Local Rally Held In Support Of Wisconsin’s Workers

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Hundreds of union supporters rallied today in downtown Pittsburgh in a show of solidarity with public employees in Wisconsin.

It’s part of a national effort by organized labor to focus attention on what they call “union-busting.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has stirred a strong and passionate reaction among local labor members.

While public employee unions in Wisconsin have already agreed to cuts in benefits, Walker wants to limit their ability to negotiate future pay and benefits. That, says union members, strikes at the heart of collective bargaining and will not stand.

Perhaps 500 workers and supporters from most of Pittsburgh’s labor movement turned out on short notice for this afternoon’s rally.

”We need to fight to make sure that they don’t rob any worker of their rights to collective bargaining, or their rights to be in a union,” said Leo Girard, of the United Steelworkers of America.

“This is about the middle class. We’re standing up and fighting; they’re trying to run over workers in Wisconsin, in Ohio, in Indiana, New Hampshire, across the map,” said Tim Waters, also of the United Steel Workers of America. “We’re here today, no one here is going to Wisconsin, we’re making our voice heard right here in Pittsburgh.”

Organized by the United Steelworkers of America at their headquarters lobby, local union leaders say Gov. Walker will not prevail in stripping public employee unions of their bargaining rights.

“It’s not going to happen. They’re not going to get away with it,” said Jack Shea, of the Allegheny County Labor Council. “We’re going to stand, we’re not going to give up and this is just the beginning.”

Speakers like the syndicated radio host Texas Jim Hightower, a Texas populist, says middle class America is waking up to corporate greed that is hurting workers everywhere.

“We’ve been letting the corporate supremacists outhustle us,” said Hightower. “We’ve been progressive and that is good, but it’s no longer enough. We’ve got to become aggressive again.”

It was a theme picked up by many public employees like Pittsburgh firefighter Darrin Kelly.

“Mr. CEO, how dare you. How dare you use our backs for generation after generation as your stepping stone to the American dream, but yet criticize me when I go for mine,” said Kelly while at the rally.

One teacher compared the unleashing of working America to the revolution in Egypt.

“People are showing us that we’re not just going to be rolled over,” said Kipp Dawson, of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers. “That’s what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like.”

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  • Dr. Heffner

    Don’t any of these people have to work? What a bunch of idiots.

  • Amelia Liotta

    and I wonder why Pittsburgh doesn’t have steel mills anymore????

    • Chipp55

      Excellent point! When I pointed out to ex-steelworker friends that some of them were receiving 13 weeks vacation a year (not making that up) they were brainwashed by their union officers to say, “The Japanese are undercutting American steel”, and “The Japanese export their unemployment” (whatever that means), and when I pointed out to iron workers that Japanese iron workers construct 2 floor in the time that it takes American iron workers, they responded, “That;s because their floors are only 5 feet tall.” I knew one steelworker who bragged that he did all of his work in one hour, and then slept for 7 at the plant the rest of his shift.

  • B have a real job

    it is amazing that they can just leave their jobs on short notice. I wish I could leave my job on short notice. But I guess that is what you get with union labor, all talk and no work, or just enough work to make it look like they did something for the day!!!!

    • Mr HOP

      You mean when there are six guys standing around a hole in the groud and one guy in the hole doing something?

      • American

        And when the news reports a poor guy buried alive in a pit of collapsed dirt, do you cheer him on for being non union? These first five comments are possibly the most ignorant , and over used comments I’ve seen on this site !

  • Sam from Pittsburgh

    93% of American workers are NOT unionized, yet the other 7% make the most noise, busting heads, going on strike, etc. Unions have outlived their usefulness, workers are protected today by state and federal agencies like OSHA. My union takes my dues every payday and uses MY money to finance liberal politicians I don’t agree with and would not vote for. I would love to decertify our union and get back my union dues to support my family with, rather than my money going to our union bosses and Obama. Thanks.

