world

Wisconsin Assembly passes bill taking away union rights

89 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

89 Comments
Login to comment

Unions are the reason that wages in the US are as high as they are today. Without unions fighting for the rights of workers and higher wages in the past, the US would still be a third-world country.

Republicans are crying "class warfare", but are really wanting to create a country of the "haves" and "have-nots". The rich will continue to get richer, while the common man will become the equivalent of a slave. Talking about stoking class warfare -- the Repubs are masters of it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ilcub76: No. You don't get rich by selling stuff only to rich people. Poor people, slaves don't buy much. Ah yeah they can, credit. See how it went. Still unions are important, yes, but there is an economy reality too.

Dems should go and assume their positions, get people in the street if people really are against it. This is childish.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Republicans are crying "class warfare", but are really wanting to create a country of the "haves" and "have-nots"

That is what they think they are doing. What they are doing in reality is just creating a country of "have-nots", they are going to go down hardest in the end. Economics and money is a system, no different from nature or anything in engineering, political left-right structure is just a small component of the overall system.

But hey, you know what they say about inherited wealth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

66% of Americans are with Union while only 33% of Americans are with Gov. Walker.

What does it tell us? The republican can no longer use a hate card against the unions. It was an old trick blaming everything on union workers. But what about big fat cats in the WS and Detroit voting for republicans? They refuse to take a personal responsibility of their own failures in management. They have been getting away a lot with murder. It is a time for the Middle Class Americans to voice our opinions. 66% of Americans are not listening to thier excuses any more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So they send out the Gestapo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who is this Fitzgerald who hoped that "the show of authority would pressure them to return." Such a show of authoritarianism would only strengthen my resolve!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What many people don't realize is that the unions have agreed to Gov. Walker's givebacks. But it's telling that he can't stop there and declare victory. No, he insists on getting rid of collective bargaining because he figures(as the other new republican governors do)that this is the best opportunity. The budget deficit is just a cover for this fight. Notice how he exempted police and firefighters. This was a political calculation, he wouldn't get support from his own politicians and the public because of the concern for safety.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapan says:

So they send out the Gestapo.

Gestapo? It just so happens that the state troopers being tarred as Nazi's are in fact members of a Wisconsin union. I suppose that due to the blitzkrieg that President Obama's pro-union (and pro-fiscal disaster) forces have thrown at a governor attempting to do what he told the voters he would do if he were elected, this word is an apt description.

FDR was against public unions for a reason - and this is it.

What's ridiculous is that these Wisconsin state senators were elected to do a job that they now refuse to do because they see that they will not be able to get their way. This is the kind of things that usually only happen on playgrounds and other places were petulant little children might gather. In a democracy, should should elected officials refuse to participate whenever they don't get their way? If this type of tactic spreads it will prevent anything from getting done.

These so-called "representatives" need to go do their job. Go vote and when they lose, take their case to the people and try to get more support in the next election. The Democrats set the groundwork for this showdown by creating the benefit crisis that is hitting the state and crippling the state budget. They have over promised benefits that cannot be paid for in the future. It's kind of like Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. Something needs to change to break the cycle of spending in state and federal governments alike.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

About 10AM in Japan, same pattern seems to be emerging as was seen on yesterday's comment thread on this topic. The superiority of Adam Smith's invisible hand vs. a top-down, centrally planned hierarchical structure being shown again.

A couple of things, one that the "Walker was only saying in private what he says in public" defense seems to be coming out in a lot of places. Aha, so a man can be openly insane and still be elected governor in the USA. This is very interesting. Second is about the myth of the "powerful" unions, which this article repeats. There is an amazing chart that shows the number of strikes involving over 1,000 people in the USA from 1947 to the present. From 1947 until the early eighties (this being the time of Sarah Palin's "Real America") they ranged from a little under 200 to about 475, with the average about 350. Then in the early '80s they fell off a cliff, until today, when there are none. There are no strikes today of course because the unions are so POWERFUL that they don't have to, har, har, har. Or maybe there are other reasons????

Breaking the unions and the outsourcing and globalization that went with it are all part of the giant scam used to maintain "prosperity" without price inflation following American peak oil and the oil price rises of the '70s. The problem is that the people who came up with the scam knew it was a scam. The generation of today don't. Republicans are basically the "Ore Ore" caller who really thinks he is your grandson. No, he doesn't think it he KNOWS it!!! Cue reaching for J-E dictionary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wolfpack: So why did the governor not take up his fight with police and firefighters? After all, they get by far the most generous benifits.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1)What's ridiculous is that these Wisconsin state senators were elected to do a job that they now refuse to do because they see that they will not be able to get their way............

