In a recent interview with JSonline, (they must have caught him when he was ACTUALLY in the state), he addressed the backlash of taking away collective bargaining rights this way:
“They defined it as a rights issue,” Walker said. “It’s not a rights issue. It’s an expensive entitlement.”
Hmm. I’m pretty sure the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed by the UN after World War II (and drafted and adopted by the US), says that collective bargaining is in fact a human right. Oh, yes, there it is, in Article 23 of the Universal Declaration:
4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Then there’s the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) here in the US, which “explicitly grants employees the right to collectively bargain and join trade unions,” according to the scholars at Cornell University Law School. Or as the National Labor Relations Board’s website puts it, the NLRA “protects employees’ rights to act together, with or without a union, to improve working terms and conditions, including wages and benefits.”
It is time to stop demonizing public workers and start analyzing the actual problems of our economy. It is also time to start placing blame where it belongs. We as taxpayers spent $700 Billion dollars to Bail out Wall St. after the economy crashed a few short years ago, yet to this day, they are still allowed to continue on with business as usual.
In Wisconsin, where the Governor keeps telling us that “we are broke”, the collective bargaining power of WMC, has already been given (using taxpayer money) $2.3 billion in tax breaks and loopholes. Balancing the budget after give-away’s such as this on the backs of teachers, nurses, plow drivers, prison guards, etc… is not only ineffective but also immoral.
You can track almost directly on a graph that the decline of unions in America runs parallel with the decline of middle class wages in this country. Yet in that same graph the rise of corporate power and the wages of CEO’s are on the exact opposite line. In 1980 CEOs in America made approximately 35% more than the average workers at their companies, today that number is approximately 300 times more and growing. Taking the collective bargaining rights away from Police officers, Firefighters, teachers, nurses, social workers, prison guards, plow drivers, etc… does not address any of these problems.
Collective bargaining, allowing labor a seat at the table to discuss such things as working conditions, health and safety policy, hours, and pay, is not too costly. It is essential!
This is not just an issue not just Wisconsin that has brought out the protestors in mass who know it is a right.
When Ohio’s own extreme right wing Governor and the Ohio Republican party unethically took the rights of Ohio’s workers away via SB-5, the people of Ohio organized. Needing 231,000 signatures to get collective bargaining on the ballot in November, yesterday they delivered 1.3 MILLION signatures saying enough is enough.
“This historic number of signatures sends a strong, clear message to the extreme politicians who played political tricks to pass SB 5 and to the rest of the country,” Melissa Fazekas, spokeswoman for We Are Ohio, said in a released statement. “More than 1 million voices from all 88 counties can’t be wrong.”
Buyers remorse and democracy in action all over this country. Here is a picture of the semi(yes Semi) needed to deliver the 1.3 MILLION signatures!