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Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
Wisconsin
With 250,000 members, the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO is the voice of Wisconsin's working families.
Recent Activity
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TAKE ACTION: The U.S. Senate is expected to vote shortly after Thanksgiving on President Trump’s tax scam to help the rich. We urge each and every union brother and sister to make a quick call to their Senator and urge them to vote NO on the tax plan by clicking HERE. Republicans in Congress have proposed a tax plan that favors corporations and the top 1% over working people. This tax scam raises taxes for millions of working families while Wall Street, private jet owners and the uber-rich make out like bandits. How the Republican Senate Tax Bill is Bad... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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Holiday Fantasy in Lights Setup at Olin Park Thousands of lights, hundreds of displays, 40 apprentices, dozens of retirees, 8 truckloads of displays and months of preparation all lead up to a flip of the switch on November 18 for the Grand Opening of the 2017 Holiday Fantasy in Lights in Madison’s Olin Park. The skills, expertise and time of IBEW Local 159 members make this annual holiday event possible. The preparation begins months in advance when Local 159 retirees solder and weld lights onto custom-built displays framed by a local ironworker. “Thousands and thousands of zip tie wraps later,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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Great news! The Legislature is finally considering a bill to help working Americans by implementing Buy American standards in the state procurement processes. Assembly Bill 297 is a “Made in America Act" authored by Representatives Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska) and Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) is up for a hearing today in the Assembly Committee on Government Accountability and Oversight. This bill would encourage the state to buy American-made goods and services. This move would support American workers and jobs and boost our American economy. Click here to tell your legislator it’s time to honor the traditions and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
The Republican tax bill gives massive tax breaks to big corporations to outsource jobs and ends working family friendly deductions. Under the House GOP bill, a business that creates jobs in the United States would pay a 20% tax on profits, but a big corporation that outsources those same jobs wouldn’t pay a penny in U.S. taxes on any profits it earns from outsourcing. Working families would end up paying more taxes as the GOP seeks to end deductions for housing, state and local taxes, union dues, medical expenses and educational costs. Call 1-844-899-9913 or click here to be connected... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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It’s time to tell Congress to honor their promise to our veterans and fully staff the VA. There are currently 49,000 vacant positions at Veterans Affairs across the country – many for doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and other essential care givers. Our veterans didn’t serve our country just to come back to wait in line or fight with big hospital corporations to receive the quality care they deserve. Across the nation, concerned veterans, citizens and VA workers are rallying to call for full staffing levels at the VA. WHAT: Milwaukee Rally to fully staff the VA DATE: Thursday, November... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
Next Tuesday, November 7, the Wisconsin Senate is set to debate and vote on a set of dangerous bills, AJR 20, AJR 21 and AB 165, calling for a federal constitutional convention. These bills passed the Assembly in June. A constitutional convention would re-open our U.S. Constitution, essentially putting our democracy and freedom up for grabs to the highest bidder. If a constitution convention is held, at risk are the freedoms and rights we often take for granted such as the Bill of Rights, what policies our government can or cannot do, presidential powers, the rules and roll of Congress... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
The hard-working men and women of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO seek to protect and raise the wages of all of those who work. Wage theft, which is the failure to pay workers the full wages that are legally owed to them, is of grave concern. The victims of wage theft are working people who are being cheated out of their earned wages. Wisconsin AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Stephanie Bloomingdale testified Thursday, October 16, at the Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform in support of Senate Bill 371, urging the Committee to vote in favor of the legislation and bring the bill... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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CASH PRIZES! 2017-18 ESSAY CONTEST ON LABOR HISTORY Download the flyer The Wisconsin Labor History Society announces its Essay Contest for the 2017-2018 School Year for Wisconsin high school students, Grades 9-12. Submissions of around 750 words must be postmarked Feb. 15. ON THE TOPIC: “Unions have been important to my family and my community because . . .” Students are urged to interview family members, neighbors, friends or others for their stories about work and unions. Teachers are urged to assist students in their efforts. WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT . . . Here’s what winners in recent contests chose... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