    • Just say no to SEIU et al

      I’m right with you Sam! I am forced to pay the “fair” share fee. Which of course is somehow almost identical to the full union dues. I am a public employee and the whole union mentality of entitilement and protecting the incompetent makes me sick! I am currently requesting my union dues to be returned by challenging the crooks. Will be interesting to see what happens. These mobs give all public employees a bad name.

    • SP

      How Union Members Can Get Union Dues Refunded! The process is simple. Go to Unionrefund.org Choose your labor state from the list below. Fill out some basic information and UnionRefund will automatically generate a letter that you can print and mail to your union representative to claim your individual refund. UnionRefund will also send a courtesy notification letter to your union to ensure a quick resolution for your request. It’s that easy!

      • Just say no to SEIU et al

        Nice link. I want people to also know that union members can challenge the calculation of the fee the union says goes toward “representation”. There are numerous things that are just so bogus you know they are charging off as “representation” when you know it goes to political action and left-wing candidates. There is also the option of a religious objection.

        That may get you all of your dues back.

        RIght to Work!

  • F Unions

    These people are pathetic.

  • Shockly

    A lot of fat guys there, shows how much they work.

  • jake

    You people are all idiots with out unions everybodys quality of life will drop. Do you seriously think who ever you work for would play fair without conditions fought for and continuing to fight for by unions. Union or not this is a working class issue. Today unions tomorrow rest of workers. Wake up before we have nothing

    • Zoeyzotron

      JAKE – The majority of America functions quite well with out a union. Less that 15 million workers in the US are now in a union, that is under 12%. Membership will continue to fall. “fair conditions” as you call them are created by competition in the job market. Wages rise based on hiring talent and talent movement. OSHA has now been around for more than 35 years… OSHA regulations demand a safe work enviorment…. not the unions…

      • American

        ZOEY ?? Ever worked in construction? demands a safe work environment ? , are you an ostrich or a Rep. mouthpiece? Get real , wake up, OSHA is never seen until after the accident! Bush stopped funding OSHA adequately yrs ago. We make a safe environ. by ourselves standing up for ourselves, protecting ourselves against greedy owners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Larry Novak

    Sorry, Jake. I’m with the majority here. The Wisconsin issue IS NOT OUT TO BUST UNIONS. The Governor is TRYING TO BALANCE HIS BUDGET. Or are these guys just rehearsing for when Corbett has to do the same thing HERE?

    • Jeff

      Did you hear walkers prank call?

  • Larry

    ANOTHER THING THING THAT BUGS ME> If 401K plans are sooooo great, why don’t any government employees have to have them? They all get PENSIONS! So after the taxpayers pay your salaries…they get to pay you till death. What I see as the whole root of the problem is quite simply that THERE ISN’T ANY MONEY!

  • Jack Ewing

    American workers will stand up and fight when their rights are trampled on. We have had enough of corporate greed that led to this country’s economic problems.. And you Tea Party fascists that try to put the blame on Social Security and Medicare for the coming economic meltdown are you so damn dumb that you don’t know that social Security and Medicare are not financed by the General Budget but are funded by contributions workers and their employers made to the Social Security fund over the years. Let’s put the blame for the crisis where it belongs–overpaid executives, the war in Iraq, and corporate greed.

    • Zoeyzotron

      EWING – Please define “Corporate”. Inthe real world it is the corporations that hire people, yes even you Mr. Union man. In the real world Corporations pay huge amounts in taxes that fund many governemtn programs. In the real world strong corporate results mean share hold gain… I like shareholder gain. We all should because that is where ALL our retirements are, yes, even your damn PENSION fund is invested in Wallstreet. And who in the world is blaming SS for this mess… For 30 somethings and under there is a good chance SS will fail, so if you plan not to have it you will be fine. Lets keep in mind what really started this mess… Lending $ to people who could never pay it back. And that my friend was the Clinton administration forcing Freddie and Fannie to ease loan regulations. And Stop with the “overpaid executive” story. that is a pimple on the ass of an elephant. And guess what, they are executives, they deserve to be paid more than you. If you want that kind of pay, earn it, go for further education, more taining, strive for it. Don’t sit around and cry like a child.

