Dear Rep. Kevin Petersen,
I am asking you to vote “no” against the “Right-to-Work” bill when it comes before the assembly.
You know full well that this bill is not about creating jobs.
It is a far-right wing attempt to destroy the private sector unions, just as you helped cripple the public sector unions with Act 10, four years ago.
I worked as a Union Carpenter for 23 years. I retired early due to old injuries that have become arthritic.
That would not have been possible without the pension I earned while helping to build many of the schools, hospitals, banks, factories, power plants, churches, businesses and bridges within 90 miles of Waupaca.
The pay was good enough for me to raise two boys by myself while working and driving long hours.
I was serving in the Navy while you were still in school.
You used to walk with my younger brothers to our house to wait for your dad, so the local bullies wouldn’t beat you up.
Now my brothers are both teachers, and four years ago Walker, the GOP and Faux News tried to characterize teachers, nurses, police, firefighters, the public sector union members as bullies and thugs for peacefully resisting Walker’s attack on their unions.
Just yesterday, Walker compared all union members as “terrorists.” Really?
I suggest that the real bullies here are the Koch brothers, the Bradley Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and those politicians who latch on to those financial teats and thwart our democracy.
You are a veteran, Mr. Petersen.
The building trades that you will be pressured to vote against are full of veterans and hard working, well-trained people-not bullies, thugs and terrorists.
Tens of thousands of tradespeople, voters oppose this legislation.
The trades have great working relationships with over 400 Wisconsin employers who also oppose this legislation.
RTW would force our unions to provide benefits and privileges to those who don’t pay dues.
Maybe you belong to a health club, country club or a gun club.
How would you like it if suddenly they let folks in for free? How long would you keep paying? How long would those organizations thrive?
Tradespeople contribute over $30 million annually to fund their world-class training centers.
If the unions are crushed, who is going to provide this level of training?
The burden will fall to the tech schools and mean higher property taxes.
I encourage you to stand up to the bullying billionaires and millionaires who bought us the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling and who are using it to bludgeon our once-great state and country into a heartless oligarchy.
As clever as they think they are, they haven’t figured out that without a viable middle class, there aren’t enough people who can afford to buy the products and services that make a capitalist economy thrive.