Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers are on strike in Shorewood, Wisconsin (a suburb of Milwaukee) because VJS, the general contractor for a major development project, refuses to hire certified crane operators. Instead, VJS hired uncertified workers to operate the crane using a remote so they can “multi-task” and do other projects on the construction site.
I brought coffee to the union members this afternoon and they were incredibly grateful. It’s 30 degrees and miserable outside today, and it’s a rough time of year to be on strike. Milwaukee folks, if you have a chance to swing by and drop off coffee or just offer a word of encouragement, I’m sure the union members would be grateful.
If you’re not in Milwaukee but would like to offer support, perhaps consider calling in a pizza order? Ian’s Pizza (414-727-9200) will deliver to the picket line (4060 N. Oakland Avenue). Especially after the holiday weekend and as we enter a new year, it would be nice to show those on strike some support.
The protestors filled three floors of the rotunda inside the Capitol building. They also made their presence known in and around the Romney Building. They could be heard chanting “Hey he, ho ho, right-to-work has got to go” as they banged on railings inside the Capitol. Michigan State Police arrested at least three of the protestors and pepper sprayed a handful of others.
Photo from AFT Michigan
Protests Erupt in Michigan Over Republican Anti-Union Legislation
Police arrested several protesters and they threw mace at a crowd gathered at the Michigan State House today. As the Detroit Free Press reports, State Police used “chemical munitions” when the crowd tried to rush the Senate floor.
More from the Detroit Free Press:
Gov. Snyder’s right-to-work initiative has the coordinated support of Americans for Prosperity, the conservative non-profit organization that funded Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to strip that state’s public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights.
[Wisconsin labor] activists who framed their mass protests in February and March of 2011 on constitutional lines, arguing that their rights were under attack, may well have understood the real issues better than the governor or his legislative allies.
--John Nichols, Wisconsin Judge Rules Walker’s Anti-Labor Law Unconstitutional (via quickhits)
Some highlights from the CTU rally downtown! Support Chicago teachers!
The nickelback one made me giggle.
I wish I knew about “said no teacher ever” when I was protesting with Wisconsin!
Rahm says cut back. We say fight back.
--Chant outside of the Chicago Public Schools headquarters. Chicago teachers are on strike for the first time in 25 years.
Scott Walker You’re Fired (Live at RebuildWI) - Jasiri X (by jasirix)
Recall. Refund. Rebuild. You can vote early by going to your municipal clerk’s office between now and June 1st. Milwaukee: if you need a ride to the municipal building to vote early, shuttles are available every day.