Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wisconsin recall: we cant allow the 1 percent to set our public and economic

Statement by the Communications Workers of America on last night's results in the Wisconsin recall: 

We've heard a lot of back and forth about what the Wisconsin vote means.

It's clear to us at the Communications Workers of America that it means that the 1 percent can reach into just about every aspect of our political lives. And that must be stopped. Ordinary people will never have economic and social justice if we continue down this road of allowing big money in politics and allowing the 1 percent to set our public policy and national agenda.

At the core of this fight is collective bargaining rights. Corporate and right wing interests oppose public and private sector bargaining rights, because organized workers have an independent voice in our democracy.

Without bargaining rights, it's no surprise that workers' real wages have been stagnant for 40 years, or that all the productivity gains workers have produced over the past 30 years have ended up in corporate profits or management payouts.

Without bargaining rights, we won't have an economic recovery. There will be no effective consumer demand. That's the model that works in established democracies like Germany and growing ones like Brazil.  In the U.S., however, we've allowed the 1 percent to work to destroy this critical economic and public policy standard.

In Wisconsin, we saw right wing billionaires dump $40 million into paid media and a ground campaign. We saw that just two donors to the Walker campaign provided him with $3 million, more than Tom Barrett's entire campaign fund.

CWA members and allies did amazing work in Wisconsin and tremendous work on the ground. There were tens of thousands of volunteers knocking on 800,000 doors and making 1.5 million phone calls. There were worksite contacts and get-out-the-vote efforts that lasted long into election night. 

But in today's world, that doesn't stack up against the millions of dollars the other side spent to stop workers from having bargaining rights.

We need a renewed progressive movement — in workplaces, in the streets and at the ballot box — to start to reverse results like those of last night. That will happen.

For release June 6, 2012

Contact: Candice Johnson or Chuck Porcari, CWA Communications, 202-434-1168

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