“President, Jackie Jeter and the Officers of Local 689, sent the following letter of support to the presidents of the Madison, Wisconsin AFSCME Local and the Wisconsin Education Council. These are two unions that represent state government employees and teachers in the state of Wisconsin.”
As President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, I am proud to write to let your union know that
Local 689 stands shoulder to shoulder with you in the fight to preserve organized labor against the
onslaught of those who would rather a country where workers have no voice or power.
ATU Local 689 knows firsthand some of the frustration that you are feeling because we have been
engaged in a three year struggle with management to uphold a negotiated contract. In this instance, the
Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) is using a different type of union busting effort, in
that our “final and binding arbitration” clause is in jeopardy of being nullified through the courts.
Since the national elections in November 2010 there appears to be a systematic dismantling of any and
all labor rights using the economic downturn as an excuse to bust unions. In addition, we believe the
governor of Wisconsin and his cohorts intend to eviscerate the power of organized labor such that their
influence will not be felt in upcoming elections. We cannot sit by and let this continue without
challenging any entity or government official that sees the future as one without organized labor.
Our local has agreed to send officers and members to Madison, Wisconsin next week, with the AFL-CIO
contingent, to join in the demonstrations and we pledge to continue to support your heroic efforts to
restore and maintain labor’s hard won rights to decent wages, a pension, health care, and final and
Please let me know if there is anything specifically you need and we will present it to our
membership. We cannot lose these rights and we won’t negotiate away what organized labor stands for
in this country. Without collective bargaining your members and ours lose the family and community
that has banded together for decades to ensure fairness and balance in the workplace and at the