A Message From Your AFSCME Council 65

A Message From Your AFSCME Council 65

May 2016


Andrew McCuaig- a dedicated teacher at Madison LaFollette High School, Madison, WI  recently wrote an opinion/editorial to the Madison Capital Times newspaper that is worth sharing about why workers should support their union.  Mr. McCuaig’s opinion/ editorial implored his coworkers to support their union as times are tough for our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin.  It is eloquent and insightful.  Upon permission of Mr. McCuaig, I have reprinted, in part, his opinion/editorial:

Joining a union is an act of faith-a belief that people coming together with similar daily work lives can have an impact on those people who may have goals that don’t take into account anything but the bottom line.  By joining a union, you are asserting that you were not put on this earth merely to do what you were told, but that you believe you should have a say in your own livelihood.  But more than that, as a union member you believe that wealth should be more evenly distributed, that supervisors should not have absolute power, and that the details of the actual work should be mutually agreed upon, because you cannot get that coal out of the ground, that car made, or that student to graduate without a contract that respects both sides.

Joining a union is also a practical matter.  Wherever unions exist, wages are higher.  That is one reason why some politicians have tried to weaken unions whenever they can.  Fair wages, vacation days, sick leave, maternity leave, overtime, seniority, even the notion of a 40-hour-work-week-all exist because of the labor movement, and all cut into a company’s bottom line. 

When you pay union dues, you are supporting a staff that bargains on your behalf, that defends you when you require defending, or, more likely, defends someone else you might not even know who has your same job and is being treated unfairly.  If the accused has truly screwed up, they get due process and what’s coming to them.  If they haven’t, they are not simply fired as in a Donald Trump dream world but are given their job back.  The employer, meanwhile, is given a message not to abuse its authority.   

Minnesota workers must take note of what happened in Wisconsin and do whatever it takes to preserve our rights in the workplace.  Workers rights can be gone in the blink of an eye with the wrong politicians in power.