Governor Walker and the Senate Republicans have completely embarrassed my wonderful state by making this end run. It wasn’t about balancing the budget. Walker doesn’t care about working people – that’s what state employees are – working people who – when compared to private workers in similar jobs earn much less for the same education and experience.
As far as paying for their pensions, they all ready do – the pension money comes from deferred pay. Is Walker set to give them the deferred pay upfront? I’m betting not.
And, he’s taken away (according to the original bill) the right of state workers to protest “who participates in a strike, work stoppage, sit−down, stay−in, slowdown, or other concerted activities to interrupt the of operations or services of state government, including specifically purported mass resignations or sick calls.”
And, I harp on this A LOT, but I don’t want my state giving away our energy assets without any bidding involved. And, yet, there my state government goes…
My Republican mother brought this up the other day when we were discussing the elimination of state workers’ rights. Maybe, you’ve heard it before:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
– Pastor Martin Niemoller
For those people who have no problem negotiating downward, think about this: Whose rights do you think Walker’s coming for next? What does his buddy, David Koch, want now? He’ll get our energy assets and then he’ll be allowed to underpay workers and Walker will see to it that workers have no rights.
When I discuss this matter with people who disagree with me, they all just don’t get it. They don’t see how wages have stagnated in this country for the last thirty years. How deregulation has directly lead to the current bad economy. It’s like they’ve never read a history book or knew about the early unionists who had to fight for decent wages, working conditions and a forty hour work week. It’s like they’ve never had a bad job, where the employer expected more and more and gave less and less.
Gave is probably the wrong word. Your employer and my employer do not “give” us anything. We earn it. I love my job and I love the place where I work, but I haven’t always been so lucky to work for a company where my work is appreciated. My last company could’ve used a union. They “gave” a 1.1% raise – a total insult – and then expected 90 hour work weeks (I’m salary, that means no overtime) – AND, for further insult to injury, because of the bad economy one Vice President actually said that we (the team I was on) were “lucky to have jobs”.
That’s how non-union shops treat people, like cattle and not with any decency or respect.
That’s what’s on the line with Walker. He wants to roll back the times and make our state one where you can see the clear lines of the haves and have nots. And, all of the haves will have contributed to his campaign. If you think for one moment that Governor Walker is on the side of the hardworking people of this state, you are fooling yourself.
One last item: Where are the jobs Walker religiously promised during the campaign? I haven’t seen one thing in this budget that will create one job.
Can you say RECALL, boys and girls?