We Are One International Solidarity Rally @ Peace Arch Park, Peace Arch Border Crossing
Join union members, their families and allies from Washington, Oregon and B.C. at the international border to stand in solidarity with workers who are struggling to keep their right to collectively bargain.
- Saturday, April 2 from 2:00 PM – 3:00PM – the rally will be short and fun!
- Peace Arch State Park – map here
- For the latest information and to download a poster visit bcfed.ca
We Are One is an international solidarity rally that protests the unprecedented and draconian legislation that significantly restricts the collective bargaining and workers’ rights of Wisconsin public sector employees. B.C. trade unionists have witnessed first-hand what an anti-union government will try to do, from eroding employment standards, freezing wages, selling off public assets like BC Rail, and advancing privatization. Now workers in Wisconsin need our support to protect their rights and to defend public services.
Rally attendees are encouraged to car pool to the border. The B.C. Federation of Labour will also be providing bus service to the rally from Scott Road Skytrain station. The buses are scheduled to leave Scott Road Station at 12:30 PM. Please send an e-mail message to Patrick Bragg – firstname.lastname@example.org in order to reserve a seat. The buses will return participants to the Scott Road Skytrain station immediately after the event (starting at approximately 3:30 PM). All are encouraged to use transit or take advantage of the “Park and Ride” lot at Scott Road.
Groups on Vancouver Island are also organizing transportation from Nanaimo and Victoria – for more information contact your local District Labour Council.
The staging area for the rally will be on the U.S. side of Peace Arch Park. CBSA informs us that participants could be asked for proof of Canadian residence and/or proof of citizenship/immigrant status. The easiest way to provide this would be with a Canadian passport. If you do not have a passport, please bring government issued photo id (i.e.- driver’s license) and birth certificate or Canadian immigration document.
Background – Wisconsin
In a late night session, Republican governor Scott Walker rammed a bill through the state senate that would:
- Deny collective bargaining rights to thousands of Wisconsin public sector workers and end negotiations covering working conditions, health and safety including workers compensation, leave entitlements, seniority rules, equality provisions, grievance procedures, representation rights, and pensions and benefits
- Restrict public sector wage increases to the cost of living (COL) and require any salary increase above the COL to go to public referendum
- Force union members to vote annually to keep their union
- Stop dues check-off, making unions collect dues directly from members
- Enable the sell-off of Wisconsins public utilities, and more
On March 18, a circuit court judge temporarily blocked the legislation. But the battle for workers’ rights continues – other US states and right wing groups in Canada are watching what’s happening in Wisconsin, intent on passing similar bills of their own or lobbing for changes to Canadian laws.
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