Guards at 3 Wis. prisons vote to form new union

Organizers expect more to follow
Guards at 3 Wis. prisons vote to form new union

Guards at 3 Wisconsin prisons have voted to break away from their international union and form a new association. Organizers expect correctional officers at 7 other state prisons to follow suit.

Guards and other workers at the Dodge, Waupun and Taycheedah prisons have formed the Wisconsin Association for Correctional Law Enforcement. The workers are breaking away from Council 24 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The interim president of the new group, Waupun guard Brian Cunningham, said the concerns of prison workers are lost in AFSCME, which represents all types of state workers. He told the Journal Sentinel that Republican lawmakers are reluctant to listen to their concerns because of past battles with AFSCME. The group hopes to hold a certification vote in November.