Abita Springs, LA—(ENEWSPF)—February 25, 2011. The National Guard District Council (NGDC) of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) stands side-by-side with our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin, and in every other State where the rights of employees are being threatened.
The events in Wisconsin are very near and dear to our members. As public sector workers, federal employees of the National Guard recognize that our ability to organize and approach management on a level playing field in matters of pay and working conditions is as sacred as our country’s founding principles. Collective bargaining is a right, not a government granted privilege that can be turned-on and off indiscriminately. Collective bargaining rights, whether in the public or private sector, are a much needed “check-and-balance” that ensure employers respect the rights of those who work for or with them, period. Many take for granted the protections that they enjoy today, such as the 40 hour work week, overtime, and safety standards. All of these labor laws would have never been possible without workers organizing and demanding that their rights be respected.
This is no longer about budget cuts. From the very beginning, the workers have said that they understand cuts are needed, and are willing to do their part, but that they cannot agree to give up their rights. If the governor is truly interested in fixing the budget then he should stay on point and take the Unions up on their concession offers. However, Gov. Walker has refused to budge. He insists that, in order to cut the budget, workers will have to give up their rights. This is akin to saying that, in order to balance the federal budget, American citizens will have to give up their right to free speech, or to due process, or any of our other fundamental human rights. Would you stand for that?
Thomas Jefferson once said:
“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
We agree, completely, with Jefferson, and we feel that Gov. Walker’s attempt to deny workers their natural right to have a say in their employment is more ideology than fiscal conservatism.
It is wrong, it is unnecessary; it is contrary to our founding principles, plain and simple.