LOS ANGELES (Feb. 20, 2011) - The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists today released the following statement from National President Roberta Reardon supporting the efforts of public sector union members in Wisconsin, Ohio and other parts of the nation who are struggling to protect their basic right to collective bargaining:
On behalf of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO (AFTRA), we extend our solidarity and support to the men and women of the public sector unions of Wisconsin, Ohio and throughout the nation who are standing up for their right to organize and bargain collectively.
America's public sector workers are the backbone our society. Public sector union members educate our children; care for us when we are sick; enforce our laws; sustain our public works; protect our environment; keep our public transportation moving and risk their lives to provide us with relief services.
The attack on public sector union members currently underway in Wisconsin, Ohio and in other parts of our nation is an attack on all union members and the rights of all Americans. Just as AFTRA members have sacrificed at the bargaining table to provide our families with access to quality health care and economic security when we retire, so have union members in the public sector made sacrifices to do the same. Stripping Americans of our rights – such as the rights to collectively bargain and to freely join a union – is not the solution to the problems we face in a tough economy, nor is suppressing the voice of union members the way to fix a broken budget.
Respecting the dignity, rights and the collective voice of both public and private sector workers is the surest path to reviving a secure, strong and vibrant economy for all Americans.
Like all of us, our brothers and sisters in the public sector have a fundamental right to collective bargaining, whether in good economic times or bad. We stand united with our fellow union members throughout this nation, as we work to protect the basic principle that Americans have an inalienable right to a fair living wage, decent benefits, safe working conditions and a voice in our workplaces.
National President, AFTRA
Vice President, AFL-CIO
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society.