Newsmakers: Union Leaders Focus on Recalls
On the July 7, 2011 installment of Newsmakers, leaders of Wisconsin unions with a combined membership of more than 500,000 talked about their efforts to unseat enough Republican state senators in summer recall elections to flip Senate control to Democrats. Panelists were Mary Bell, president of WEAC; Marty Beil, executive director of AFSCME Council 24 (WSEU); David Newby, president of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO for 16 years, and Mahlon Mitchell, president of Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin. They said unfair changes to collective-bargaining laws for most public workers, and the state budget passed by Republican legislators and signed into law by Republican Gov. Scott Walker, amount to an attack on all unions and on middle-class Wisconsin. A Democratic-run Senate would be a "firewall" against those Republicans, Newby said.