Ground Zero in the Labor Movement

I am marching today.

Becky and I are pulling our daughter out of High School and we will be marching to the State Capitol to protest the biggest assault on Labor in my lifetime.

The Governor of Wisconsin has unveiled a proposal that would eliminate the right of all non-federal government workers to collectively bargain (except for the firefighters, police, sheriff deputies and state troopers). This Act will prohibit any body of government (except Federal) from engaging in collective bargaining with government workers except for base wages (and then not to exceed inflation). It will prohibit unions from being able to collect dues through payroll. It eliminates job security, fairness, and imposes an 8.5% paycut. Today it is the garbage man and DMV clerk. Tomorrow, it will be every worker.I have more to say about why that is wrong at Breathing Lessons.

Walker has put the National Guard on notice in case the workers actually stand up for themselves.

So I am marching tomorrow. I am standing with my side.

It isn’t clear that this will pass; however, the Governor’s party controls both houses and, in an example of the cronyism and Boss politics to follow, the recently hired head of the State Troopers is the father of the brothers who run things under the dome (Republicans Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald and Speaker of the Assembly Fitzgerald). If Wisconsin succeeds, expect other states to follow.

I was going to write about how this Act of Depravity might be undermined–I have some ideas although I don’t know if any of them would really work. However, today and the following days, it needs to be about stopping it.

Today, the Students and University of Wisconsin march. Tomorrow and Wednesday, AFSCME will conduct an emergency rally on the Capitol Square. From that point, it is anyone’s guess. The threat of the use of the military to put these rallies down has been raised by the Governor. I can only hope that the WI National Guard will be as judicious in their presence as the Egyptian Army.

I will be trying to tweet at the day goes on. Follow me at johnamac.

About John McNamara

John spent 26 years with Union Cab of Madison Cooperative and currently helps develop co-ops in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and Masters in Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions from Saint Mary's University.
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