This is a cross-post from the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO by Machinists (IAM) member Jerome Schiek, who is supporting Tom Barrett and Mahlon Mitchell in the June 5 recall election.
Brothers and Sisters:
I am not going to mince any words nor beat around the bush. Here it is. We got caught sleeping. In 2010, we were asleep. No guilt. No shame. We all had a lot on our plates. We were asleep and maybe just a bit complacent. Not anymore.
Are you awake now? I am. Thanks to the brave 14 Democrats who found it impossible to go along with injustice. I am awake. Thanks to the thousands who showed up at the Capitol steps. I am awake. Thanks to the fervor of the volunteers collecting recall signatures. I am awake. Are you?
Because of the thousands of heroes across this beautiful state of ours we are awake and we have been given a second chance. That wonderful gift called a second chance. And when we go to the voting booth in June what are we going to be thinking? I know what will be in my mind.
I will be voting for the countless people that have benefited from our right to bargain collectively. Yes, I said right. Something that cannot be legislated away. You cannot buy it because it is not for sale. It can’t be traded. It can’t be taken. It has already been bought and paid for with the blood of organizers that fought before we were born.
On June 5, I will be thinking of all the minorities given equal representation by organized labor. I will be thinking about the weak and disabled whose jobs have been protected by organized labor. I will be thinking of all the retirees living comfortably in the final phase of their life. I will be thinking of the men and women at work who can look forward to the weekend off and to a bit of security.
I will be thinking of all the kids who dream of Disney World and Six Flags because their moms and dads can have time off and the money to afford a trip and a car to drive. Yes, I will be thinking of the right to bargain collectively. I will be thinking of all the labor leaders from the past 75 to 100 years who fight and died for our rights.
Brothers and Sisters throughout America’s Dairyland, think. We are all awake now. Think. Let’s take advantage of our precious gift—a second chance. Make a difference and vote on June 5. Search your soul and Vote.
38-year member in good standing, IAM