03/20/11-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Even those who have been kicked while they were down are managing to find a way to help those suffering in Japan. Wisconsin’s public employees have recently been the subject of a lot of attention, and a lot of problems. Recently, Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature took away their collective bargaining rights through illegal political maneuvers, but that is not stopping them from helping Japan.
In response to the tragic events in Japan, the more than 65,000 Wisconsin workers represented by AFSCME Councils 24, 40 and 48 are donating $50,000 to an earthquake relief fund established by RENGO, Japan’s trade union confederation on behalf of all AFSCME members nationwide.
Marty Beil, the executive director of Wisconsin State Employees Union, Council 24, stated:
“Even as our members are facing great stress from being singled out as scapegoats for our state’s budgetary problems, their true nature shows though. Our members have big hearts. They are committed to serving others, so it is only natural that even now their thoughts and compassion are flowing to the people of Japan.”
The AFL-CIO blog also reported:
Rick Badger, executive director of Council 40, said:
Because so many of our members serve on the front lines during disasters and emergencies, seeing the plight of our Japanese sisters and brothers has touched us all deeply.
Council 48 Executive Director Rich Abelson added:
Emergency workers in Japan are bravely and tirelessly putting their own lives on the line to protect and serve others as this catastrophe continues. We understand the vital role these workers play and we want to do whatever we can to show our support in this desperate time.
Kudos to them for being willing to help those in dire need right now.