Latest Solidarity Issue

Another big day of protests in Wisconsin, Ohio

03/01/11

President, polls stand with middle class

Yesterday, President Obama expressed his continued support for workers’ rights when he addressed the National Governors’ Association on Monday.

"I don't think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon,” said the president, speaking to a bipartisan group of the nation’s governors at the White House. 

Ohioans demonstrate against Senate Bill 5, which would strip public workers of their rights.

And a new nationwide poll by New York Times/CBS conducted Feb. 24-27 found that Americans oppose weakening the bargaining rights of public employee unions by a margin of nearly two to one: 60 percent to 33 percent.

In Wisconsin, people continued their protests in Madison and throughout the state Monday. There were reports that the doors to the Capitol were locked to keep the protesters out and windows were being welded shut.

AFSCME Council 24 filed unfair labor practice charges against Gov. Walker today for failing to negotiate in good faith with state workers. The complaint states that since taking office, Walker has made no attempt to bargain with state employees as required by law. Even before taking office, Walker worked to scuttle a tentative agreement between the state and union members.

The Republican Governor's Association (RGA) is launching radio and TV ads today telling people to "stand with Walker." A list of the RGA's donors reveals the Koch brothers, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Fox parent company News Corp.

But middle-class Americans have their own message: “I stand with Wisconsin.” You can view videos here. They’re not alone. According to a poll by Public Policy Polling, if voters in Wisconsin could do it over, today they'd support defeated Democratic nom

More than 20,000 people attended Tuesday's rally.
inee Tom Barrett over Scott Walker by a 52-45 margin. 

In Ohio, some 20,000 people are expected to descend on the Statehouse today for a “Rally to Save Ohio’s Middle Class” starting 10:30 a.m. and continuing all day. The rally is being streamed online here.  Or follow the rally on Twitter at #standupOH #AngryOH.  A website for Ohio rallies, www.angrybuckeyes.com, was designed to attract younger and nonunion supporters.  Videos on the website are going viral. 

The Stand Up For Ohio Facebook page has 115,082 supporters as of this morning and has been helping get folks out to the rallies.  

In addition to proposed Senate Bill 5 that would eliminate collective bargaining rights and salary schedules for Ohio public workers,  the Ohio School Facilities Commission voted on Feb. 24 to take away the right for school districts in the state to require project labor agreements or prevailing wages in contracts for school construction projects.

The resolution passed by the commission can be found here.

Prevailing wage laws are essential to creating decent jobs that pay good wages and support our local economies – and they ensure quality in Ohio’s construction projects. Without prevailing wage laws, we’ll end up with a race to the bottom where the contract goes to the lowest bidder, who would hire at subpar wages and cuts corners on road and bridge safety.