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ON WISCONSIN: A Message from President Ed Hill

June 6, 2012

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The task of ousting a sitting governor who had access to virtually unlimited funding from some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people was never going to be an easy one, and in the end, the efforts of so many courageous citizens fell short.

Victory, however, is measured in many more ways than simply counting votes.  The Wisconsin Senate is now in the hands of the opposition party, denying Walker an unimpeded path to enacting his reactionary agenda.  The unity achieved among working people from the public and private sector in defense of the principles of freedom of association and collective bargaining is a powerful force that will not disappear from the public debate over the future of the state.  The fact that the people whose labor makes Wisconsin work -- from fire fighters to teachers to sanitation workers, public utility workers and police officers – found their voice and stood up for what they believe was one of the finest and truest example of democracy in action that this country has seen in a long time.

There is no need for sadness. There is only a need for resolve to build on all that has been achieved in the campaign against Scott Walker’s 19th century agenda.  In the arena of public policy and debate, there are no final victories or defeats.  There is only the constant need to stand up for what is right and good for all the people.  Those efforts by the people of Wisconsin and all who have been inspired by their movement are now stronger because of the events of the past 16 months.

I would like to extend the warmest thanks and best wishes on behalf of the entire IBEW family to our IBEW brothers and sisters in Wisconsin, to all trade unionists and all who not union members who stood up against injustice.  I thank all who went to Wisconsin to support their fellow working people or who sent donations to our Unity Fund to help keep the fight going.  As individuals you have made a difference.  As individuals who stood in unity, you have laid the foundation for a fundamental change in our nation’s politics.  Be proud of what you have achieved and never give up.  You were the architect of a proud moment in the history of Wisconsin and the history of America.