Magazine article International Musician

Local 166 Stands against Anti-Union Bill

Magazine article International Musician

Local 166 Stands against Anti-Union Bill

Article excerpt

For more than one week now, union members and labor sympathizers have gathered in Madison, Wisconsin, in protest of Republican Governor Scott Walker's recent legislative attempt Members of AFM Locals 166 (Madison, WI) and Local 8 (Milwaukee, WI) were among the crowds, playing union music as a show of solidarity and support.

"The AFM joins its brothers and sisters in Wisconsin and elsewhere in condemning this assault that, in effect, would undermine middle-class jobs by lowering wages, shrinking benefits, weakening unions, and destroying collective bargaining," says AFM President Ray Hair.

Citing a $3.6 billion deficit, Walker is aggressively attacking unionized state employees. His bill would end collective bargaining, effectively taking away workers' ability to negotiate hours, working conditions, and benefits. Walker originally said the bill was aimed at having workers contribute more to health and pension benefits, but now that public employees have agreed to those concessions, it is clear that the bill is really about stripping workers' rights.

Wisconsin's Democratic Senators are standing in solidarity with the workers. In a historic move, all 14 fled the state in order to deny the Republican majority the quorum of 20 required to vote on a bill.

According to Local 166 President Brian Whitty, AFM member participation is more than a show of support for union brothers and sisters. "Part of many musicians' living is being a public school teacher, a university professor, or having part-time government jobs that offer flexibility and stability," says Whitty. "There are a lot of our members who are affected by this piece of legislation. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.