I would like to inform you that they are not taking a nap, walfpack. Those 12 democrats are "in hiding" some undisclosed locations in IL so that the Gov. Wisconsin has no jurisdiction to give them orders to come back to capital for voting.

They are actively engaging in a dialogue with republicans. One republican switched his vote to the democrat (union) side and the democrats (union) need to get two more votes from the other side (republican) to break gridlock. Again, they are actively negotiating.

2)FDR was against public unions for a reason - and this is it.......

Are you talking that he was not willing to sign for Wagnor's Act? I am interested to learn something I have never learned in labor law class. Please let me know what I do not know. Thanks, walpack.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would like to inform you that they are not taking a nap, walfpack. Those 12 democrats are "in hiding" some undisclosed locations in IL so that the Gov. Wisconsin has no jurisdiction to give them orders to come back to capital for voting... They are actively engaging in a dialogue with republicans

WROOOONG! They are no-show for work, which would get private sector employees fired. Time to fire these guys as well. Anyway, they have to show up to collect their pay and expense reimbursements.

Democrats - the party of No.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cuts are always made at the bottom because if the people on top hold on to their power they will do whatever they want. Unions are needed because government and companies cannot be trusted. Solidarity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unions are needed because government and companies cannot be trusted. Solidarity.

That is completely and totally silly. If the so-called union members are not happy, then can work somewhere else. Oh wait, they are union because they have no capabilities and therefore need their jobs protected. The exorbitant salaries and benefits are additional charity for these poor incompetents.

Sorry, there is no place for these unions. Guess what - most people do not belong to a union. Most professions do not have unions. The union zombies need to wake up to reality, and the union mafia needs to be busted.

Solidarity against unions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well if you trust your govt and corporations. Good luck. Call it what you want. Silly to you. Fair to me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

FDR was against public unions for a reason - and this is it.

And Republican governor Ronald Reagan signed the law allowing California public service workers to unionize.

Reagan trumps FDR by decades.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And Republican governor Ronald Reagan signed the law allowing California public service workers to unionize. Reagan trumps FDR by decades.

Trumps FDR? LOL!!! Hardly!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well if you trust your govt and corporations. Good luck.

pointofview - then I guess you don't trust government to run healthcare. I sure don't either.

It's time to break the union mafia and end union racketeering.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Reagan fired striking ATC union workers. Perhaps AWOL Senators should be fired for deriliction of duty. At least in filibusters, a politician would be present at the work-site... running away is just stupid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps AWOL Senators should be fired for deriliction of duty.

They should. Private sector workers are fired for abandonment of their jobs. These legislators and union mobsters live in a dreamworld.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps AWOL Senators should be fired for deriliction of duty." I'd fire someone who didn't show up for work. Oh, but they said they're doing work away from the office. No, you have to clear that with me first. I pay your check. here's you x month's pay now get out. Yes, they should be fired or at least fined. Can you imagine if the repubs had done something like this during the health care debate that was held behind closed doors? I don't want to hear about more time is needed just as none of you want to hear about more time needed then. See what happens?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If politicians were fired for being away from the office, GWB would've lost his job during his first year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If politicians were fired for being away from the office, GWB would've lost his job during his first year." Him too!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The rich rule over the poor and borrower is servant to lender. Prov22-7

It is sad to read this again today. The life of American Middle Class is not doing any better since 2000 years ago. Still lots of sufferinga and pain in humanity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, you have to clear that with me first. I pay your check.

You personally? I didn't realize and individual Joe Taxpayer decided the employment status of a particular government employee. Oh yeah, that's because he doesn't!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There were middle class american's 2000 years ago? nice trying to put your american feet into the bible there ....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the left still can't explain why the taxpayer needs to pay for inflated salaries and pensions for the union mob.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I dont trust either to run healthcare. Private healthcare want your money and its a hassle to get things covered. The government on the otherhand just cant provide efficient healthcare. So ya I dont trust either one. Unions have their place in society. People need protection. Give and take. But like I said, are any changes being made at the top? or just the bottom?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You personally? I didn't realize and individual Joe Taxpayer decided the employment status of a particular government employee. Oh yeah, that's because he doesn't!" OH, I'm sorry, I thought it was called a vote. Also, I was implying to my own staff, but now that you mention it, its called a vote. This issue has been going on for 15 months since you were too busy to check. And still after 15 months, this walker dude was elected. What was it many of you said when O won and went through passing things? Or is your memory selective?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unions have their place in society. People need protection.

