wing money sources drowned the state in money, only for Crossroads, the massive, Rove run money PAC to mock Democrats for blaming Citizens United. Would you expect honesty and integrity from a Rove Right Wing venture? No. They know how to go for the big lie. (If you're going to lie, lie big. It's harder to disbelieve.) Obama avoided the state, but that was probably the right call. If he'd shown up the results would have probably been more in Walker's favor ... Walker

The Walker Recall

Robert Borosage,, June 6, 2012 That Governor Scott Walker survived the recall in Wisconsin is a tragic setback for the stunning citizen’s movement that challenged his extremist agenda in Wisconsin.
 Its implications are likely to be exaggerated by the right, and underplayed by progressives. Here are some thoughts on its meaning. 1. Extremism will be challenged: Scott Walker is now a conservative hero. The right’s mighty Wurlitzer will argue that Republican Governors and legislators will be emboldened because he survived. ... The

Young and Black Voters Turn Out in Wisconsin Despite Suppression Efforts

Brentin Mock, The Nation, June 6, 2012 It may not feel like there’s anything positive to make out of the unsuccessful bid to recall Governor Scott Walker in yesterday’s Wisconsin elections, but there were hints of optimism. Young voters and African-American voters did more than their part to show up, according to exit polls and early reports, despite significant efforts to confuse and challenge them from groups that profess to be fighting voter fraud. In Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s seven-point loss to Walker, voters aged 18–29 increased their slice of the electorate from 15 percent in 2010 to 16 percent yesterday. Black voters came out mob-deep. ... Young

GOP Declares National Victory in Wisconsin

Ben Adler, The Nation, June 6, 2012 Before the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election had even been called Tuesday night by the news networks, conservatives and Republicans were gleefully celebrating Governor Scott Walker’s impending victory. If you were watching Fox News, you were informed that the hastily organized June race in one state is a near-certain predictor of the presidential election results November. Moreover, unions that opposed Walker had not only been defeated in this one specific race; they had been exposed as out of touch with their own members and decisively crushed throughout the nation from today to the End of Times. ... GOP

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