L.A., Wisconsin – A Template for Union Power

Posted on February 25, 2011 by

The hoots, hollers and beating snare drums you’ll hear on this clip of  Los Angeles union activists in the Wisconsin statehouse is not just a group of radicals whooping it up. 

Many of these people have spent the best years of the lives in front-line organizing, union contract and political battles.

I’ve watched the LA labor movement transition into a forceful and effective advocate for workers and immigrant rights and progressive governance. 

There are seasoned and tough-skinned labor veterans across the country primed for this upcoming fight over union rights and the decline of the American middle class.

Though this nation’s labor movement has been thinned out by a de-industrialized economy and an intense de-unionization campaign by corporate America, those who kept the faith have acquired tremendous skills as agitators and mobilizers.

Contrast this to neophyte tea party activists who’ve been bankrolled by their corporate patrons and granted instant access to the public mind by Fox and talk radio.

So let the games begin.

And keep your eye on LA where militant street tactics and sophisticated political organization have fashioned a new template for union strength and solidarity.

Comments (5)


  1. Martin Jay says:

    Go Get ‘Em – Lou!!!

    This is where the labor rubber meets the road.

    I love your “roll up your sleeves” attitude and let’s “duke it out” metaphors.

    It won’t be easy – and it’s not going to going to be pretty.
    Those “neophyte tea party activists” are bankrolled by the same people – who have been successfull at attacking from all angles.
    They can shoot from the hip – and they remind you of thier 2nd amendment “constitutional rights”.

    When it comes to the “rights of the workers” – the defense of constittional rights suddenly takes a back seat.

    Hooray for all of you – out in LA. I hope this goes national.
    Unions of all large municipalities should back this 100% When Wisconsin is backed by ALL the unions in the country – the insistence of pasing this budget without losing worker’s right to collective bargaining will pass!!!

    This reminds me of one of my favorite movies of all time.
    On The Watefront -. The classic struggle between the big bosses – and the people who want to work and feed their families.

    This is our moment!

    This is the moment where we look into ourselves and say

    I coiulda been a contender!!!!

    • Stephen D. Lewis, JD says:

      Which constitutional rights are you referring to? You socialists have ruined this country’s ability to compete in a world market and have bankrupted the states.

      Bring it on!

  2. Martin Jay says:

    The Constitutional rights I am speaking about is everyone’s – right to “due process” under the law.

    Collective Bargaining has always been part of that process. If we lose those rights – then ALL of us lose our rights.

    That’s not socialism – that’s preserving America!!!

  3. Betty says:

    Gov. Scott Walker was finance by Koch billionaire “Tea Party” funder and took a bogus phone call from someone he thought was Koch. Walker won’t sit down with the WI teachers already working at 25% less salaries of private sector teachers in America by taking a additional 8% cut and taking on larger class sizes the children in my home district ranking in the top 5% will loss the most as my teacher nieces and nephews who carry student debt. to achieve their Masters degrees will not be able to continue to teach in the public school system and live on poverty wages. The children will loss the most with cuts to the security and opportunity of having quality teachers. By the way how does cutting wages of working families grows the economy. Lower salaries equal less taxes paid and more debt in the next budget round. Gov. Walker spoke of this being the first domino in taking away bargaining rights from teachers. For the sake of our children stop the attacks on working families. Wall Street and two wars created this debt. Wall Street is booming Main Street is bleeding and billionaires continue to get tax brakes. To compete in the world our government must include the working families around the world that create the product that only a thriving economy can afford. How does this end S. Lewis?

  4. TOM SCOTTO says:

    All of the municipal TRUSTEES must go back to their Pension Funds and insist that their money managers publically support Collective Bargaining and the DB plans.

    If these money managers( who make a fortune on the funds) can’t support these programs…then the TRUSTEES should not support them.

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