Most people and professions DO NOT HAVE UNIONS. Unions are UNNECESSARY, they are racketeering plain and simple. These government workers and unionists have no clue what real life is like. And they expect the rest of the world to support them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What was it many of you said when O won and went through passing things?

"We won. You lost. Get over it". :-D

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As I said, if a union operates accordingly to protect workers from being mistreated then they are beneficial. I dont think teachers are paid ridiculous amounts of money. And benfits, yep they are better than most but why shouldnt all workers have good benefits? Like I said earlier, are there cuts or stipulations being put on the suitscontracts? Most worker arent employed because they work in small business. They could form a union but they are probably petrified of losing their job.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you wanna see what happens to the working class without unions, go to China. Of course company owners and managers wanna abolish unions, it means more profit for them. It has nothing to do with the economy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@skipthesong

What was it many of you said when O won and went through passing things? Or is your memory selective?

I didn't say anything online about that. I personally don't like any party ruling by fiat because they just won an election. It's exactly what Plato called the "Tyranny of the majority".

OH, I'm sorry, I thought it was called a vote. Also, I was implying to my own staff, but now that you mention it, its called a vote.

...and it's also called a representative democracy, not a direct democracy, so you and I and everyone else gets to vote every 2 or 4 or 6 or whatever year interval whether we want to keep this representative. But an individual decision? The reps have been charged to act in our interest the best way they see fit. If the representative chooses to filibuster, or to avoid a vote to prevent what they see (and think their constituents would see) as an injustice then that too is representing the interests of the people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry,

Most workers aren`t in unions ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I didn't say anything online about that. I personally don't like any party ruling by fiat because they just won an election. It's exactly what Plato called the "Tyranny of the majority"." Okay

.and it's also called a representative democracy, not a direct democracy, so you and I and everyone else gets to vote every 2 or 4 or 6 or whatever year interval whether we want to keep this representative. But an individual decision? The reps have been charged to act in our interest the best way they see fit. If the representative chooses to filibuster, or to avoid a vote to prevent what they see (and think their constituents would see) as an injustice then that too is representing the interests of the people." Okay on that too, as long as you accept it both ways including what it doesn't work in your favor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This entire Wisconsin union situation is something being pushed by people with absolutely zero understanding of the economic situation, zero understanding of how the USA got to this place, zero understanding of the role of unions in how they got to this place, zero understanding of their own precarious financial position, and zero understanding of the extreme dangers that lie ahead that may wipe them out themselves. The question of whether unions are good or bad is a real question, but it is basically an ant when compared to the elephant question. Scott Walker and the people behind him and who support him have no credibility whatsoever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Scott Walker and the people behind him and who support him have no credibility whatsoever.

That's the majority of the state of Wisconsin. The only people who disagree with Gov Walker are the unions (surprise!). Most of the protesters are OUT OF STATE union members who were bused in.

These union people have no concept of the real world as most americans experience it. Instead they want hardworking taxpayers to support them.

It's about time the government and the people put the corrupt union mafia in it's place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@skipthesong

Okay on that too, as long as you accept it both ways including what it doesn't work in your favor.

I don't know why you would think I didn't. I'm not a dem or republican. I vote on individual candidates and support whatever I agree with.

I really don't know why representatives can't compromise on this situation (and similar) and come to agreement that respects the wishes of most of the people, not just their "core constituency". It's democracy at its worst.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Dems need to show up to collect their pay and expenses. The Dems won't be gone for long. :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the wishes of most of the people

i.e. this bill.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i.e. this bill.

Again, according to the wishes of 19 of 33 representatives. That's the wishes of those representatives, not necessarily the people. Don't confuse the two.

If the two were the same you'd see them try to push such a bill through at election time. They only do it now because it's a long, long way until election time. They don't have to face the wrath of the voters for a while. It's easy to be bold with your agenda when there's no consequences to you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Smorkian - sounds like you have an issue with representative democracy. That's how our country works.

The elected officials, however, must follow the rules. One of those rules is showing up for work to vote on bills. They will show up to collect their checks, then the vote will pass.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the only people against this bill are the unions and the Dems who get lots of cash from the unions. That's it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Still looking for that poll that agrees with you :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have no such problems with representative democracy. The reps are just gutless, that's all I am saying.