The next two weeks in the Capitol will see a flurry of legislative activity as legislators prepare for the final floor period of the calendar year: October 30-November 10, where both the Senate and Assembly are expected to be on the floor taking various votes. Here is an overview of the status of bills that are sure to affect working families around the state. Please contact your Senator and Representatives on these importance issues via the Wisconsin Legislative Hotline: 1-800-362-9472 Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council Agreed-Upon Bill (to be introduced shortly) The Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council has completed negotiations and sent... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
Nearly every legislative session since 2011, a Republican legislator has introduced legislation to attack our strong Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act. Each and every time, Wisconsin’s working men and women have sounded the alarm, resulting in no changes to Wisconsin’s FMLA. This legislative session proves to be no different. Late last week, Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) circulated draft legislation, LRB 2015, that would significantly weaken and gut Wisconsin’s FMLA. This draft legislation could be introduced any day. Wisconsin was one of the first states to pass a Family and Medical Leave Act in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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Union members are part of the community and are often giving back to our neighbors and neighborhoods. Whether it is sending 300 first responders and skilled volunteers to Puerto Rico to help with disaster relief, organizing to handout cleaning supplies in Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey or holding charitable drives to help those in need, union members use our strength, solidarity and skills to give back. It was no different this year when volunteers with UA Steamfitters Local 601 used their pipe skills knowledge and training to do heat and maintenance checks for local veterans in their annual... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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People in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have been hit hard by hurricanes in the past few weeks. In Puerto Rico, tens of thousands of people are without power and are in desperate need of clean drinking water, food and medical supplies. Union members are stepping up to help. A group of 300 AFL-CIO members are being deployed to Puerto Rico this Wednesday to bring their skills and expertise to lend a hand and do relief work on the island. A plane has been chartered to bring more than 300 unionists -- nurses, health care professionals, transportation workers,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
As the Senate Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing, and State-Federal Relations holds an executive session Thursday to vote on the undemocratic License Review Council Bill, SB 288, the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO released the following statement: “Whether it is electricians, plumbers, health care providers, or welders, Wisconsinites have been able to rest easy for decades knowing that these workers have been adequately trained, tested and licensed by the state in order to ensure high-quality and safe service for consumers as well as a safe, stable workplace for workers,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. “Politicians in Madison want... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
The Senate Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing, and State-Federal Relations scheduled an executive session this Thursday to vote on the undemocratic License Review Council Bill, SB 288. This bill is a direct attack on our skills and trade, and on the quality that the public has come to expect from qualified and licensed professionals. Whether it is electricians, plumbers, health care providers, or welders, Wisconsinites can rest easy knowing that these workers have been adequately trained, tested and licensed by the state to ensure high-quality and safe service for all consumers as well as a safe, stable workplace for every... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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With the Workers Memorial Gazebo falling into disrepair at Zeidler Union Square Park in Milwaukee, the Wisconsin labor movement, together with community business partners, took action and spearheaded a Workers Memorial Gazebo Restoration Project. The Gazebo, which opened in 1995, has served as the launching ground for Labor Day marches and Workers Memorial Day commemoration events for decades. The Milwaukee Area Labor Council and the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO have a long-standing Memorandum of Understanding with Milwaukee County to be the stewards and keepers of the Gazebo. Zeidler Union Square came into being in 1995 when the Milwaukee County Board renamed... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, Gov. Walker’s 2017-2019 Budget will go to the Assembly for a floor vote. Later this week, the Budget will be taken up by the Senate for a floor vote. Once the Governor signs the Budget into law, it will be nearly three months overdue. The Budget Bill still contains many harmful proposals and provisions for working families. The State Assembly and Senate now have an opportunity to make changes to the Budget and improve the budget by removing items that hurt working people. It is imperative to make your voice heard in these final days... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
