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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
The role of women in America’s unions will be examined at the 37th Annual Conference of the Wisconsin Labor History Society, Saturday, April 7, at Laborers Local 113 Hall in Milwaukee. Entitled, “Women and the Labor Movement: The Quest for Gender Equity and Lessons for the Future,” the conference will review the history of women in the workplace and in their unions, the present status of women unionists and prospects for the future. Annelise Orleck, professor of history at Dartmouth College and historian and author on women’s and workplace issues, will open the conference. Women workers from various occupations (industrial,... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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The Wisconsin AFL-CIO is proud to welcome Kenyan lawyer, human rights activist and former UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association Maina Kiai to Milwaukee. Kiai will be participating in UW Milwaukee Institute of World Affair’s Fireside Forum. Kiai will discuss the important issue of voting rights at a unique time in Wisconsin history as voters face new hurdles to casting their ballot and the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering is debated in the U.S. Supreme Court. In December 2016, Kiai was awarded the AFL-CIO George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award for his dedication... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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On Saturday, February 24, in cities across the country, thousands will unite to demand an end to an economy that’s rigged in favor of the wealthy and most powerful. Learn more and join us here. The Working People’s Day of Action is about demanding an end to the rigged economy and defending our freedoms. On February 24, we will stand up for the freedom of working people to come together and fight for decent and equitable pay for our work, affordable health care, quality schools, vibrant communities and a secure future for all of us. Join us for a Rally... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2018 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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Workers in northeast Wisconsin have something to celebrate. Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local 1947 in Fond du Lac just ratified a great new contract at Mercury Marine which is sure to set standards for working families in the manufacturing industry. Standing together in solidarity, Machinists Local 1947 members were able to buck the trend of two-tier wages, ending the practice of unequal pay for equal work. IAMAW Local 1947 members came together and stayed together in a grand show of solidarity to say “enough is enough” to two-tier wages. “This isn’t a onetime... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2018 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
Bill to Preempt Local, Democratic Control of Employment Standards (AB 748) to Receive Public Hearing Wednesday, February 7 in the Assembly. At the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, we’ve been alerting you to Senate Bill 634 / Assembly Bill 748, co-authored by Sen. Kapenga (R- Delafield) & Rep. Hutton (R-Brookfield), a dangerous attack on workers, our rights, and our local democratic processes. Many of you have written letters and attended the public hearing in the Senate in January. On Wednesday, the Assembly Committee on Local Government will hear public testimony on AB 748 at 1:00 p.m. at the State Capitol. Come and testify... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2018 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
Save the date! This annual event promises excitement, education, and motivation - an agenda filled with workshops and keynote/political speakers! Specifics will be mailed out at a later date but we wanted to make sure you had the necessary information for planning and budgeting purposes. We would like to encourage ALL affiliates to send at least one participant to the conference. April 5 - 7, 2018 Radisson Hotel and Conference Center 2040 Airport Drive Green Bay, WI 54313 800-333-3333 or 920-494-7300 The tentative overall conference agenda, with approximate times, is as follows: Thursday, April 5th 10:00 a.m. registration begins 1:00... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2018 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
Great news from Wisconsin’s 10th Senate District. In an energizing victory for working Wisconsinites, Democrat Patty Schachtner shatters the 17-year Republican hold on Senate District 10 with a commanding victory in last night’s special election. Wisconsin AFL-CIO endorsed candidate Patty Schachtner, a medical examiner and school board member, won with 55 percent of the vote. Wisconsin’s 10th Senate District in Western Wisconsin has been a Republican stronghold for more than a decade and went for Mitt Romney in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016 by large margins. Against long odds and big out-of-state dollars, union members and working people bundled... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2018 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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Wisconsin AFL-CIO Endorsed Candidate Patty Schachtner Wins in Wisconsin’s deeply red 10th Senate District in energizing victory for working people “In a major sea change for working people in a Republican stronghold in Western Wisconsin, voters have elected a democratic leader with 55 percent of the vote,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “Senator-elect Schachtner will advance working class issues like creating jobs, raising wages and protecting the freedom to join together in union for a better tomorrow. Wisconsinites know that Gov. Scott Walker has taken our state backwards by rolling back the clock on worker rights and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2018 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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Senator Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Representative Hutton (R- Brookfield) have introduced a harmful bill that, if passed, will preempt many ways in which local governments in Wisconsin could enhance employment standards in their own communities. Senate Bill 634 & Assembly Bill 748 would make sweeping changes to how working people can increase fairness and justice within work places. On Wednesday, January 10, Wisconsin AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Stephanie Bloomingdale was at the Capitol to testify at the Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform against the bill. Click here to email your representatives in opposition of SB 634. “Senate Bill 634 would preempt... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2018 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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On Tuesday, January 16, there will be a special election in Senate District 10. Senate District 10 is located in Western Wisconsin and is composed of parts of Burnett, Polk, St. Croix, Pierce and Dunn Counties. A special election is being held to fill the seat formerly held by Senator Sheila Harsdorf, who resigned her senate seat when she was appointed by Gov. Walker to Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The Wisconsin AFL-CIO has endorsed Patty Schachtner in the special election to be our next state senator! Patty shares our union values and will... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2018 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
Republicans in Wisconsin are wasting no time attacking workers in the New Year. A bill that preempts a local municipality from enacting a local living wage, fair scheduling standard, and a host of other measures that would improve the lives of working people is up for a public hearing at the state Capitol on Wednesday, January, 10. Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform Public Hearing on SB 634 Wednesday, January 10, 2018 10 a.m. 411 South, State Capitol Senate Bill 634 will preempt many ways in which local governments in Wisconsin could enhance employment standards in their own communities,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2018 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
The Koch Brothers are pulling the strings of Wisconsin GOP legislators yet again. Ideological Republican legislators in Wisconsin have picked-up and pushed multiple bills developed by the Koch Brother network to attack, weaken and undermine safe professional and occupational licensing standards in Wisconsin. De-licensing proposals have been backed by the Koch Brother organization Americans for Prosperity and the anti-worker Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. Reckless proposals, outlined below, will intentionally undermine our state licensure system which protects both workers and consumers. Value of Licensing: State licensing provides the critical link between the customer and professional. Wisconsinites have come to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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As the holiday shopping season ramps up, remember to use your purchasing power to support good, local jobs by prioritizing union-made, Wisconsin-made and American-made gifts for friends and family. Together, we can harness the power of working families to support Wisconsin workers and create a virtuous cycle of upward growth to boost local economies and support good jobs across the state. In Wisconsin, we make an array of great union-made gifts for every budget – from warm socks to top-notch pots and pans, hand-crafted sausages, cold beer, durable washers and dryers and more! At the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, we’ve put together... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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Call now to stop the Tax Bill that would raise taxes on millions of middle-class Americans in order to fund big tax breaks for the rich. The bill could be up for a vote as early as this evening or later this week. Senator Ron Johnson could be a deciding vote in whether this horrible tax rewrite for working families passes or fails. ***Call Senator Ron Johnson’s office at (202) 224-5323 and urge him to vote no on the tax bill*** The Senate is set to vote on this deeply unpopular tax scheme that is unfair to working people. For... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2017 at Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog
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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 Nov 21, 2017 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