The Tea Party backed Governor of Wisconsin Republican Scott Walker has set his sights on stripping negotiating rights from his political opponents. His excuse is that Wisconsin is facing a deficit in the billions. The unions involved would have no problem sitting down and negotiating wages and benefits, but the Governor doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to respect labor and sit down with them. Instead he wants to make benefits non-negotiable.
At least one state representative, Mark Pocan has come out and stated that the deficit is fabricated. If this is true, it reveals a push to strip bargaining rights from public sector workers is part of a larger plan to collapse the labor movement in the country.
Is this an example of union busting being carried out by the highest elective office in the state of Wisconsin?
Public sector employees compose the largest bloc of union membership in America. If the Republican Party can break the backs of unions and negate them politically, corporations will be the only voice in government. Right now, unions are the voice of working families. They fight for wages, benefits and workplace safety. Their lobbying efforts benefit both union and non-union employees alike.
Keep an eye on your state. If you have a recently elected republican legislature and governor, Wisconsin could come to your state and city. This isn’t about a fiscal crisis, if it was, stripping bargaining rights from workers would do NOTHING to solve the problem. This is about a political strategy. A strategy to defund the Democratic Party and institute a one party rule Republican controlled government.
Wisconsin isn’t the only state under assault. There is a bill in Ohio that would severely limit, and in many cases prohibit, collective bargaining by the state’s public employees.
The Ohio legislation would abolish collective bargaining for employees working directly for the state and severely curtail it for other public employees. It would require that all advancements in wages for public employees, including teachers, be based upon merit. It removes salary from collective bargaining negotiations for many employees and mandates that all public employees contribute at least 20% of the cost of their health care benefits.
If we do not stop this from happening, the Republicans will strategically target electoral states that are important in the 2012 Presidential election.
All the swing states will have broken the unions, with the result being that ,it will be easy as pie for the Koch machine to move in and create a one party state with the GOP and multi-national corporations at the helm.
If Walker and Ohio succeed it will be a slippery slope for democracy. We can’t allow this to happen!