Magazine article International Musician

AFM Condemns Passing of Union-Busting Legislation

Magazine article International Musician

AFM Condemns Passing of Union-Busting Legislation

Article excerpt

March 10 was a disappointing day for millions of pro-labor Americans who had been following the unprecedented attacks on labor rights in Wisconsin. State Senate Republicans found a loophole, and despite the absence of the 14 Democrats, were able to pass Governor Walker's legislation without meeting the quorum of 20 votes. The bill was signed into law, though a Wisconsin judge has since temporarily halted it by issuing a restraining order on the grounds of open meeting violations.

"The American Federation of Musicians condemns the latest action by the ruling class to strip most Wisconsin public employees of the right to organize and bargain," says AFM President Ray Hair. "This setback will affect all of us in organized labor, but events in Wisconsin have certainly fired up working people nationwide to oppose further attacks on their livelihood. As we all know, management is our best organizer."

Local 1000 (nongeographic) President John McCutcheon adds, "In recent days it has become clear that the real goal is to strip workers of their rights to negotiate anything other than wages, which are already legally capped."

These legislative actions are not unique to Wisconsin; Ohio and Indiana state employees now face similar attacks. "It has nothing to do with budget, like they say it does," says Local 3 (Indianapolis, IN) Secretary-Treasurer Martin Hodapp. "It's union-busting, plain and simple." Local 3 members showed their support and solidarity by playing at several protest rallies, among the thousands of supporters that descended upon the Indiana Statehouse.

In Ohio, Local 4 (Cleveland, Ohio) has been hard at work using music to both show support and educate the public about SB 5. Dropkick Murphys, a popular Irish punk band of Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) members, showcased state employees affected by the bill during a March 6 performance. …

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