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Solidarity with the Amalgamated Transit Union 998! Support the work stoppage!

Editorial by Fight Back! Editors |
July 2, 2015
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Milwaukee County bus drivers and mechanics are boldly fighting back against the Milwaukee County Transit System and County Executive Chris Abele’s attempt to push a concessionary contract, in this era of devastating employer offenses on work conditions, benefits and collective bargaining rights.

Calling for a three-day work stoppage, these workers have voted down a concessionary contract that includes the implementation of hundreds of part-time laborers, the weakening of their pension, unsafe work conditions and increased out-of-pocket medical costs.

All working people and allies should rally behind these workers and their union, Amalgamated Transit Union 998, in this struggle. It’s time for unions to mobilize their members and show their support. Following the passage of ‘Right to Work’ legislation - a labor law that drastically weakens a union’s ability to collectively bargain - and a long trend amongst many unions to accept concessions to employers, this work stoppage shows a new way forward: Meet attacks from the employers, wealthy elite and their politicians with production-halting strikes and organizing working-class solidarity.

The fight ATU 998 is leading is for a better contract but is also part of a larger struggle against the enemies of the working class. The number of billionaires has doubled since the latest economic crisis, and the wealth of the richest 1% has doubled. With union density at its lowest since the 1920s and with wealth disparity at its greatest since the 1920s, the wealthy elite are on the offensive and want to make us pay for their economic crisis, and they see an opportunity to do that right now to Milwaukee’s bus drivers and bus mechanics.

ATU 998 is on the front line fighting back. They continue the spirit of 2011, when Wisconsin teachers called in sick and rallied hundreds of thousands to protest at our state capitol against the union-busting Act 10 law. It is time to join the picket line and carry the struggle forward.

An injury to one is an injury to all!

Tax the rich!

Stand with your Milwaukee transit workers!