Wisconsin remains a rough political waters, but now the tide is flowing in the direction of state unions. Labor unions have obtained enough petition signatures to recall nine of the state’s Republican senators. Elections begin in June.
On top of that success, Wisconsin District Court Judge Mary Ann Sumi ruled that Republicans violated the state’s open meeting law on March 9. She granted a permanent injunction striking down any new law curbing collective bargaining rights for many state employees.
“It is a proud day for SEIU members and all Wisconsin workers,” said Mike Thomas, Service Employees International Union Wisconsin State Council president. “We knew that the open meetings law was violated when they rushed this bill through the legislature, and we are grateful that the bill is once again stalled. Today we celebrate a victory for Wisconsin workers, but the fight to protect working families is far from over.”
The Wisconsin State Supreme Court said it will decide whether to hear the case, which will determine if the law stripping collective bargaining rights from public employees is legal.
Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board approved recall elections for state Senate Districts 32, 18, and 14 today. The board is expected to approve the remaining recalls by June 1.
SEIU Wisconsin State Council announced its endorsements in the upcoming recall elections — all Democrats.
“Earlier this year, Democratic senators courageously stood up for workers while Republican legislators pushed to take away their voice on the job,” said SEIU Wisconsin State Council President Mike Thomas. “SEIU members are proud to support the Democratic candidates in the nine recall elections because they will continue the fight against outrageous attacks on Wisconsin’s working families.”
Earlier this year, political events were not so kind to Democrats and unions. A recall election assured conservative State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser his re-election and Wisconsin Republicans passed a controversial Voter ID Bill. Meanwhile, Governor Scott Walker continued austerity measures that have a disproportionately negative impact among middle-class families of Wisconsin.