August 2012

Steve Noll, a member of the Local 243 Communications Committee, will discuss social media’s role at the national conventions at 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 30, 2012 on the “WTDY News: Everything at Five” show. A Marketing Instructor at the Truax campus, Noll teaches courses in social media.

You can find WTDY at 1640 AM on your radio dial.

“We have seen a disturbing phenomenon over the past decade regarding the use of Orwellian-type doublespeak in the corporate takeover of America,” writes Brian Austin in a blog post on the South Central Federation of Labor blog. “In particular,” he continues, “the Republican Party has been absolutely masterful in utilizing language in a way that doesn’t merely change the meaning of words, but changes peoples’ perception of the very policies and conditions that affect their daily lives. Doublespeak has been a huge factor in convincing people to vote against their own interests.”

Brian Austin is a City of Madison police detective and member of the SWAT team as well as board member for his union. He is a founding member of “Cops for Labor,” and during the Wisconsin Uprising he worked long shifts on duty around the Capitol and joined the protest as soon as his shift ended. Austin blogs at

Read the rest of his important essay on why words matter at

Hello Brothers and Sisters!

Let me start by thanking you for voting for me as President. I will work diligently these next two years to validate your confidence in me. But I cannot do anything alone: I need your help.

The College’s Centennial provides a meaningful opportunity for self-reflection. Clearly Madison (Area Technical) College has done something well to be able to celebrate such a milestone. Where do we fit in to that success and how do we assure it continues?

I believe that colleges such as ours are one of the few remaining paths to the middle class and the American Dream. In addition to changing the lives of our students, that American Dream is made possible by the College, in part through its relationship with its Unions. Collective bargaining has created a workplace in which farness is required, collaboration is fostered and contribution is rewarded. Those outside this College who implemented barriers to our way of doing things perceive the world as “us versus them” with some (of them) more deserving than others. We reject this perception. Others may legislate aspects of our work-lives, but they cannot legislate away our solidarity with each other. To the contrary: efforts to eliminate us motivated us to join together. We are this community’s college.

We serve this community and we are of this community. We understand that ‘us’ and ‘them’ are more accurately ‘we’ and that each of us makes a significant contribution. We know that student success, worker success, and the success of the College are not mutually exclusive: they are interdependent. Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions. This college works because we do!

As an institution of higher education, we are called to model civility, nurture curiosity, and provide opportunities for continuous re-invention. As a Union, we must find a way to thrive in a new political environment. We must reinforce connections, create new avenues for communication, and develop new skills for advocacy. Bicycle or SUV, bow-hunter or rifle, vegan or omnivore, Brewers or Cardinals – these differences do not matter in our fight for the dignity of all work and workers. We always have been and always will be stronger together. Diversity adds to our strength and all of us must work together for any of us to be successful.

What is a union? How can a member become an activist? What rights exist without a collective bargaining agreement? How can I connect? How can I contribute? These are some of the questions we will answer together. Some things are known, others ours to discover. An opportunity to reinforce what works and change what doesn’t is upon us. Your Local leaders have been preparing: the newly elected officers of the merged chapters are working together; conversations between WEAC, MTI, and AFT are on-going to share experiences and strength; the AFT National Convention provided networking opportunities with leaders in other states – including right-to-work-for-less states; and we are reaching out to the the Madison College Foundation, students and other activists.

If you perceive some of the greatest minds and most creative solutions exist within the members of our Local; that solidarity can be formed above and around those things which might separate us; that the American Dream is worth fighting for; and Madison College can provide access to that Dream when it acts as an employer of choice and college of choice for our community … join me in the effort to maintain Local 243 as an agent of positive change!

Immigrant Workers Union (IWU) is excited to announce the Fourth Annual Black Latino Unity Picnic on Sunday August 26th. The picnic will be held at Penn Park (2101 Fisher St.,Madison, WI) from 1-5pm. The event is part of an overall grassroots effort to promote unity and collaboration between the Black and Latino Communities.

Cuarto Picnic por la unidad de las comunidades Latina y Morena & Lanzamiento de la Plegaria por la Unidad

La Unión de Trabajadores Inmigrantes (IUTI) se complace en anunciar la cuarta edición del Picnic por la unidad de las comunidades Latina y Morena el domingo 26 de agosto. El picnic se llevará a cabo en el parque Penn Park (2101 Fisher St.,Madison, WI) de 1 a 5 pm. El evento es parte de un esfuerzo de base para promover la unidad y la colaboración entre las comunidades morena y latinas.

The national AFL-CIO has endorsed a nationwide boycott of Palermo’s Pizza and actions are being planned around the country targeting Costco, which sells Palermo’s-made pizza as its house brand, Kirklands.

Join fellow union members for a National Day of Action solidarity picket from noon until 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 26, 2012 at Costco Wholesale, 2150 Deming Way, Middleton WI 53562.

According to the South Central Federation of Labor, “Costco is the largest seller of Palermo’s Pizza in the nation, selling it under the Kirkland Brand. As a company, Costco has committed to supporting middle class jobs and responsible suppliers. For this reason, community and labor organizations across the nation are uniting to urge Costco to stop selling Palermo’s Pizza and to support Palermo’s workers’ rights!”

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Attend the All-Union Social Thursday after work

August 23, 2012

Take some time to socialize with other union members and activists at the All-Union Social from on Thursday, August 23, 2012 from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on the Memorial Union Terrace, 800 Langdon Street in Madison (upper terrace near Rathskeller entrance). There is no formal agenda for this event, which is sponsored by AFT-Wisconsin. […]

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