As the Wisconsin legislature is in the process of stripping away collective bargaining rights for public employees and Christie officials prepare to begin meeting with collective bargaining units today, Assembly members Linda Stender, Thomas Giblin and Wayne DeAngelo announced that they are introducing a measure on Monday expressing the General Assembly’s support of these long-standing rights for Wisconsin employees.
“As many have noted, collective bargaining rights are human rights,” said Stender (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “Without them, we’ll see a continuous erosion of the standard of living for working and middle class families. We want the dedicated public workers of Wisconsin to know that we stand with them in this fight.”
The resolution expresses support for the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin state, public school, municipal, and University of Wisconsin employees. It also acknowledges, despite these hard economic times, the great value and worth of these employees and reaffirms the legitimacy of their right to sit down with their employer in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
“For decades, labor unions have been responsible for the humane working conditions many of us take for granted,” said Giblin (D-Essex/Passaic). “They are a central part of our democracy and help support a strong middle-class society. These employees deserve access to collective bargaining as an enlightened method to resolve disagreements in good faith.”
The resolution stresses the better working conditions that labor unions have helped secure, including: 40-hour work weeks; child labor laws; health and safety conditions; overtime pay; and health insurance and pension coverage.
“This is about standing up for our working-class brothers and sisters who are having their rights trampled on by those in power,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Collective bargaining is what has helped create a fair and civil working environment for countless Americans. Although we may be on the other side of the country, we stand with the workers of Wisconsin who deserve these rights just like everyone else.”
The resolution also notes that while Wisconsin was one of the earliest states to guarantee public employees the right to organize and bargain collectively, New Jersey also granted those rights to its public employees in the 1960’s.
The sponsors intend to introduce the measure when the Assembly is in session on Monday.