Madison, WI (March 8, 2011) – IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb and IATSE Vice President John Ford traveled to Madison not only to show solidarity with public service workers fighting for their collective bargaining rights, but also to present a significant contribution to the State Fed’s Defense Fund to aide efforts on the ground to protect workers.
The contribution was accepted by Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt and Secretary-Treasurer Stephanie Bloomingdale who expressed their grateful appreciation to the IATSE for its support of Wisconsin workers. There are a number of funds that have been established to aide workers in Wisconsin and other states throughout the U.S. as a result of the anti-union tactics being forged by a handful of politicians in their efforts to decimate working families and unions. The General Executive Board of the IA voted unanimously to make the contribution.
Accompanied by officers and members of a number of IATSE Locals, President Loeb and Vice President Ford marched through the streets of Madison to the State Capitol to a rally in support of working families of Wisconsin. The IATSE had a large, loud and proud turnout and the delegation was preceded by the bagpipers of Fire Fighters Local 311.
Approximately 250 workers marched onto the Capitol steps and entered the building and made their voices heard in protest. President Loeb stated, “The situation in Wisconsin shows the lengths the Republicans will go to in order to dismantle labor unions and reframe the political landscape altogether. Governor Walker is maneuvering to bust the public sector unions that are the major source of funding for Democratic candidates. Many other states are proposing similar legislation and the outcome in Wisconsin could be pivotal.”
Added President Loeb, “Their plan is to erode the Democratic base and all unions, public and private, will suffer as a result. It’s an attack on workers and the politicians who support them, and this Union [the IATSE] will not sit idly by and let it happen. We are locking arms in solidarity with the brave women and men in Wisconsin who are demanding justice.”
Demonstrations in encouragement of Wisconsin public service employees have occurred in several states where the IATSE has had a presence, and the pro-union support is growing nationwide.