This article originally appeared in Huffington Post. Region III of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) convened in Columbus this week. The hall was filled with people who’ve spent more than their share of time out in the elements making sure the community has the lights on, warmth in the winter, cool in the […]Read More →
Let’s turn things around in 2016
Dear Brother or Sister:
Despite the best efforts of the UWUA and the entire labor movement, we suffered some serious defeats in the 2010 and 2014 mid-term elections. These defeats are particularly serious in some high Union dense states where new rightwing governors and legislative majorities are determined to cripple our labor movement by rolling back workers rights. We face right-to-work, the destruction of public employee bargaining and organizing rights, as well as other policies to destroy the gains that labor has fought for and achieved over the years.
The battles being waged against workers in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Jersey (just to name a few), continue. There are currently 17 States with anti-Union legislative agendas, such as “right-to-work”. In fact, right-to-work legislation was signed into law by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, after it was rammed through the 2012 lame duck legislative session. Indiana also became a right-to-work State that year and Wisconsin became a right to work State in 2015. If these legislative attacks against Unions are not pushed back, it will be an end to the labor movement as we know it.
WE NEED A WAR CHEST TO SAVE OUR UNION AND OUR LABOR MOVEMENT.
President Langford and I are asking every local to appoint a COPE Chair and Committee to develop a plan for raising political funds.
The most effective way to do this is to get COPE paycheck deduction. Can you imagine if all 50,000 of our members gave just $1.00 per week to the UWUA-COPE fund? We could raise millions while our members didn't even notice the money gone from their paychecks. This will, of course, require establishing COPE check off with the employer. There are several ways to achieve this. For one, many employers have established their own political fund through paycheck deduction and are required by law to make the same accommodation for the Union. Another way is to add a language for payroll deduction to your Collective Bargaining Agreement. While the Companies that you work for are looking after their own political interest, shouldn’t we be doing the same?
Some of our members have been contributing to the UWUA-COPE fund for years (we do not, and will not, use our member’s dues for political purposes). We can no longer rely on contributions from a minority of the membership. This will require some effort and leadership, but it is very doable. This is much easier to do, than to find ourselves with little or no power and too late to do anything about it.
“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”
Thanks for all you do every day!
John DuffyClick Here For Your State's Voters Guide
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