The elected officials, however, must follow the rules. One of those rules is showing up for work to vote on bills.

Really? Show me that rule. US reps and senators skip votes all the time. Check the attendance records. You'd be hard pressed to find a bill with full attendance on a vote.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smorkian - the Dems have to appear in session to pick up their paychecks (no direct deposit). The bill will pass. :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope that isn't what the GOP is betting on to resolve the situation, because that's not going to work :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's the majority of the state of Wisconsin.

Then the majority of the state of Wisconsin is wrong.

But thanks for making the point for me much more competently than I have been doing. Manfromamerica is like most people, he thinks what we have here is a political problem of right vs. left. He is wrong, what we have is an apolitical problem of the economic and monetary systems. Those systems are like any other systems, they are issues of engineering not politics. The difference is that in other systems, money is made by designing the system well (ie. you make no money if your airplanes keep falling out of the sky), while in the monetary system you can get very rich by designing it badly. The politics though are what is laid on top of the system, a question of how to divide up what the system provides. What has happened in the USA is that the system has been damaged, maybe beyond repair, which means it makes no difference what political system is laid on top of it.

Scott Walker is just another guy who thinks there is this stuff called "money", and that if he keeps it away from one tribe then there will be more for his tribe. This has been happening for hundreds of years, the inability to understand the difference between economics and money, and politics, and it always ends badly. It will again here and then the people of Wisconsin will elect a Democrat, and he won't know what he is doing either.

Too much money to be made in not knowing what you are doing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Really? Show me that rule. US reps and senators skip votes all the time. Check the attendance records. You'd be hard pressed to find a bill with full attendance on a vote.

True...They can also vote "Present" like Mr. Obama did so often as a State Legislator. Oh I see that they took that option off the table also.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bravo, republicans, for taking the first step to end mandatory Wisconsin taxpayer funded contributions to unions.

RR

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wisconsin law doesn’t allow police to arrest the lawmakers

The state should be rounding up those Dr's. who handed out fake excuses to the teachers and void their licenses to practice medicine in Wisconsin.

RR

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Manfromamerica is like most people, he thinks what we have here is a political problem of right vs. left. He is wrong, what we have is an apolitical problem of the economic and monetary systems.

GJ, you are often interesting to read, and frequently make good points. But on this union situation, you are wrong. There is a significant imbalance in this country between the private sector, and the public sector. Public sector employees have great benefits and are for the most part, immune to layoffs. When the economy goes bad, they continue to be employed. Whats happening though is that we have discovered, that short of a major tax increase, which people are willing to do, that they can no longer afford the bloated and unmanageable public sector. However in order to cut back those expenses, they have to deal with an intractable public sector union. Thats what this is about. There is more to it then that of course. Theres a lot more they are trying to pass here. But the big thing people are talking about, thats it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I must commend the GOP for sowing the seeds of the dem comeback in 2012. How they could be wasting their time on this immensely unpopular gambit is beyond me.

I mean unless they really have no idea what to do about the economy.... Really that's the truth isn't it.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most professions do not have unions.

Accountants, lawyers, doctors, et al. all have governing bodies that the have to registar with and pay money to. As an accountant I pay $1000~ a year to my governing body, in return they insure me, and lobby the government to adopt various different accounting standards and etc. So yes most real professionals do belong to unions of sorts.

In the end, this is all much ado about nothing, through 30~40 years of republican, democrat and the entire bady boomer generation incompetencies and entitlement attitude has screwed over at least the next generation or two. It will a long road to recoverery and all the while the international elite/bankers are laughing all the way to the bank.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GJDailleult, I totally agree with you. People for non union have no understanding what they are doing for themselves.

They are denying EEOC; a federal legal entity, Wagnor's Act, Privacy Act, OSHA&FDA inspection rules, Railroad Act and so on. They have been misled by a fear card of Socialism used by the conservative republicans. The truth is they are promoting a non American value- a core value of liberty and justice for all.

Without these rights mentioned above, I am afraid we are heading to dictatorship like Lybia, Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, and China. They have no collective bargain rights. The products made in China are not inspected like ours. There is no OSHA/FDA rules for the safety for workers and consumers.

These rulers have been telling them how to live, how much money they can earn. If this is what these non union people want to do, then I have no problem accepting non union views and opinions. A majority rules applies to democratic process.

As I mentioned Economics and Law goes hand in hand. Capitalism and Democracy goes hand in hand. And it takes clear understanding of Micro/Macro Economy and how US laws have been evolved in our society.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I may add to my conclusion above, do you know who is the biggest empoyer is in USA?

