November 27, 2021

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Ten years after Act 10, Wisconsin teachers are still fighting to rebuild from the rubble

2 min read

Under Republican Gov. Scott Walker Wisconsin became a “right to work” state, and public sector unions were gutted with the passage of Act 10 in 2011. But teachers like Maricela Aguilar Monroy haven’t stopped fighting.

Ten years ago, the landscape for workers’ rights and organized labor in the state of Wisconsin changed dramatically with the passage of Act 10 under Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Act 10 was a hammer blow to the labor movement that essentially stripped collective bargaining rights from public sector workers, made it much more difficult for workers to organize, and forced unions to take massive concessions on healthcare, retirement benefits, and much more. Soon after, in 2015, Walker signed legislation that turned Wisconsin into a “right to work” state, issuing another blow to unions in a state once heralded as a bellwether of the labor movement. But all hope is not lost. In the wake of this coordinated assault on workers and unions, many are using the tools available to them to build up their communities and rebuild working-class power in Wisconsin.
As part of a special collaboration with In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez traveled to Wisconsin with Cameron Granadino (TRNN) and Hannah Faris (In These Times) to speak with teachers and organizers around the state about how Act 10 impacted their lives and work, and how they are rebuilding out of the rubble. In the first installment of this series of special reports, Alvarez speaks with Maricela Aguilar Monroy, an undocumented educator and organizer who has spent most of her life in Milwaukee, and who is working to strengthen the community that has provided a home for her so it can continue to provide a home for others.

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