Teachers, nurses, firefighters, students, police officers and others protesting in Wisconsin have occupied the Capitol building and streets of Madison for the past nine days. Governor Walker caught in a prank call from one of the Koch (worse than Soros) brothers revealed that Wisconsin “is ground zero” in the fight against “the public-sector unions.” He also said, “sooner or later there will be pressure on these [Democratic] senators to come back.” OK…now what? The union workers have conceded much to Governor Walker’s request on this quickie bill drawing the line at the governor’s desire to remove collective bargaining now and in the future. This demonstrates at least to me, that the governor and the governors of Ohio and Indiana etc do not have budgetary concerns in the forefront. They have the Unions in their cross hairs. They want to dismantle and ultimately destroy unions and by doing so, stifle the working middle class of this country. Union members are “mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more.” Finally the sleeping progressives have awoken to the fact that the Tea Party which was let run wild for a year and a half is trying to tear down America as we have known it.
Collective bargaining is a process of negotiations between employers and the representatives of a unit of employees aimed at reaching agreements which regulate working conditions. For an example of collective bargaining we can look at teachers negotiating class size or police officers negotiating the use of bullet-proof vests. Sounds reasonable. Simply letting daddy employer “take care” of his workers doesn’t work. The workers are trying to take care of themselves. Most good union jobs in the last decade have fled the U.S. for ports overseas so that corporate bottom lines are fat. Unions are important for the working stiff. They helped (albeit sometimes nefariously) build a middle class in this country. To ultimately bust the unions, which is what some of these Tea-Party Republicans are trying to do, will ultimately blow up in their own faces. We all know that the states are in trying times to be sure, but getting rid of the unions is not the way to get back in the black, in fact it will have the opposite affect. Americans strongly oppose laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. The poll found 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to such a proposal in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.
Republicans supported limiting bargaining by a 54%-41% margin. However, only 18% of Democrats favored restrictions while 79% were opposed. Independents were against bargaining restrictions by a 31% to 62% margin.
Public support for unions has been strong for decades, although it has dropped in the last few years. Still, the poll shows Americans are reluctant to take away something that unions have already.
So what now? The sleeping worker is now on his/her collective feet and taking notice and action in the true American style of redress. Now Governor Walker needs to take notice also.
and so it goes…