A must-read release from CBTU:
The Coalition of Black Trade Unions (CBTU) are outraged by County Executive Scott Walker’s budget he has submitted to the County Board . He is proposing the elimination of hundreds of family-supporting county jobs. The vast majority of those jobs are in the lowest wage classifications — Housekeeping and Custodial positions at the Behavioral Health Division and the Court House and other county facilities, and Security positions at the Court House. The workers targeted are overwhelming people of color.
These positions are paid $12.00 to $15.00 per hour. Walker is proposing to privatize these jobs, so the incumbents will have to train their replacements or accept employment with the private vendor at a fraction of their current wages, with no health insurance, pensions, or other fringe benefits.
Just two weeks ago, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran a front-page story about the unemployment rate for African-American men running at almost 50% in Milwaukee . This week’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel warns that job re-training dollars are running out. In light of these facts, the job prospects of the workers who Walker wants to displace are grim at best.
“Our community cannot afford to lose any more family-supporting jobs” says Stephanie Findley. The County Board must not allow Walker to succeed in his ‘race to the bottom,’ at the expense of the hard-working people of color, who work for Milwaukee County.
The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists consists of members from seventy-seven international and national unions with forty two chapters across the country including Milwaukee, WI. CBTU seeks to fulfill the dream of those Black trade unionists, both living and deceased, who throughout this century have courageously and unremittingly struggled to build a national movement that would bring all our strengths and varied talents to bear in the unending effort to achieve economic, political and social justice for every American.
The basic objectives of the CBTU are reflected in its activities and projects:
*Improve economic development and employment opportunities for black workers.
*Work within the framework of the trade union movement to provide a voice and vehicle for greater black and minority participation.
*Increase union involvement in voter registration, voter education and voter turnout projects.
*Organize unorganized workers.
*Actively support civil rights and civic groups working to improve living and working conditions in the black community.
*Increase effective political alliances between labor, churches and the general community.