On Thursday, November 29, the Canadian Union of Public Employees Saskatchewan held a Solidarity Conference in Regina. Mahlon Mitchell, the State President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, the union representing firefighters in the state, delivered an energetic and moving speech to CUPE members and the union leadership in attendance. In 2012, Mitchell ran as a Democratic Party candidate for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin in a recall election against Republican Rebecca Kleefisch. Kleefisch was a member of Governor Scott Walker’s administration and worked to oversee the implementation of the anti-union legislation known as Act 10, or “Budget Repair Bill”. Mitchell worked with his fellow firefighters to mobilize support against the undermining of collective bargaining rights in his state.
Throughout his speech, Mitchell talks about the importance of union solidarity, community building, and union renewal, especially in the public sector.