Keep Me in the Loop!

March 2, 2011: Message from UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez

Someone once said if you "stir up a hornet’s nest, no tellin’ who’s gonna get stung." The expression comes to mind as our union sisters and brothers valiantly resist Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s scheme to end collective bargaining rights for state employees in Wisconsin. Gov. Walker is using a state budget deficit–largely caused by tax cuts for the wealthy passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature–as an excuse to strip public workers of their union rights. The fight is spilling over into additional states as other Republican politicians try the same treachery. We in the farm worker movement have also been victims of plots to destroy the right to have a union of our own. Our obituaries have been written many times. But by nonviolently fighting for our lives, the farm workers forged renewed resolve to prevail as well as survive–and won fresh allies and enormous public support we had never previously enjoyed. These partisan attacks on the most basic of union rights in Wisconsin are both a serious challenge and a great opportunity for the U.S. labor movement. The anti-worker, anti-union GOP politicians and political extremists behind these assaults may one day come to regret the hornet’s next they have stirred up.

Arturo S. Rodriguez, President
United Farm Workers