The Cities | Q.C. Labor Federation & Milltown Wranglers | WQPT

Uploaded by WQPTPBS on 03.06.2011

production funding for the cities is provided by a grant from the doris
victor day foundation
an assault on unions or unnecessary moved this state budgets
and bringing back all those one-room school house is that once surrounded
the cities
our grandparents and even some of our own parents spent countless hours inside
one-room school house is where they've one of the very basics in education
the buildings were a backbone to rural iowa and illinois now
they're gone
but not forgotten
to local documentary makers are bringing them back to life more on that in a
moment but first the biggest fight facing public employees unions have been
a generation it was exactly thirty years ago when the newly elected a republican
president fired unionized federal air traffic controllers that action in
nineteen eighty-one by ronald reagan was called for the most important events in
late twentieth century u_s_ labor history now in twenty eleven a newly
elected republican governor has eliminated large portions of the
bargaining rights enjoyed by wisconsin's public workers is this action going to
be remembered as won the most important events in the early twenty first century
u_s_ labor history
let's find out
turning out the vice president quad cities federation of labor did only on thank
you so much for coming you betcha
and professor at western illinois university
doctor tammie warner it's kind of both of you to join us this is a topic that is so
and is so critically important to know if you serve government but the future
of the labor movement and employees
did you just go came back from madison
where the last uh... big rally was held on saturday tell me what it was like was
an electrifying uh... you have a number of people who were there
it was a wonderful rally uh... quad cites federation labor brought ninety
uh... activist in the area to go up to this rally and are basically on the we
had young people young people had never been involved in any type of protest or
any type of action before that one to come on the bus we had to members that
never got involved in the union members for twenty years
had never gotten called for that one to go up on the bus india part of this
because they know that this is ground zero for labor
they know what the governor doing what is what he's doing in wisconsin is
not for
uh... balancing the budget it's about destroying unions there has been a
period of time over the last month more than a half
where we have heard discussions from
common taxpayers who are you there
fully in support of the republican governor of wisconsin saying these
public employees are just spending at uh... our money our tax money
to excess
as well as the people's jurors saying people are saying look we're public
uh... uh... we have fought for these rights
we are not out of the mainstream
what do you say
toodles taxpayers
that they may have lost their jobs they don't see the same benefits they don't
see the same protections
as public employees do you
with the general public needs to know is that uh... this is the corporate idea
that has been going on for some time i mean it all started with the supreme
court decision that said
uh... basically
um... corporations or people to
and now they can spend millions upon millions of dollars in campaigns like
they did wisconsin
and here in iowa
um... they put a lot of money towards getting governor walker elected
on and what this comes down to is the pay back for corporations
first thing he did was gave corporations a tax cut
uh... then he came to labor and said we need to balance the budget will you make
sacrifice then the unions were willing to make sacrifices
and that was enough for the union's willing to make sacrifices that
is only until it came to this thirteen th hour
i mean that the bargaining between the governor of wisconsin the legislature in
and the unionized employees in wisconsin
never got the full fruition because the governor first took office in january
yes yours only governor for six weeks when you start won t of wanting to
collective bargaining office
omp up prior to that he first gave corporations a big tax cut
then he turned around and asked workers to make sacrifices
sacrifices the workers were willing to make sacrifices
but then he turned around
and cut the collected bargaining anyway well let me get back to the original
that is the taxpayer that is fed up with paying higher taxes may have
lost their own job what do you say to that person's
first of all there's a there's a uh... a problem with
on that on with information is going out to the public
uh... an average state employees in the state of illinois after twenty
four years service
only uh... retires with the pension
of on twenty two thousand dollars a year
that's uh... that's a living wage just barely a living wage so these are not
cushion pensions up public employees on it
but what's going on in america today it is
the rich are getting richer and other working class
in the middle class is disappearing
that's in the faults of other working people in this country
to the fault of corporations
you know that
four hundred
people in this country
own more wealth
then that at the bottom hundred fifty million people in this country
think about that
that top four hundred rich people in this country
more wealth
than the bottom hundred fifty million
people in this country but we are talking about when you are going well
pride and we're taught it well public collective bargaining and let me get
doctor warner in the conversation right now because
you teach
on some of the union labor issues at western illinois university there's
gotta be a huge topic among your students as well because
what is happening madison wisconsin is being looked at from coast to coast and
also was being looked at as perhaps the future
of union bargaining
on not only in the public but also the private sector
when one point i wanted to make it that's ok
sort of that there are two issues going on one is the
uh... perception that the public does not support
collective bargaining among public sector employees
and that
actually isn't true
there've been some really good polls taken recently both in wisconsin a
nationally and one that caught my eye was appalled by the new york times and
i've looked at the methodology was very sound
it was a random sample of americans
and one of the questions they ask was do you think government workers
are over compensated are compensated too much
just right
or too little
sixty one percent of the respondents said they thought government workers
were compensated either just right
or two little
which is really interesting because it doesn't match the rhetoric that we're
and the more interesting point was
in terms of party affiliation
of the respondents who said
they thought
public workers were compensated either just right or too little
half of them
identified as republicans
so what that indicates to me is that it's not an issue
it's a manufactured issue the whole idea that the public does not support
government workers or public workers making a fair wage and benefit
so that leads to the second thing this the american people seem to get that
because um...
