New York–There have been union rallies here and throughout the state every day to protest the unionbusting legislation in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio as well as the anti-union budget proposals put forth by New York City Mayor Bloomberg and New York Governor Cuomo. These budget proposals would lead to renegotiating pensions, gutting seniority rights and layoffs of public sector workers. They would lead to closing schools, firehouses and hospitals, and cut funds to help low income people heat their homes and for schools for the deaf, blind and disabled.
Unions throughout the country are showing unprecedented militancy and solidarity, expressing a solid understanding of the class and even connecting the pro-democracy struggles in the Middle East and the anti-union austerity policies in Europe to what is happening in this country.
U.S. unions are challenging the big lie that the contracts that public sector workers have achieved over the years are the cause of the budget deficits. These budget deficits have been caused by the economic crisis brought on by the bursting of the Wall Street speculative bubble. This caused people to lose their jobs and homes, and reduced the tax revenues of cities and state.
No governor, Republican or Democrat, has pushed for even a moderately higher tax on millionaires. This, together with the restoration of the one penny stock transfer tax in New York would bring city and state budgets a surplus. These so-called budget crises are being used as an excuse to break the public sector unions, the largest power base of unions remaining in the U.S. The takeover of the State Capitol in Wisconsin is a hopeful harbinger of the defeat of the attack on the working class.