      • Bloeyblotron

        Bite Me

  • Noname please

    Taxpayers are tired of funding union workers retirements and healthcare. Look around at reality, why should we bear the burden. Their not worried about saving jobs, their worried about the union bosses losing power and money for themselves. The are a bunch of thugs who are ruining the country. Work for a fair wage based on merit like everyone else and stop living off of everyone else’s hard work

    • Dave B

      They are your neighbors . You sound like the thug.

    • Retired union worker

      Noname, union workers are tax payers too. when taxes are raised, union workers pay them just like you do . As far as calling union workers thugs you need to go back and read about Pinkerton and the Homestead steel workers and how carnegie and frick had pinkerton’s thugs escort union buster that they hired to cross the picket line to get into the mill, but you know nothing about that just as you don’t know why unions were formed. If you could get a good union job you would break your legs running to get it You need to wake up. Without our unions everyone would be making minimal wage and no benefits.

      • Zoeyzotron

        RETIRED – You better start running… and swimming all the way to CHINA because that is exactly where your UNION DROVE THE JOBS TOO. Don’t even argue with me, I will bury you with facts.

      • Zoeyzotron

        RETIRED – Are you really referencing somethig from the 1800s… Thats was 120 years ago.
        Do you thinkk it is fair that we have to save for our own retirements in weak 401Ks and IRAs and then be expected to FUND PUBLIC SECTOR PENSIONS too?? Pensions are NOT sustainable with out additional funding. The GM BAILOUT was it for me, that was a disgrace. Now not only public pension but private sector pensions too. GM should have been left to fail. I have faith in America that a new and stronger US auto company would have been born from the ashes. That is what has people so angry.

  • jake

    If walker is just trying to balance his budget. Then why doesnt he work with the unions? The unions already agreed to 90% of what his budget calls for except losing their collective bargaining. And collective bargaining means both sides have to agree on a contract. Walkers agenda is clear is to break the unions it has nothing to do with the budget. The tea party is for big bussiness and thats it. They dont care bout the working class at all.

    • Just say no to SEIU et al

      The unions don’t give a hoot if there are layoffs. Their main concern is the forced union dues that fund their lavish lifestyles and political power supporting the far left-wing causes. Get real. Union mentality means mobs of people afraid to compete on merit. Protect those with seniority regardless of their competency, and defend the incompetent. The more incompetents, the more supporters the union mob has on their side.

  • Larry

    Dear Jack, As one who has paid into social security and contributed to the Medicare fund…as I stand here on the verge of retirement…knowing that those programs are bankrupt (or soon WILL be) I can see little use of blaming anyone/EVERYone for the draining of those programs. Fact is, the Federal Government has been using those contributions to fund government programs almost from its inception…figuring that we’ll deal with the problem down the road. WELL GUESS WHAT PAL, END OF THE ROAD. WE BE BROKE. As a taxpayer, I really don’t need to be paying any more in taxes than I already do. I HAVE MY OWN HOUSEHOLD BUDGET…MY MUNICIPALITY HAS ITS OWN BUDGET…COUNTY…STATE…This has nothing to do with breaking the overpaid unions…it’s a matter of money.

    • American

      A matter of money ? So if we alll make less , the right to work for less, which means less taxes collected , like your mantra spues! , we’ll all be better off?? We need to lower wages for all , to save the economy?

  • Brian

    Learn the history of labor in country. Business only pays when they forced to. Look at China. Take away unions and everyone’s pay will follow the competition. What will that competition be?

    • Zoeyzotron

      BRIAN – Newsflash… You are allowed to change jobs in this country… If you feel you are being treated unfairly or are under paid you have the option to test your value on the open job market….