WALMART!! What do you know about those employees?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GJDailleult - Then the majority of the state of Wisconsin is wrong.

They are, however, still the majority. There are certain inalienable rights in the US that protect the "rights" of the minority from the actions of the majority but they do NOT apply to who the taxpaying voters decide to vote for. In other words, the majority rules.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GJDailleult - This entire Wisconsin union situation is something being pushed by people with absolutely zero understanding of the economic situation, zero understanding of how the USA got to this place, zero understanding of the role of unions in how they got to this place, zero understanding of their own precarious financial position, and zero understanding of the extreme dangers that lie ahead that may wipe them out themselves.

Hahahaha. Are you trying to convince the majority of taxpaying voters in Wisconsin that you are smarter than them, that you know better how to spend "their" money and that they should do what you tell them to do?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Today's decision of Wisconsin govenor is spilling over to private sector. Many people age over 30 yrs old are now thinking about pulling money out from their pension account (not 401k). Oh my........

0 ( +0 / -0 )

globalwatcher - Today's decision of Wisconsin govenor is spilling over to private sector. Many people age over 30 yrs old are now thinking about pulling money out from their pension account (not 401k). Oh my........

Which decision are you talking about? The Wisconsin Assembly did their job and passed a bill reducing the percentage that Wisconsin taxpayers have to pay for government union benefits. The bill now needs a vote in the Wisconsin Senate.

If "people" (government union members? ) decide to take money out of their pension accounts, that's their choice. It's their money.

Should the government unions mandate what their members can and can't do with their own money just like they're trying to tell the taxpayers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, arrestpaul, people of US corporate employees are thinking to pull their money out from their pension account. Agree, it's their choice.

Are you telling governor's to ignore Wagnor Act? The 14th Amend. applies to this case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

globalwatcher - No, arrestpaul, people of US corporate employees are thinking to pull their money out from their pension account. Agree, it's their choice.

-Are you telling governor's to ignore Wagnor Act? The 14th Amend. applies to this case.

I realize this is an international website and I was just trying to understand what you were referring to.

Personally, I suggest that the governor and legislators listen to the taxpaying voters or they'll be looking for honest work after the next election. ;-)

Why are "many people age over 30 yrs old are now thinking about pulling money out from their pension account (not 401k)"? Do they need the money? Are they attempting to start a run on their pension fund holders? How does this related to the actions of the Wisconsin Assembly?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good question, arrestpaul. Some major S&P Fortune 500 US corporations including mine ( I am retired)have been contributing some to the pension fund for reitrement in addition to 401k investment. Most US corporations are no longer offering this benefit as this is too expensive to corporations.

US "CORPORATE" pension fund is not 100% protected and guaranteed under the current law ERISA. Many "STATE" pension funds are held in AIG annuity. That's one of the reason why US Federal Gov. had pouring money to rescue AIG from falling apart in 2009.

Going back to the private pension fund, if company "A" is merged with company "B" or "A" going into bankruptcy, the interpretation of law becomes very fuzzy.

Your question to how does this relate to the action of Wisconsin issue? The interepretation or reaction of US employees with corporate pension plan is that " Heck, if governments can get away with this murder, then my company can mess up my pension plan too. So I better run with money while I can." Hope I successfully answered to your questions. Did you get a picture?

The Wisconsin dispute is far from over. It is just beginning......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In addition to the reason I have mentioned above, if I am allowed to add one more that I do not want to see what conservative republicans are trying to accomplish: A privatization of US public service.

In my state,it is already happening. Kids with disability do not have an access to charter school(non union public school)while they are enjoying government funding. They can tell you who can go, or who cannot.

I worked very hard in the past to save a Deaf and Blind school (public) in my community, and we did. These kids should have a same access to all public schools as well as everyone else.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hahahaha. Are you trying to convince the majority of taxpaying voters in Wisconsin that you are smarter than them, that you know better how to spend "their" money and that they should do what you tell them to do?

I am not saying I am smarter than anybody. I am saying their opinion is irrelevant. It is like asking asking the passengers on a plane how long they want the wings to be. "Right wing" political systems collapse economically, "left wing" political systems collapse economically. The only relationship between politics, and the economic and monetary systems, is that politics can screw things up. This is just a case of politics making a bad situation worse.

GJ, you are often interesting to read, and frequently make good points.

