NAACP Stands in Solidarity with Wisconsin WorkersFebruary 18, 2011
Budgets Should Not Be Balanced By Harming American Families
(Washington, DC)—Thousands of workers at this very moment are protesting in the streets and at the capitol of Wisconsin against Governor Scott Walker’s proposed legislation that will impede our economic recovery and undermine the right of workers to have an organized voice at the workplace.
“The NAACP, and our 1200 branches and youth and college chapters stand with the teachers, workers, public employees and the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents in opposition to Governor Scott Walker’s short-sighted budget,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “As this nation pulls itself out of the Great Recession, balancing state budgets should not be done on the backs of the workers that provide vital services to our communities. Governor Walker should do the job he was elected to do which is to put people back to work not out them on the unemployment line. Our nation must enact smart policies to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. We cannot cut our way out of the recession, job creation increases our tax revenues and consumer dollars which are the policies that will grow our economy and ultimately reduce our deficit. The NAACP stands ready to combat any legislation in any state, whether it be Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee or Indiana where jobs are being severely cut and labor rights stripped. ”
Recently, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker proposed legislation that strips state workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights, cuts pay and benefits. This legislation has been met with massive protests by people across Wisconsin and the country.
“The NAACP stands in solidarity with our union brothers and sisters in Wisconsin,” stated Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “This coordinated effort to desensitize public opinion as it relates to workers' rights is unconscionable in these times of economic strife.”
“This issue is actually a lot larger than it appears,” stated NAACP Wisconsin State Conference President Tom White. “There are people with jobs, livelihoods at stake and they are not going to take this change lightly. Wisconsin is one state and we should function as one. Wisconsin government cannot move forward on this without Wisconsin citizens. This legislation provides an opportunity for all citizens, in all professions, to come together, gather our resources and speak out. It could easily be our own co-workers under fire next. What affects one group, affects us all.”
Similar legislation has been presented or is being prepared in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana. While these other bills are not exactly the same, their premise is to eliminate collective bargaining and roll the clock back on the rights of average American workers who have born the brunt of the economic recession.
“Workers across the width and breadth of this country wake up every day with the clear knowledge that the job is not a luxury but a necessity to sustain their families,” added Clayola Brown, NAACP National Board Member and SEIU/IEB Board Member Workers United. “All workers want is a fair days' pay for a fair days' work and benefits to provide for their families.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.