they seem to get back it's not issue because about sixty percent of the
it does tap into the
amount about the
haves and have-nots
with some of the have nots looking at public one union workers
believing that there's a halfs
it does and i've got a quote i think it really sums it up
this is the governor chris christie of new jersey and this is what he said in a
recent address and he said something similar in a state of the state of address
there are two classes of people in new jersey
public employees who receive rich benefits
and those who pay for them
so what's interesting is the questions being framed class warfare
between public employees
and private employees which really diverts the attention away from some of
the issues
that he's trying to get out here in terms of where the income and wealth
distribution is going and what we do know is
from two thousand of two thousand seventy years leading up to the
one hundred percent of that wage gains went to the top ten percent of americans
ninety percent of american saw no
gain in wages our earn income i should say which includes more than wages
so again it seems to be more of a political strategy than it does
a real issue it doesn't seem to be of concern to the american public certainly
not to the extent it appears to be if we look at the media coverage let's get my
original thesis and that is that in nineteen eighty one
ronald regan
fired the patco workers the uh... air traffic controllers that were unionized
milestone in the labor union uh... movement
now you're seeing this right now do you see this as a milestone as well
absolutely i mean at this time move from wisconsin and cost this country in ohio
and indiana
and already here and ioaw what these governors had done
is galvanize different workers together
uh... the a_f_l_c_i_o_ represents public sector workers and private-sector
workers but there are groups outside of about these workers that are joining
non -unionized workers are joining this fight in wisconsin alone i got a
report yesterday
that we have signed up twenty thousand
individuals that don't belong to unions that had joined working america
and we have the republicans are coming to us
better stay in that they're changing party died they are going to support
working families agendas self
if changing out there we have students all we have farmers our
firefighters police officers
all behind the labor movement and its rights could say no
they know public sector unions are destroyed
way of life will be destroyed but are we actually destroying public
sector unions here
we're talking about uh... limiting bargaining rights not entirely
eliminating unions in any way not truth uh... the full extent
they're talking about remove of collecting bargaining off away altogether
when it comes to bargaining over health care when it comes to bargaining over
are working vision from point net
by not having a grievance procedure can you imagine working and public sector
and you have a grievance
and somebody's taking something out of on you because
political reports you can follow grievous protect your job
i mean this issue uh... this is an american right
uh... this is a human right
this is something that all workers should have his dignity in the workplace
you're pointing out that the pendulum is swinging in one direction that is that
the unions are becoming more galvanized
you could also argue that it is a swing in another direction where republican
lawmakers are getting far more galvanizeson this issue if it
works in wisconsin why can it work in iowa well obviously is because you have
a democratic senate in iowa which will stop it from proceeding all the way to
the governor's office but iowa lawmakers republicans in the house did pass
changes in collective bargaining did not get through the senate stuck in a senate
committee will not be reported out but they are saying they're laying the
your fights are over by a longshot either whether or they
better be aware of who their constituents are thirty five percent of
people in the labor union vote republican
that is shifting
keep our star in the wake up and say you know what stein devote my pocketbook
the start of the vote decide it's time to start to vote for working family
issues and that's changing
and were seen groups come together
that had never worked together in organizations before a
its a big movemet across the country where we want to move dr. warner
talking about this being a watershed moment you're not so sure time will tell
i think it's a to early
i really do think it's too early to predict
whether or not it will be it's helpful to look back at what were
the conditions
under which the union movement originally emerged and of course it had
to do with
on moving to
an industrial society where lots and lots of people worked in factories
and we hadn't figured out what that relationship
should be between companies and workers and initially conditions were just awful
you know we've all seen the films and and read about the stories it wasn't
just about wages that was about working conditions safety issues
originally they were fighting for a ten hour work day not eight-hour workday
they were fighting for
on just the basic safety in fairness issues
