Teamsters General President Says Politicians Should Focus on Jobs
COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa led an energetic crowd today in chanting "No Justice, No Peace," as 20,000 workers and their supporters protested a measure to strip collective bargaining rights from public sector employees in Ohio.
The bill, SB 5, is part of a coordinated attack on workers nationwide that has set off a wave of massive protests across the country. Gov. Scott Walker's vindictive "Budget Repair Bill" in Wisconsin has inspired hundreds of thousands of workers, students, civil rights groups, religious groups and small business to stand together in opposition to the war on workers.
Today, Hoffa told the crowd in Columbus that it's not a coincidence that anti-worker bills are being rushed through statehouses in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Maine, Michigan and elsewhere.
"This is a conspiracy by the CEOs and Wall Street to destroy collective bargaining rights and lower the wages of middle-class workers," Hoffa said. "We are just beginning a very long fight, but we're in it for the long haul and I'm confident we'll win. It's not just the labor movement that's rejuvenated, it's the whole middle class that's united now in stopping the war on workers.
"We're putting up a good fight," Hoffa said. "We beat back right-to-work in Indiana last week, and we're forcing Scott Walker to keep the Capitol building open to the protesters in Madison."
"These governors and these lawmakers need to make Wall Street and the CEOs and the Koch brothers share in the sacrifice," Hoffa asked. "Their reckless behavior caused the recession, not the unions. The recession caused the budget problems, not the unions. Government deficits should not be used as an excuse to take away protections for the middle class and to destroy our economic security. Politicians like Gov. John Kasich in Ohio should be working together to create good jobs that support families, not kneecapping the middle-class jobs that we do have."
Hoffa, other union leaders and workers addressed the event, "Rally to Save Ohio's Middle Class," on the Ohio Statehouse grounds. The rally was held as a Senate committee was scheduled to vote on SB 5.
Hoffa and Teamsters throughout the country have been active in fighting back against the coordinated war on workers, attending rallies and other events across the country. For more information, visit: http://www.teamster.org/content/stopthewaronworkers or www.stopthewaronworkers.com.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters