by AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee | March 21, 2011
The following letter from AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee appeared in Monday's edition of The Washington Post.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made no mention of the massive $117 million in tax breaks he provided for wealthy corporations before he launched his power grab to silence the voices of working men and women. Mr. Walker was more interested in stripping nurses, teachers, corrections officers, bus drivers and emergency medical technicians of their hard-won rights than pulling together to find real solutions to meet the problems in his state.
Now, he has used The Post to paint a decidedly false picture of his record. The battle in Wisconsin was not about balancing the budget. The right of collective bargaining has no impact on any budget. What led more than 100,000 dedicated people to rally outside the state Capitol was the governor’s reckless attempt to destroy the ability of middle-class workers to have a voice.
Public employees fought long and hard for the right to collective bargaining. Forty-three years ago next month, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died defending the right of collective bargaining for sanitation workers in Memphis. We will not forget his sacrifice. Nor will we forget the treachery of politicians who run for office claiming jobs are their top priority but then spend their first months in office taking away the rights of workers. America’s working families know the difference between right and wrong.