And it may surprise molenir that, even though I almost always disagree with his opinions on the USA, I find he usually is the guy making the most sense whenever he turns up on other, non-USA focused, comment threads. But on this one, I think you have things backwards. The imbalances between the private and public sector, whether they are real or not is unimportant, are not a sign that you have a public sector problem, they are a sign that you have a private sector problem. And nobody is doing a single thing about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Public sector employees have great benefits.....

I disagree, Molenir. I do not know anything about Wisconsin. I am in (work at Will) state, the public employee does not get unemployment benefit. He/she has to go to another state to file claim for unemployment benefit. They are not entitled to get SSI as they are getting public pension fund. It depends where they live.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The imbalances between the private and public sector, whether they are real or not is unimportant, are not a sign that you have a public sector problem, they are a sign that you have a private sector problem.

If the private sector pays less for comparable work then the public sector, does that mean that the private sector needs to increase its wages, or that the public sector needs to decrease its? Your take on this union situation really is wrong. If we were talking about private sector unions, I'd go along with it. However public sector unions result in corruption between the government and the union, squeezing the taxpayers, and thus the private sector even further to pay for it. Theres a reason why the federal government doesn't allow unions.

I disagree, Molenir. I do not know anything about Wisconsin. I am in (work at Will) state, the public employee does not get unemployment benefit. He/she has to go to another state to file claim for unemployment benefit. They are not entitled to get SSI as they are getting public pension fund. It depends where they live.

I don't know what state you're in. I myself am from Arizona, a right to work state. It has public sector unions, and the people, despite a severe budget crunch, do have unemployment if they are laid off. Though that mostly applies to the private sector since the public sector is largely immune to that. Those I know who have lost their jobs (teachers etc) collected unemployment until they could find another position.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The bill passed easily, which is proof of an amazing sea change.

Obama won Wisconsisn.

Wisconsin had been Democrat for ages, but after the Pelosi - Reid - Obama disaster they elected some adult Republicans to clean up after the kiddies. What little sympathy I had for the other unions who showed up in support of the pub sector guys I have lost, after watching thuggish young Leftists occupy the capitol buildings and tossing footballs around inside the rotunda.

It got worse after, when they were filmed holding a freeking rave party inside the capitol building yesterday.

Like the Democrat senators hiding out across the state line they have complete contempt for our institutions of governance and the democratic process.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the private sector pays less for comparable work then the public sector, does that mean that the private sector needs to increase its wages, or that the public sector needs to decrease its?

It means that the private sector needs to increase its wages. Lots of countries (ie. the third world) have low private sector wages, why would you want to emulate them?

The more important thing though is that in the debt-money system we have, all money must be borrowed by somebody. People can only borrow what they have the earning power to pay back. If you are rich and have money in the bank, then obviously the bank has to find somebody to borrow the money who will pay them more in interest than they are paying you in interest. Otherwise the bank will go broke (I will ignore the fact that in reality they already have). So by attacking unions and trying to force down wages, the American rich are basically attacking themselves, they just don't know it. That though has nothing to do with whether unions are good or bad, that question is politics, not economics.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Molenir is right. There is a VAST difference between private sector unions and public sector. Private unions are predicated by an adversarial relationship between management and workers.

Public sector unions do not have this. To the contrary, public sector unions often give huge contributions to politicians in hopes that they win and subsequently control the purse strings of the state. The politicians naturally feel obligated to pay back the unions that supported them. In the end, the general public gets screwed.

Not to mention, public sector workers often have benefits packages that their private sector counterparts can only dream about. In New Jersey, for example, police officers are paid "shift differential" for working the DAY SHIFT.

Walker is doing the right thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not to mention, public sector workers often have benefits packages that their private sector counterparts can only dream about. In New Jersey, for example, police officers are paid "shift differential" for working the DAY SHIFT.

Not to mention pretty much Job Security after they got hired in the first place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

globalwatcher - Your question to how does this relate to the action of Wisconsin issue? The interepretation or reaction of US employees with corporate pension plan is that " Heck, if governments can get away with this murder, then my company can mess up my pension plan too. So I better run with money while I can." Hope I successfully answered to your questions. Did you get a picture?

It's not "murder" but I understand your point. Companies have been "messing" with their corporate pension plans for decades. If employees are concerned that their pension fund is in peril then they should withdraw their money while they still can.

"Government" unions are a different issue from a "taxpayer" standpoint. Let's follow the path of a single USD. You have a dollar "in your pocket", it's "your" dollar. You send that dollar, along with many others, to the Wisconsin state government to pay your taxes. The Wisconsin government distributes your dollar to a government union employee. Those employees send your dollar to their government union to pay their government union dues. The government union uses your dollar to lobby elected officials demanding more fully paid benefits. Paid for by the taxpayer.

