IAFF online

Bill Glanz July 26, 2011 14:53

General President Harold Schaitberger today joined members of Congress to outline the attacks that extremist lawmakers have waged this year against workers across the nation.

In a press conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, Schaitberger said the latest attack on workers being waged in Congress is an extension of the political and legislative fights in the states.

 

He said too many lawmakers are trying to turn back the clock by eliminating bargaining rights.

“This is an orchestrated, organized attempt to simply destroy America’s labor movement,” President Schaitberger said.

Schaitberger also described how the American Legislative Exchange Council is behind the attempt to silence the voices of workers through its effort to give anti-labor bills to lawmakers in state legislatures throughout the country.

ALEC is responsible for 856 bills in the states to destroy bargaining, dues deduction and other rights that workers have, President Schaitberger said.

“This is a political environment that is trying to destroy what we’ve built,” the general president said.

U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA) introduced President Schaitberger as the leader of the union that has been on the frontlines of the fight to protect workers against these attacks.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said workers must continue to stand up to the lawmakers in Congress and in state legislatures who are behind the political and legislative attacks.

“We must and we will keep up the fight for fair wages and good benefits. We must and we will stand up for working families, a stronger middle class and for a growing economy,” Pelosi said.

Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin President Mahlon Mitchell joined President Schaitberger at the press conference and said Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker destroyed collective bargaining rights with the stroke of a pen when he signed the state’s budget repair bill in February.

“We have to reclaim our moral outrage and our righteous indignation. We have to make sure that we take it to the streets, that our voices are heard. This is an attack not on just unions, this is an attack on the middle class,” Mitchell said.

President Schaitberger was joined by dozens of IAFF members from Washington DC Fire Fighters Association Local 36, Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Local 2068 and Montgomery County Fire Fighters Local 1664.

Union members from the International Association of Machinists, Communications Workers of America, AFSCME, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and SEIU also attended.

C-SPAN carried the press conference live, and you can watch it here. President Schaitberger begins speaking at about the 11 minute 56 second mark:

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