Late last night, after months of waiting and delays, not to mention the day after a long Labor Day weekend when many families were discussing what happened on the first day of school, JFC Co-Chairs Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) released their 20-page Transportation Budget Motion. Their motion, passed along party lines, calls for a complete repeal of Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage statutes: continuing the repeal of the local prevailing wage statute and repealing prevailing wage statutes for both state building projects and state highway projects. It also called for 200 jobs to be cut from... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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The Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades invites all area Bikers to join them in the Third Annual Milwaukee Building Trades Annual Poker Run & Car Show on Saturday, September 9th. All proceeds will benefit Veteran’s organizations, Dryhootch and Veterans Outreach Wisconsin. Donations or contributions are accepted at the Building Trades office 5941 W. Bluemound Road, Milwaukee. The run will start at Sheehan’s Pub, 8741 N Granville Rd, Milwaukee. The first bike out will be at 11:00 am. Registration will be opened from 9:30 am to 10:30 am at the start point. Entry fees are: Rider $25.00 / Rider & Passenger... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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Americans across the country are giving labor unions the thumbs up. A new Gallup poll released today found that an overwhelming 61% of Americans support unions. This is the highest level of support since 2003. People understand that unions bring balance to our economy by putting a needed check on corporate power and greed. There’s no power like the power of coming together as a team in a union with your coworkers for a bigger paycheck, a safer workplace and a better life. Another Labor Day report unveiled today by the AFL-CIO shows that as the freedom to join a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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A new Labor Day report unveiled today by the AFL-CIO shows that working people are working more and taking fewer vacation days. The report is based on findings from a national survey conducted for the AFL-CIO by the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, and was produced in collaboration with the Economic Policy Institute and the Labor Project for Working Families. While 78% of workers say they have the day off on Labor Day, more than a quarter of those people expect to do some work, and more than half of those working will not receive overtime benefits. More than... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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Union families in the greater Madison area are holding a Harley Davidson Raffle to honor Elliott Copan, a member, officer and active volunteer for Plumbers Union Local 75 and former South Central Federation of Labor Executive Board member who passed away from cancer earlier this year. His wife together with Plumbers Local 75 are raffling off his Custom Motor Trike Harley Davidson. Honoring Elliot’s altruistic spirit, all proceeds from the raffle will benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Research for Esophageal Cancer, and the Workers Memorial & Stage on the Madison Labor Temple grounds. Raffle Information: Raffle Tickets $20 PURCHASE tickets... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
Wisconsinites have come to trust that we will receive high quality work by licensed professionals. Whether it is electricians, plumbers, health care providers, or welders, the public can rest easy knowing that these workers have been adequately trained, tested and licensed to ensure high-quality and safe service for all consumers as well as a safe, stable workplace for every worker. Now, after being pulled from the budget last spring, a bill that could weaken our current system of professional licensing, SB 288 and AB 369, is up for debate and passage in the legislature. SB 288 and AB 369 could... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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On Labor Day, we recognize and honor the achievements of all of America’s working people. As we enjoy the fellowship of our loved ones at a barbecue, fireworks or other community event, it also is important to reflect on the best ways working people can come together to build an economy that works for all of us. This Labor Day, we stand together for the freedom to collectively bargain together with your coworkers as a team for a better life. Join union brothers and sisters and community members around the state as we celebrate all who labor. On Labor Day,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
In order for the Foxconn deal to be a winner for Wisconsin, it must work for Wisconsin workers and taxpayers. The Foxconn incentive package should be inked with ironclad protections for taxpayers, local governments, and Wisconsin workers. Currently, the Foxconn bill, AU7 AB 1 and AU7 SB 1, is silent on worker protections, safety standards and the freedom to join a union. At the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, we’re calling on the Wisconsin Legislature to fix the Foxconn deal and include provisions outlined in our Statement of Principles for a Fair Foxconn Deal that put Wisconsin workers first, support workers’ rights,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
As the Wisconsin Legislature begins a special session to adopt a multi-billion-dollar incentive package to subsidize Foxconn, the Wisconsin AFL-CIO is outlining key principles that must be included in order for the deal to be fair for Wisconsin workers and taxpayers. The Foxconn incentive package should be inked with ironclad protections for taxpayers, local governments, and Wisconsin workers. Any deal must support good job creation standards, a safe workplace and the American freedom to stand together as a team with your coworkers to form a union. “Working people deserve the same freedom corporate CEOs have: the freedom to negotiate a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog