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My husband and I participated for the first time in the Workers Memorial Ceremony April 28 hosted by the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO, and both of us found it to be very meaningful.

I recently became, for the first time in my life, a dues-paying member of a union. I pay my union dues with a smile because I've seen many positive results from those dues. Now I participate as an officer in my local/chapter, while continuing to learn about union activities. My husband is in the local retired chapter of USPS rural carriers’ union.

It was nice seeing familiar faces from last July's annual Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO potluck and attendees from last fall's Labor Feast. It was wonderful seeing the many elected officials in attendance including Maureen Freedland (La Crosse County Board), Tim Kabat (mayor of La Crosse), Steve Doyle (La Crosse County Board and state Assembly 94th), Jill Billings (Assembly 95th), Jennifer Shilling (state Senate 32nd), and former mayor/95th Assembly/La Crosse County Board member John Medinger. Also in attendance were representatives from Congressman Kind and Sen. Tammy Baldwin's offices.

It was very moving to be in the queue to place the crosses commemorating workers killed on the job. Several speakers talked about the role of unions in creating workplace safety -- and the current dangers of Act 10, Act 150 and right-to-work in our state. All top 10 states with the highest rate of workplace death have right-to-work laws in place.

Anne Allen-Wyman, Trempealeau

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