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Workers slam Karl Rove, back Employee Free Choice Act

By Jacob Flom

Banner reading "Bust up the union busters"

Milwaukee, WI – Angry labor unionists and their supporters protested here, May 19, against Republican hit man Karl Rove. The conservative lobbying group, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) invited former Bush aide Karl Rove to speak against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). EFCA promises to make it easier for workers to form unions with less interference and dirty tricks from bosses. Unions and workers are demanding this new amendment to the National Labor Relations Act that will make forming a union a simple democratic choice.

The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce conference was closed to the public and the press, but 150 workers showed up at 8:00 a.m. outside to make their voices heard. Workers held signs in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act and chanted, “What do we want? Free Choice! When do we want it? Now!” The bosses at the WMC would not speak to the media, but passed out literature that opposed the EFCA.

The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce is also opposing a measure that would make Milwaukee the third U.S. city to win paid sick days. The paid sick days ballot initiative passed in November with an astounding 69% mandate and would give all workers in Milwaukee nine paid sick days each year, a huge victory for all workers.

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