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Madison Unions Poised to Organize

by staff |
October 1, 1998
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Madison, WI - "We are going to make Madison a Union city where workers are actively supported in their efforts to organize Unions and win a voice in the workplace," according to AFSCME Local 2412 member, Joe Mingle. Led by the South Central Federation of Labor (SCFL), many Madison area labor activists have been meeting this summer to plan a coordinated organizing campaign to rebuild labor's strength in Southern Wisconsin. Despite the sometimes slow pace, volunteer organizers are confident that big things are on the horizon for this year.

SCFL's Organizing Committee has brought together Union activists from a wide range of locals to develop and carry out a plan for re-igniting the city's labor movement and bringing more workers into the Union fold. "The labor movement must organize and grow. Here in Madison, we've decided to draw the line and fight for workers' rights to dignity, a decent life, and a voice in the workplace," Mingle said. SCFL's planned campaign includes a variety of components which will help build organizing momentum.

Central to SCFL's plan is direct outreach to unorganized workers at targeted facilities and in the broader community. In consultation with International Unions that have demonstrated a commitment to organizing, SCFL is assessing a variety of non-Union facilities as targets and preparing for outreach to those workers. A broader, media-oriented campaign is also planned to create a pro-Union environment throughout the community. This aspect of the campaign will promote the positive impact of Unions and encourage workers to exercise their rights to form a Union at their workplace.

SCFL's campaign also actively involves trained volunteer organizers who will directly assist workers during organizing drives. Local Union members, students, and community activists are being trained as foot soldiers to provide the energy some organizing drives need to win. Workers from many different Unions have signed on to help their unorganized Sisters and Brothers because they know their interests, and their enemies, are the same.

The rich and powerful have declared war on Union workers and the poor but the FIGHT BACK is only beginning. In Madison, and in many places across the country, working people are leading the way to a new, just society where everyone is guaranteed a basic standard of living and everyone has a voice.

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