and so i think it's helpful to think about that's when it was under those
conditions that the union movement emerged
what would be the conditions that would surf reinvigorated and i think if it's
going to cross the public private-sector line so to speak and include a large
number of private-sector workers
they're going to be in the jobs that are there now which is service where
and there aren't that many
service jobs that don't pay well
and i think the jobs that are probably more likely to be successful in terms of
the union movement would be those service sector jobs they're not
to outsourcing and i'll give you one brief example
the nursing home industry as a growth industry in the US mostly because the
baby-boomers aging and living a long time
if you live along time you're more likely to
to need long-term care
purely economic standpoint it would probably make the most sense
so the nursing home industry
their services in other words build state of the art
uh... nursing homes and other countries has much has manufacturing has built state
art facilities in other countries
but i really don't think the american public
would support having their elderly loved ones
ship to another country
so that wages are lower benefits are nonexistent and regulation isn't there
'cause right now the state
well do inspections and try to assure that we have quality care
uh... so those of the jobs are not better probably least vulnerable
in terms of on um... you know that there's not going to be outsourced in
terms of the union movement
we're talking about what's going on right now with a modern union movement
one of the criticisms of unions
is that it hurts
but at least the flexibility that companies have to react quickly to a
changing marketplace the auto industry could be underlining their
is is that something that the unions have learned into uh... somewhat be more
flexible when it comes to uh... working with uh... a big business or in this
case with government
but some of the i think you see in this country that productive higher
than ever before
problem is is
the wages are not trickling down to the worker the wages are
wages are going up
uh... to corporate head and CEOs
uh... that has the share with workers and you talk about something
that will galvanize workers that we night workers together
uh... is the pocketbook i mean when they can no longer afford to be
middle-class workers when they no longer afford feed their families
properly or have a decent education for their children
uh... people unionized and come back and and fight back
one of the big things that was lost in this recent using
wisconsin as an example
was the decorum of even having a discussion
it seems like it was a rallying cry
on one side and a response on the other but never any real constructive
from the union perspective did door's always open to sit down
uh... and talk that's how things are done in the business world
that's how things are done in the labor world instead at the bargaining table we
discussed issues
and we fix issues at the bargaining table
uh... when the governor refuse sit down and talk to
uh... the employer and employee representatives are that's slap in
the face to all working people cross america
this isn't how or democracy was built
this is how democracy so taken away
so different than you look at that Italy were my grandfather was from
were he was an active union member
uh... mosline came in and basically wiping out
union representation crossed the country thats democracy fell
we have to be aware of that
our people deserve a voice
at the workplace and their at the bargaining table
vice president of the quad cities federation of labor thanks
so much for joining us
doctor werner thank you very much
each week we like to show off some of the musical talent on
quad cities music scene
so let's hear some of the best of what's happening best
and now time to get the lowdown on what's coming up in the quad cities lora
has that and more as she goes out in about
this is out and about for march seventeenth at twenty third i'm lora
coming up on wqpt isn't weekend of favorite from our march membership drive
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plus wiu presents miami spring quartet
there's plenty of saint patrick's day fun in the quad cities everything from
the saint patty's day opened my mic at circa '21
leprechaun bingo for the center for active seniors and more improvisational
fun with shamrocks and shenanigans and comedy sports cities unstained also
dot finishes its work for twenty one in rock island and and they can real
slow at jackson closes sign and send it new ground theater while frost nixon
at hill top there's plenty to do in the quad cities
out more at wqpt dot org
thanks so much lora they've cast new light on an old work and told the story
of two native americans who signed a treaty
and lost their nation and what would later become the state of iowa now kelly
antennae rundle quad cities documentary makers have set their sights on another
loss tradition the one-room schoolhouse
joining me know are the rundles
how are you doing
we were just talking uh... if i start with uh... kelly out there with you we
were just talking about uh...
