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‘State of Our Unions’ event held in Milwaukee

By staff |
March 4, 2016
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Milwaukee, WI - Union members from multiple locals gathered here, Feb. 27, for the Milwaukee-based United Workers Organization (UWO) State of Our Unions annual event.

Participants enjoyed a lively discussion of the state of the labor movement in Wisconsin and beyond. They also discussed the past years efforts of the United Worker Organization. Founded a year earlier during the protests against Right to Work, the UWO is full of union members who want to see a fighting worker movement and have built campaigns in their workplaces, strike solidarity, and protests against reactionary anti-worker legislation.

“We support class struggle unionism, meaning are against the collaboration and concessions so often pursued by union leaders today. It means putting the shop floor struggle front and center in rebuilding our movement,” said Sean Orr, who was elected UWO president at the meeting. “Getting Democrats elected won’t do that. Trying to win over Republicans won’t do that. Only unions led by the rank and file and oriented towards fighting as a class can bring the labor movement to the position of power that our class needs.”

In the year since its founding, the UWO has taken an active role in Wisconsin’s labor struggles. The group organized mass rallies of hundreds during the passage of Right to Work, including the only rally in Milwaukee against the legislation, as well as establishing the widely successful Defeat Right to Work in Wisconsin Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/defeatrighttowork/ They provided support during the three-day work stoppage of Milwaukee County bus drivers as well as strike solidarity to Kohler workers during their most recent strike.

All participants in the meeting left motivated to organize their fellow workers and many expressed desire to see workers across the country learn from this example of forming a United Worker Organization.

Jaclyn Kelly, a vice-president of her AFSCME local, stated that she enjoyed the opportunity to meet with workers different unions who are all struggling with the same issues.