      • Bloeyblotron

        newsflash…..Bite Me

      • Zoeyzotron

        Thats about what I expected your retort to be. BECAUSE I AM RIGHT! Face the facts UNION MAN!

  • A.Bunker

    The time for unions has come and gone. They are a relic of the past. God Bless Gov.’s Walker and Kasich. Keep up the fight and do not yield to these selfish union thugs. Lets hope Gov. Corbett follows suit in Pa. Death to the unions!

  • Ed Hill Jr

    Some of you people just don’t get it. Rather than spout off on this page, perhaps you should educate yourself on why you have 8 hour work days, 40 hour work weeks, 5 day work weeks, any type of medical and retirement benefits, workplace safety laws, child labor laws, Social Security, Family Medical Leave, and on and on. Working class people, using a collective voice, i.e. unions, brought about the legislation and social movements that made these benefits reality. If you think the “thugs” on Wall Street would provide you the working conditions you have out of the goodness of their heart, you are sadly mistaken. Take a look around.

    My question to all you union bashers is this: Why would you spew so much hate for people that are trying to improve their life and provide a good future for their children? Is it because you don’t have the balls to do so yourself or are you jealous, or envious, or both?

    The most regrettable aspect of this whole thing is the union bashing haters are cutting their own throats and they don’t even realize it….

    • Good one

      You couldn’t be more right Mr. Hill!
      Thank you so much for posting an education, well written response to the rubbish on this topic. Good for you!

  • 24 yr ARMY vet.

    You are right Mr.Hill. To A.Bunker your a moron and a bigot.Most tea party people are the same way you are.GOD BLESS THE UNIONS.and the USA.

  • Educate Me....PLease

    I have several questions/thoughts on this. I want someone to help me understand why Walker, who is so intent on balancing his budget, would cut taxes now. Regardless of whether or not it was a prank call, when Walker thought he was talking to one of the Koch brothers it was obvious that his actions are part and parcel to payback to a couple of billionaires that have poured exhorbitant amounts of cash into political campaigns over the last few years (in excess of $11 million). These are the same people that we claim are creating jobs, yet in the last election, in California, they poured money into Proposition 23 which would have overturned Assembly bill 32, a bipartisan bill by the way, that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs over 150,000 alone in manufacturing and construction. It is apparent to me that we are no longer a nation that puts country first but rather nothing more than greedy individuals. This is not the nation “The Greatest Generation” envisioned when they fought and died in World War II.

    • American


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  • American

    BULL , you think you would get that 3 % raise without the union? What did you do to get the benefits he gets, did you stand up and fight for them , or are you just another parasite feeding off him and the owner? GROW A SET !!!

  • http://einsteinsdesk.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/will_work_for_equality/ Will Work For Equality « Einstein's Desk

    […] And THIS! […]

  • Beth

    When unions are squashed… be prepared for 60 hour work weeks… no holiday pay… no vacation pay… no overtime… no benefits… Corporations will rule!!

  • Karen

    You obviously have never worked in a non union shop. I have worked in both and I would never work in a union shop again. I had better treatment and better relationship with my boss when I worked in non union companies. Working in a union environment is stressful. Union leaders spend their entire day making sure employees don’t work too hard or do too much. I have seen union workers that wanted to get ahead chastised and threatened by union thugs when they tried to do a good job. Unions serve no purpose at all. They take your money and put into political campaigns then when it comes time to pay your benefits they cry poor mouth and come to the tax payers to cough it up for them. Union are corrupt and they are out to line their pockets with gold they could care less about the workers.

    • Just say no to SEIU et al

      Exactly Karen! The unions are concerned about the unions….not the company or the gov’t in this case, or the product or give a rats behind if the company goes under or the gov’t goes broke. Then when the company is broke, or the gov’t lays off people, they cry like babies wondering where their golden goose went.

  • db

    Typical YUPPIE comments. They never got their hands dirty. Mommy and daddy paid for their stuff.

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