it's about this story
that isn't that part in our past the one-room schoolhouse
so close to us that both of our fathers turned the corner and schools so
we grew up hearing the stories about them
i don't think either one of us not about making a documentary about it though
a man named bills sherman
does the gentleman who suggested the one-room school for the fact of the
iowa quarter
uh... kind of cornered us that the premier plus nation the ongoing into
des moines 0:21:16.380,0:21:19.330 i don't think we knew what to think of the story it first
uh... we were not sure how exciting is uh... a documentry and one-room
schools would be but
we uh... began to do some research
uh... into the subject looked at some other documentaries that have been made
and felt like we could really have something you know to that story and how
does the story starts tammine
it began
how the firm what you want to start work on it
how it begin that
that all the sudden yet
this is this reminding pretty well
once he said and start talking to former one room teachers and
students and you start talking to preservationists you realize how
passionate these people are about this story and how important it was for them
to help preserve it so um...
it didn't take long for us to realize we had something special
and that when you go and visit these
little one-room schools i think kellie both
uh... both of us felt like need c_-one you see them all that's just not the
case to get in there
and they're all a little different and there are a lot of memories in those
places you see how they're situated you see
where they're located and how their surroundings makes something of you know
that place
e it wasn't very long we realized it was going to be a good film and a good
subject to hid on
no we talked to up people want to be a new talk to people away from wisconsin
through iowa
as far as kansas
is a pretty much the same story throughout that people had this
this strong belief in in growing up in rural america and getting an education
at a school like this
the stories were similar from state to state and i would say the three states
combined give you a sense of that story in the upper midwest
but they also each have their own distinctive part of the story
uh... wisconsin for example has something called the school of the air
which meant the teachers can tune in several times a day
and uh... have additional coursework presented by uh... by broadcasters and
science or an art our music
perhaps some of the expertise uh... that the teacher might not have themselves
uh... kansas had uh... also uh... differences than than iowa
um... it was uh... the buildings for example are different more wood frame
structures in iowa and kansas because there's not a lot of timber you have
more stones schools
so uh... lots of differences but the the essential experience for the one-room
school is the same across the country and even in the uh... countries around
the world that have one room schools
lets start talking about the structure and then we'll get to the people inside
of course
uh... tammie were you surprised that you may have driven by some of these
buildings and everyone knows they were there
uh... absolutely when we first started on the project
had no clue
really where we are going to find these one-room schools as you can anyone one
two three of them in the area yeah i was really surprised how many are still
standing and how many had been preserved
once we got into the project it was pretty easy to spot these little one room
along the countryside
i mean now we have no problem spotting them an emotional abandoned buildings or
reused or in disrepair
we know for example in iowa that at the peak they had almost thirteen
thousand one-room schools that could be as many as hundred schools too
and uh... now there are something like three thousand existing buildings
by the thousands buildings have been converted to homes that's the most
popular way to preserve the one-room school
then uh... the remaining structures there's about two hundred uh...
fully restored as museums and the rest her you know in various the status of
either decomposition or they have been repurposed his farm buildings or for
other other uses the other is the human factor and it just seems to sub hearken
back to a simpler time
the story the film really is
a combination
uh... you know it it captures the history of the one room school that
captures the preservation that really what is interesting about story is how
that structure was to the rural community
it was a place for people to celebrate people for children are a place
where people brought their children to learn there is a lot of sacrifice an
investment that one and to that structure from the community
is a place for people to vote
and to support their country
it was uh...
it was a wonderful place for a community are found it's not just focus on the
and all of the good points of the country school we do get into
some of the negative as well and kelly it's called country school one room one
how does one get
to watch it now
well we've we've had a regional dvd release underway this month national dvd
release in the fall
and next year
we expected to be broadcast on p_b_s_ stations throughout the midwest you've
also had presentation you've gone from a group
um... on what's the reaction so far
so far it's been good you know you never know until you show a film and when
you've got a room full of former one-room school students are kind of
hoping things you know go over okay
so far it's been very very well received and we're happy about that
we had one person saw and early cut of it and said it was
visual poetry
and that's one of the nicest compliments we've ever received i think
really try to present of the story in the way that we
experience it as as we uh... document
thank you Kelly and thank you tammie and they will be showing their new documentaries
sunday april seventeenth
at the dewitt opera house now the documentary is called country school
in one room one nation
and i'll be airing on public television stations in the midwest so you can check
our wqot program guide this summer to find out one double air in the quad
cities what
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