By Freedom Road Socialist Organization
The workers in Wisconsin have risen up in opposition to Republican Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to end public sector unionism in the state. These workers deserve the support of all trade unionists, students and all people of conscience.
The center of the class struggle in the United States has moved to Wisconsin. The dramatic attacks on workers in Wisconsin will spread to other states if they are not stopped here. Wisconsin is the place and now is the time to say enough is enough.
The goal of this assault is to transfer money from the working class to the rich. In the context of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, Gov. Walker wants to balance the state budget on the backs of public workers. He wants to do this by destroying unions of public workers.
After only six weeks in office the governor put forward a plan that prohibits all public sector unions from negotiating over benefits and working conditions, outlaws union representation in the University of Wisconsin system, transfers half the government pension obligation to its workers and raises health insurance contributions to at least 12.6%. The governor’s plan also makes the collection of union dues burdensome, voluntary and near impossible.
The governor has refused to discuss any of these issues with workers. Walker wants to push his plan though with the new Republican Party majorities in the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly. This is a slap in the face to all workers in Wisconsin and everywhere.
Workers are not taking this lying down. They have organized huge protests inside the capitol and throughout the state. Around the clock, they are demanding Wisconsin state politicians do not take away the freedoms that workers have won.
Special note should be made of the students who have joined this fight. Like the students who occupied administration building in California last year, their sense of solitary and will to take action are making are real difference in this fight.
In the days ahead, everything possible should be done to support the workers of Wisconsin. They stand as an example to working people everywhere who want better lives. They have the same spirit as the people of Egypt. They are standing up, fighting back and challenging their oppressors. By continuing on this road, the workers and students of Wisconsin are sure to win.