Monday, February 14, 2011

Wisconsin's Unrest

It seems that the race to the bottom is becoming more apparent here in the US. In Florida Governor Rick Scott wants to cut services to close a relatively modest budget deficit- 5 billion in a 70 billion dollar budget, but at the same time wants to cut taxes, a move opposed by the Republican led legislature! In Wisconsin the new governor is threatening to turn the troops on state employees as he moves ahead to break the law by breaking their union contracts. The Republicans have done a fine job of painting those of us who work for government as parasites, so it may possibly work out to use part time soldiers to turn on a state's own citizens. But we don't don't need to look to Egypt to see our own future. It's here and Wisconsin is leading the way.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made the dramatic announcement this morning that he is prepared to call in the Wisconsin National Guard to respond if there is any unrest among state employees in the wake of his announcement that he wants to revoke nearly all of their collective bargaining rights.

Walker said he has not called the National Guard into action, but he has briefed them and other state agencies in preparation of any labor problems.

Walker’s plan to resolve the state’s budget deficit would require higher pension and health insurance contributions by state employees and remove bargaining rights except in a limited way over wages.

Critics said Walker’s “attacks” on the union workers violated a long-held state tradition of honest collective bargaining, and his threat to call the National Guard was an unnecessary insult to the state employees.

“Although this stunningly radical move is being cloaked as a budget necessity, it is a cruel hoax because Governor Walker and the Legislature have full authority to balance the state budget without attacking the fundamental rights of workers,” said Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “In reality this is a naked power grab by the large corporate interests that back Scott Walker and who seek unfettered control over Wisconsin politics.”

Walker said the budget repair bill he introduced today and the budget he will unveil Feb. 22 will not include furloughs for state employees and will "essentially not include layoffs."

"The last thing we need is any more people on unemployment," Walker said during a news conference to release details of the repair bill.

Walker said his proposals to reform the wage and benefit process are aimed at bringing stability to state and local government and will stave off thousands of layoffs at the state and local levels.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you go Gov.