Government unions use "your" money to demand that "you" pay more to support them. They've been calling the shots. You only supply the dollar.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Molenir, I am glad to hear public employees in AZ are entitled to an UI benefit. Very fair.

arrestpaul, I understand your point. Well, this is far from over. I firmly believe a circuit breaker for Wisconsin dispute is a right of collective bargain.

In my state, public employees are already paying more money (from their own pockets )to PERA. Please let me know what you think about the Wagnor Act.

DS

Public sector unions do not have this.............

There is, DS. I would not compare private sector to public sector. The objective of public sector is to SERVE for the best interest of public.

I am in rural area to be with nature, and I do not have firefighters like you have. Knock on wood nothing will happen.

Many years ago, a fire chief fired all union firefighters, since then we have to depend on all volunteer firefighters.

Two weeks ago, all volunteers gave up their budges to the chief (only one on gov. payroll) demanding a change to safety issues. This chief is not willing to negotiate, so now we have NO firefighters.

This is what would look like if the public sector jobs are only for volunteers or previledged. This is exactly what conservative republicans have been trying to do to avoid tax: A Privatization of Public Service. Busting union is the first step to wrapping up this process.

Many charter schools (non union public school) have been introduced in my community while they are enjoying government funding. They are telling our kids who can go, or who cannot. I believe this is a very un-American value in democracy. Furthermore, I believe this may well be unconstitutional and will be challenged legally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

jason6 says:

If you wanna see what happens to the working class without unions, go to China. Of course company owners and managers wanna abolish unions, it means more profit for them. It has nothing to do with the economy.

I find this to be an apt comparison. Since China is undeniably a much more socialist country than the US and is simply a workers union on a national scale, the idea that unions are beneficial to American workers is clearly false.

There was a time in place for unions. However, the ideas that were the original motivation for them (safe working conditions, 40 hour work week, vacation time, etc) have now been codified into law for both public and private workers. The idea that unions are needed to ensure that the average middle class worker has "rights" is false.

The role that unions play in American society today is as another interest group like the AARP, energy, civil rights, agriculture, and thousands of other groups that seek to gain benefits for themselves from government. Their pay and benefits are better if not very comparable with private sector workers. They have allied themselves with Democrats because they are essentially socialist - just like China.

So if you want America to be more like China, support unions. If you want your country to be free and allow it's citizens to choose their own path in life, oppose unions as they are currently formed in America today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

globalwatcher - I understand your point. Well, this is far from over. I firmly believe a circuit breaker for Wisconsin dispute is a right of collective bargain.

In my state, public employees are already paying more money (from their own pockets )to PERA. Please let me know what you think about the Wagnor Act.

I recently posted my thoughts about the Wagnor Act in the "Wisconsin governor pranked by caller posing as donor" thread but I'll repost it here if the mods don't mind. -

The key word is "government". In the 30's, the Wagner Act would never have recieved enough votes to be passed into law if it had included federal, state or local government employees. Other workers were excluded also but they don't apply to this situation. The idea was that unions shouldn't have control over the various levels of goverment. States and cities should be able to run their governments without interferrence or influence from union leaders. If the taxpaying voters didn't like the way governments were run, they could un-elect those in power or impeach them if things got really bad.

Police strikes would be devistating to a community. Runaway union demands for higher pay and benefits could cripple a tax-based society. Forcing state government to raise taxes to pay for union members that couldn't be fired would not be tolerated by the taxpayers.

I'm generally not against unions or guilds. Companies make a profit and workers should be able to bargain for a fair share of those profits. However, governments aren't for-profit companies. There is no profits to share. Government union members are paid by the taxpayer. Taxes are collected and distributed by elected government representatives. Representatives that are answerable to the taxpaying voters.

Current demands that elected representatives ignore the taxpayer and conceed to union demands is exactly why government employees were excluded from the Wagner Act.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

paulinusa says:

Wolfpack: So why did the governor not take up his fight with police and firefighters? After all, they get by far the most generous benifits.

Good point. These groups are supporters of the governor but still should not be exempted from the benefit restrictions on collective bargaining (there is no attempt to take away "all" of unions rights as implied by the headline of this afticle). I hope they are next.

