PRESS RELEASE: Rep. Seidel statement - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

PRESS RELEASE: Rep. Seidel statement


WAUSAU (PRESS RELEASE)--Rep. Donna Seidel (D - Wausau) joined by Rep. Amy Sue Vruwink (D - Milladore) and Rep. Louis Molepske, Jr. (D - Stevens Points) held a press conference in Wausau this afternoon. The Central Wisconsin Democrats talked about Governor Walker's plans to end collective bargaining and other proposals that will have a negative impact on working families. Rep. Seidel made the following comments:

"Wisconsin has a proud tradition of protecting workers. In 1959, we lead the nation when Governor Gaylord Nelson granted labor union organizing rights to government employees. Soon after, President John F. Kennedy allowed federal employees to do the same.

From a personal perspective, I know in a very real way the power unions have to improve the lives of working families. I was born into a family that was poor. My father was a returning vet from WWII who had a hard time finding a good job. When he did find work, it was a union job, and the life of our family improved substantially.

I tell this story because we need to understand the real people that are impacted by Governor Walker's proposal. They are our friends and our neighbors. The people who are trying to make ends meet while providing a quality life for their children. These are the nurses caring for our elderly loved ones in nursing homes, our kids' teachers and the prison guards who work in our state prisons.

We all have a responsibility to make sacrifices in the face of our state's deficit, but Governor Walker's assault on workers goes above and beyond. To justify his decision, he cites examples of the workers at Mercury Marine and Harley Davidson. But in those instances, management met with workers and agreed to a pay freeze. State employees have already made more than $100 million in concessions and offered to pay increased contributions to health care and pension premiums. They have come to the table to negotiate, but the self-proclaimed CEO of Wisconsin, Governor Walker, refuses to meet them there.

Local governments have done this the right way by negotiating with their employees through a responsible and legal process. The state should follow their example to find a way to accomplish our goals without ending people's long-established legal right to collectively bargain for their benefits and quality working conditions.

This bill takes Wisconsin backwards more than 50 years; it smacks of union busting and doesn't create a single job. I will stand with the workers of Wisconsin, and I urge Governor Walker to listen and do what's right."


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