February 22, 2011
WisconsinState Employees Union
AFSCME Council 24
8033 Excelsior Dr., Suite C
Dear Brother McLinn:
On behalf of the 250,000 members of UFCW Canada, Canada’s largest private sector union, let me express our support and solidarity with the Wisconsin State Employees Union in your fight against the anti-worker measures put forward by your Governor and his party in the State Legislature.
The Governor’s attack on the wages, benefits and collective bargaining rights of workers is more than an attack on labour rights; it is an attack on human rights. These draconian measures would have the effect of turning back the clock on organized labour’s achievements that date back decades. This dangerous agenda must be stopped. We applaud the actions your union has taken in recent days.
Unfortunately, the attack on organized labour in Wisconsin is part of a troubling trend against public and private sector workers across America and, indeed, here in Canada. We recognize that budget deficits must be eliminated over time, but never at the expense of the fundamental democratic rights of workers and their unions.
As a private sector union we recognize the need for a strong public sector. Members of public sector unions provide services our members rely on in their communities and public sector workers making a reasonable wage buy products our members make and sell in the retail sector. Workers, private or public, must not bear the cost of poor economic decisions caused by the global recession and the greed displayed by corporations in the private sector.
We will continue to watch the events unfolding in Wisconsin with considerable interest. Be assured that throughout your fight you will enjoy the support of UFCW Canada members throughout Canada.
Wayne E. Hanley
Vol. XI No. 09 • February 28, 2011