The governor should be pushing for what Indiana did six years ago, and that is to become a right to work state. It's deplorable that a person has to pay a union (which in itself is a private organization) in order to get a job (especially in the public sector).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

globalwatcher - I am in rural area to be with nature, and I do not have firefighters like you have. Knock on wood nothing will happen.

-Many years ago, a fire chief fired all union firefighters, since then we have to depend on all volunteer firefighters.

--Two weeks ago, all volunteers gave up their budges to the chief (only one on gov. payroll) demanding a change to safety issues. This chief is not willing to negotiate, so now we have NO firefighters.

Why do you need a Fire Chief if there are no firefighters? This sounds like you and your fellow taxpayers need to elect a new Fire Chief, or whoever appoints the Fire Chief, before they get someone killed. By the people - for the people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why do you need a Fire Chief if there are no firefighters? This sounds like you and your fellow taxpayers need to elect a new Fire Chief, or whoever appoints the Fire Chief, before they get someone killed. By the people - for the people.......

arrestpaul, easir said than done. He is like Ozawa he has been insisting to stay. We are in middle of the legal battle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wisconsin is only the start. Republican governors will have to do what the spineless RINOs in DC won't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would be interested in seeing a breakdown regarding where more public money has gone versus where less public money has gone in the USA in the last 10 years. Didn't big bankers just get a load of public money? And now teachers' incomes are being cut. Is the idea to have nation of moronic slaves?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am now crossing my fingers that we would NOT see the re-emergence of 1968 Memphis and other states in the South.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The whole concept of "government employee unions" is flawed, because their employee is the tax payer (us), and since the provide public service, we don´t have the options of a private employer.

Already FDR pointed this out, remember: "The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service". (Roosevelt)

When did people forget this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Obama better be careful too. Lest people realize that FEDERAL government employees are forbidden from having or joining unions......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Already FDR pointed this out, remember: "The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service". (Roosevelt)

Those were the days before civil rights opened up greater access for everyone. By JFK's time, the issue was largely settled. Governor Ronald Reagan signed the law enabling California's public service workers to join unions and collectively bargain.

Why do conservatives try to reach back to FDR -- of all people -- in the 1930s in an attempt to repudiate folks on their own side like Ronald Reagan in the 1960s?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wolfpack at 06:12 AM JST - 27th February The role that unions play in American society today is as another interest group like the AARP, energy, civil rights, agriculture, and thousands of other groups that seek to gain benefits for themselves from government.

An interesting observation, and on that is extremely true, although possibly not the way you're thinking. Unions are not huge businesses in their own rights, not only offering services to their members at a profit (like small loans at high interest rates to tide people over until payday), but also making huge investments in other companies. This is the pattern globally, and it introduces an interesting dilemma, how can a union fairly represent the interests of its members when they may well hold stock in the company they're supposed to be opposing?

On a macro-economic scale the question becomes even more knotty as most governments view unions as barriers to economic development, but lack the awareness that unions actually own and employ as many people as most major corporations, and are "big businesses" in their own right, some wielding economic power that rivals major banking groups.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Frungy presents many distortions:

but also making huge investments in other companies.

Unions themselves do not make huge, direct investments in individual companies. Their pension funds are managed under contract by private finanial firms. Under ERISA, the firms are obligated to thoroughly diversify their investments.

and it introduces an interesting dilemma, how can a union fairly represent the interests of its members when they may well hold stock in the company they're supposed to be opposing?

This is not a dilemma at all to people who understand the way the world works. First of all, such a marginal percentage of their holdings are in any one company, consideration along that score never enters the picture. Secondly, and moreover, no union feels that any of its actions are taken to purposely hurt a company over the long run. Quite the opposite.

but lack the awareness that unions actually own and employ as many people as most major corporations, and are "big businesses" in their own right, some wielding economic power that rivals major banking groups.

This is so ridiculous as to be beyond comment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's a moot point over the issue on the role of unions-- as the problem or solution for teachers' rights. No matter what historical period we look into, what is clear to me is that powers-that-be always denigrate the public workers as the trash of democratic capitalism.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@wolfpack: if you think unions are not necessary, then watch what happens in Wisconsin when this is over. Watch the feds follow suit. Then watch how hard it is to renege these regulations when big business takes over the management of everything. America is a dead entity, as far as the founding fathers vision is concerned. It was the rejection of the absolute authority of the state to tax citizens to enable its own monstrous appetite that created America. It is the re-acceptance of the monarchical state (replaced by CEOs) by the Republicans that will thrust the country back into that feudal paradigm.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites