Following are statements released by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Washington State Labor Council President Jeff Johnson regarding the outcome of Tuesday’s Wisconsin recall votes:
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
June 5, 2012
Tonight working families across the country recognize the courageous journey that nurses, teachers, firefighters, snowplow drivers and other Wisconsinites led for more than a year. Though a seemingly impossible task, they refused to allow their voices be taken away by an overreaching and partisan governor. Whether it was standing in the snow, sleeping in the Capitol, knocking on doors or simply casting a vote, we admire the heart and soul everyone poured into this effort. Adding to this gargantuan challenge of recalling only the third governor in American history was the flood of secret corporate cash distorting our democracy — a dangerous example of a post-Citizens United America.
We wanted a different outcome, but Wisconsin forced the governor to answer for his efforts to divide the state and punish hard-working people.
Their resolve has inspired a nation to follow their lead and stand up for the values of hard work, unity, and decency that we believe in. We hope Scott Walker heard Wisconsin: Nobody wants divisive policies. It’s time to work together to forge a new path forward. The challenge to solve a generation of economic policies and create an economy that celebrates hard work over a partisan agenda gained momentum today.
WSLC President Jeff Johnson
June 6, 2012
Despite the heroic efforts of workers and community allies raising their voices against the Walker Administration throughout the year, Republicans and Tea Party fanatics literally bought an election that supports their ideological war against the common good. This election is a momentary victory for the politics of diversion.
On the surface it suggests that it is OK to blame workers, unions, the poor, the elderly, students, and immigrant workers for the economic crisis that was created by Wall Street and the policies that supported corporate greed and the gross inequalities of income and wealth in our country today. But Governor Walker’s attacks on working families and the recall election has mobilized hundreds of thousands of workers across Wisconsin and millions across the nation to stand up for economic and social justice.
Working families will not stand down until a sense of fairness, dignity, and hope is restored to our economy.