Over the past several days a number of proponents of the Right to Work legislation currently sailing through the Wisconsin legislature have been touting polling figures provided by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. As a matter of fact, Mike Nichols, the president of WPRI was touting them just this morning in his op-ed piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel supporting RTW.
These figures are discussed on the WPRI under the title Wisconsinites Support Right-To-Work Legislation. Their poll suggests that 62% of Wisconsinites would vote in favor of RTW. And since the poll is so overwhelming in favor, well naturally proponents say the legislature needs to pass this bill.
But it’s just a poll. And although politicians like to use polls to get a feel for the climate…they aren’t always reliable. And just because something polls strongly still doesn’t make it the right thing to do. But since the majority of those polled support RTW…well my gosh we should just have it.
Except when the poll runs gob smack into democracy. Unions weren’t thrust upon the earth in a cataclysm of epic proportions. They came into being over a period of decades with the blood and sweat of several generations of American workers.
And the union in the factory…or at that construction site…wasn’t created by royal decree. It came about because workers requested an election…and workers voted for/against the union…and the fors won. And there is a union. And guess what? That election was actually certified. And the majority ruled.
But now we are being told that democracy in the workplace be damned. When someone decides they don’t want to belong to a union…a union voted on by the majority of his or her co-workers…well he or she doesn’t have to belong…or pay dues…but by golly they get the same pay and benefits of participating union members.
But the lesson here…despite what President Obama arrogantly stated years ago…elections matter…and as the GOP has arrogantly gloated since the 2014 mid-terms…elections matter…except when they f*cking don’t. Union elections don’t f*cking matter when you don’t want them to.
So my personal lesson here is I don’t like the results of the 2014 elections…so I’ll just use those state highways but I am not going to pay my taxes. I’ll use the state parks…and not pay my fees. I’ll use the university…and not pay my tuition. State trooper hands me a speeding ticket…not paying it…etc…etc…etc.
Oh I know I can’t actually get away with that…but that’s the lesson I am being taught here.