USW International President Leo W. Gerard admonished those political efforts in numerous states across the country as he spoke in Indianapolis, IN on March 10 before thousands of American workers and supporters. He said, “Corporate America and their right-wing friends have declared war on the working class, and let me tell you, I welcome that war because nobody has more to lose than us and we are going to kick their ass.”
The Republican Party recognizes that unions serve as the last line of defense against the privatization of the public sector and as one of the few remaining voices for the working class. The real issue is whether conservatives will get what they really want: the ability to turn the country conservative on every issue, legally and permanently. Eliminating the public sector unions could achieve that. If those unions are destroyed, American life will become unrecognizable in a remarkably short time. Democracy as we know it is at stake in the Wisconsin protests, not just budgets and unions.
Gerard said, “We don’t have a spending problem. We have revenue, a political problem, and together, we are going to take care of that. In our union we adopted a slogan almost thirty years ago. We won’t walk backwards, we will stand together one day longer. In this fight it will be one day longer than the billionaires. When we refuse to walk backwards, we can’t lose.”