March 2, 2011
UUP stands with Wisconsin public employees
UUP VP for Professionals John Marino, above, was one of a dozen speakers to address an Albany rally in support of workers and families of Wisconsin, and other states where labor rights are under attack.
“What’s happening in Wisconsin is an attack on public employees across the country,” Marino told the 300 supporters gathered Feb. 26 at the state Capitol. “Public employees are being blamed for the economic downfall. We didn't start this problem. In 2008, greed put us in the worst recession since the 1930s—not public workers.”
“Governors and state legislatures are going after our collective bargaining rights,” Marino added. “We can’t have that!”
Marino was joined at the Albany rally by UUP Secretary Eileen Landy and dozens of other UUPers, including Albany Chapter leaders Philippe Abraham and Kate Latal, and New Paltz Chapter President Richard Kelder. VP for Academics Fred Floss represented UUP at two rallies in the Buffalo area that same day. Landy also participated in a solidarity rally in Washington, D.C., the week prior.
The Albany rally was co-sponsored by New York State United Teachers, the New York State AFL-CIO, MoveOn.org and other labor organizations and advocates for working families.
Meanwhile, UUP Membership Development Officer Ed Quinn traveled to Madison, where he stood arm-in-arm with public-sector employees fighting for a voice in their professions. The protesters reject the notion that the only way to close the budget gap is to strip away workers’ rights.
In an e-mail sent on Day 1 of his three-day stint, Quinn wrote: “I participated in the rally here in Madison. It was very inspiring and reminded me very much of the protest against the Vietnam War. It was wall-to-wall people. People filled the Capitol Building and Capitol Square. … The chants were great. And there were none louder then these two: ‘Tell me what Democracy looks like, This is what Democracy looks like!’ and ‘What’s disgusting? Union busting!’”
For more on what’s happening in Wisconsin, go to www.defendwisconsin.org.
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