Since Scott Walker is a fan of Ronald Reagan, here’s Reagan on unions

During his 20 minute telephone call with a man he thought was David Koch, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker compared his efforts to break Wisconsin’s public employee unions with former President Ronald Reagan’s actions in response to a strike by air traffic controllers, but what Gov. Walker seems not to realize is that President Reagan was no opponent of labor unions (emphasis mine):

Samuel Gompers believed with all his heart that if a worker was properly and fairly paid for his work, he could provide for himself without having to hold out this hand to a caseworker for government-provided benefits. He was a champion of collective bargaining.

Collective bargaining in the years since has played a major role in America’s economic miracle. Unions represent some of the freest institutions in this land. There are few finer examples of participatory democracy to be found anywhere. Too often, discussion about the labor movement concentrates on disputes, corruption, and strikes. But while these things are headlines, there are thousands of good agreements reached and put into practice every year without a hitch.

Part of successful collective bargaining is honest, straightforward exchanges. A number of Presidents have observed that of all the meetings in the Oval Office, the most direct, productive, and useful have been with the leaders of organized labor. Straight talk has always been a feature of these exchanges, and that’s a tradition I want to continue here today. You and I may not always agree, as President Konyha said, on everything, but we should always remember how much we have in common.

I can guarantee you today that this administration will not fight inflation by attacking the sacred right of American workers to negotiate their wages. We propose to control government, not people. Now, today I want to express again my belief in our American system of collective bargaining and pledge that there will always be an open door to you in this administration.

~ Ronald Reagan, 3 September 1981. Remarks in Chicago, Illinois, at the Annual Convention and Centennial Observance of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners.

Perhaps if Gov. Walker had paid better attention in his history classes, he would have known Ronald Reagan was no enemy to labor unions.

H/T to The Chief.


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5 thoughts on “Since Scott Walker is a fan of Ronald Reagan, here’s Reagan on unions

  1. Was Reagan talking about public employee unions? What are your thoughts about FDR’s thoughts about public employee unions? Why doesn’t Obama grant federal public employees collective bargaining power? Why is it not a conflict of interest for public unions to confiscate money from members to give to political campaigns to help elect the very politicians they will be “negotiating” with?

    All questions you fail to answer.

    1. Obama has nothing to do with this, and if your ilk would support public financing of campaigns you wouldn’t have to get your panties in a wad about who shovels money to whom.

    1. I agree, we wanted to let the banks fail. Had they done so after LTCM blew up in 1999 this latest crash would not have happened.. For your reference, There is also a great book called when genius failed.

      Bear Sterns and Lehman would still be around. But this socialization of risk and privatization of gain encourages more risk.

  2. Indeed, Reagan served as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) for 8 terms. And of course he was a member of the Democratic Party until 1962 before switching to the Republican Party. But hey, if you want to co-opt him for your cause, little details like that just get in the way.

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