VIDEO: Protesters outside Walker’s visit to Opportunities, Inc.

Watch as protesters gathered on Thursday, July 28th outside Opportunities Inc. in Fort Atkinson to show Republican Gov. Scott Walker what they think of his radical far-right agenda.

Gov. Walker appeared at Opportunities Inc. to recognize that company for creating opportunities for developmentally disabled individuals and helping to create jobs for other needy workers, but what Gov. Walker didn’t want to seem to recognize is Opportunity Inc.’s “dirty little secret.”

According to a report by the Cap Times, records on file with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development indicate that 92 percent of the roughly 450 disabled workers employed by Opportunities Inc. were paid less than $5 an hour and 50 percent made less than $2 an hour. In some cases workers were paid as little as 11 cents an hour based on a piece-work scale. I should note that a 1938 federal law designed to spur hiring of injured military veterans allows disabled individuals to be paid less than minimum wage.

It’s also notable that according to Robert Heussner, a 66 year-old Vietnam Veteran who works at Opportunities Inc., the company forces employees to work in extremely hot conditions without any air conditioning, but for Gov. Walker’s appearance at the company air conditioning units were rented to keep the governor and his guests cool. After all, we can’t have the governor actually break a sweat – that’s simply unacceptable.

Also noteworthy is that while Opportunities Inc. pays its disabled employees less than the minimum wage and forces them to work in extremely uncomfortable conditions, the company president had a total compensation package of almost $199,000 and the vice president had a compensation package of $140,000. What’s more, since 2007 both have seen their compensation increase by about 23%.


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