Walker’s Attacks Strengthen River Falls Faculty Resolve to Vote For Union

Galvanized by Gov. Scott Walker's move to eliminate their freedom to collectively bargain for good middle-class jobs, faculty at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls voted 148-16 today in favor of union representation through AFT-Wisconsin, an affiliate of AFT.

"What we've seen at UW-River Falls today is an extension of what we've seen across our state since Walker announced his disastrous bill," said Wes Chapin, a professor of political science at River Falls.

Our state is at a crossroads. Wisconsin has a long and proud history of fairness, integrity and progressivism. The labor movement has been, and will continue to be, central to that history. Today, UW-River Falls faculty made a stand in preserving that history, and moving Wisconsin forward.

Chapin said Walker's anti-worker legislation galvanized the faculty's resolve to form a union.

Our strength cannot be legislated away. Our strength is, and always has been, our collective voice-a voice that is stronger than ever.

AFT President Randi Weingarten said:

This landslide election, along with the other recent University of Wisconsin campus union victories, demonstrates that workers...will not let Gov. Walker's anti-democratic, anti-worker ideological agenda deny them their right to form a union.

Faculty and academic staff tried for years to win the freedom to collectively bargain, a right they finally achieved in 2009. Since that time, faculty at five campuses-UW-Eau Claire, UW-Superior, UW La Crosse, UW-Stout and now UW River Falls-have voted in favor of collective bargaining representation. Three voted after the Walker-backed legislation was introduced.

AFl-CIO Now Blog, Thurs Mar 24 2011
Byline: James Parks

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