From UFCW Blog–Fifteen months ago, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker “dropped the bomb” (that’s a direct quote) on working families when he began his campaign to dismantle the rights of public employees. UFCW members from Wisconsin and beyond have banded together to ensure the fallout stops on Tuesday, June 5th, with the end of Governor Walker’s tenure in office.

In February 2011, UFCW Local 400 members in Ohio supporting workers rights to collective bargaining Photo courtesy of Mick Hutchinson.

For workers across the nation, Wisconsin is the line in the sand. If the radical reign of Governor Scott Walker is left unchecked, it opens up the floodgates to an economy where low wages, low benefits, and silenced workers become the norm.

Governor Walker’s actions compelled Chester Ward from Local 951 in Michigan to volunteer in Milwaukee and do whatever he could to help with the recall effort.

“We’re here because Governor Walker and legislators across the nation are diminishing the rights of middle class families. If we don’t stand together and fight – they’ll take everything from every worker. Without our middle class, our economy doesn’t work. We are literally fighting for our right to exist. This goes beyond Wisconsin. This is a fight for workers everywhere to have a voice and command the dignity they deserve. Wherever that fight is – we go.”

The collaborative energy and effort happening in Wisconsin makes it clear that this moment has transcended individual people and states. Working families are standing up with a unified voice so loud that ignoring them is impossible.

Veronica Alma from Local 540 in Texas spoke of the overwhelming solidarity that brought her to Wisconsin:

“We came because it was an opportunity to help not just UFCW members, but workers everywhere. The radical agenda of Governor Walker doesn’t directly affect us, but if it’s allowed to stand – it will. Making a change here will help to make a positive change for workers everywhere.”

UFCW members, including Veronica Alma, out
knocking doors to recall Gov. Walker

Governor Walker’s effort to maintain his office has been funded at unprecedented levels by corporations and wealthy individuals whose sole interest is to marginalize the voice and power of workers.

They’re seeking to prop themselves up on the backs of working class families struggling to survive.

Elected officials should be held accountable for their actions. Governor Walker stripped away collective bargaining rights, dismantled equal pay protections, and slashed funding for healthcare and education.

These policies – his policies – have placed Wisconsin dead last in the nation in job creation.

UFCW member Walter Garron (right): "My children and I deserve better."

Governor Walker has brought pain and poverty to thousands of Wisconsin citizens whose only crime was the desire for an equal voice and an equal chance.

Scott Walker hasn’t moved Wisconsin families forward. He has pushed them to the ground – and in trying to break them, he broke the state of Wisconsin itself. But the ground is no place for champions. Those workers got up, banded together, and rose with a resolve to reject the greed of Scott Walker’s policies and put their state back together.

UFCW member Walter Garron from Local 1473 in Wisconsin has devoted all of his spare moments for the last couple of months to the task of recalling Governor Walker.

“I volunteer during my days off and my evenings because my entire livelihood is at stake. I am absolutely terrified of being denied more rights and opportunities. My children and I deserve better. Governor Walker and anyone else like him must understand that working class people won’t stand by and be pushed down. Everyone deserves a chance to work hard and rise above their circumstances – he just wants to take that away.”

UFCW member Walter Garron (right): “My children
and I deserve better.”

The people of Wisconsin deserve better and it’s clear they have the courage and conviction to obtain it.

That’s why thousands flooded into the capitol attempting to prevent Governor Walker’s divisive, anti-worker legislation.

That’s why more than 900,000 people signed a petition to initiate the recall election.

That’s why tomorrow, June 5th, Governor Scott Walker will be recalled and Wisconsin will at last be reclaimed.