This is so brazen a move people have to 'get' what this means...
mobbsey at gn.apc.org
Fri Mar 11 04:43:45 GMT 2011
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In case you don't follow US politics...
In case you haven't picked up on it, the US media has been running union
bashing stories pretty much since the Republicans took back Congress. For the
last few weeks Wisconsin state Republicans have been trying to vote into law a
bill to strip public employees of all their collective bargaining rights -- in
other words, to negate the power public sector unions (the last major unions
left, both in the USA and the UK).
[note -- you can torrent a clip of Michael Moore giving a really good speech
at the Madison sit in, http://onebigtorrent.org/torrents/10887/America-Is-NOT-
The bill couldn't pass, but yesterday the Repulicans used some back room
procedure to vote the bill through -- and the Govenor is signing it into law
as quickly as possible. (see below)
Why are the unions complaining? Because the state wants to renegotiate their
wages and pensions down. So what does the state do?; it removes the rights of
the staff to collective bargaining. This is so clearly the birth of the new
policy coming out of the conservative right; and yesterday's announcement
sheds some new light on the work of the Tories over here --
Wisconsin state assembly votes through anti-union bill
BBC On-line, 10th March 2011
The Wisconsin state assembly has voted to approve a plan to strip public-
sector unions of most of their collective bargaining rights.
Senate Republicans used a procedural move to pass the bill on Wednesday.
Republican Governor Scott Walker promised to sign the bill into law as quickly
AFL-CIO union leader Richard Trumka earlier attacked the Republicans' move as
a "corruption of democracy". The plan has prompted widespread protest.
Police have been ejecting demonstrators from the state capitol building after
weeks of mass demonstrations in support of public workers.
Mr Walker and Republicans say the bill is necessary to help the state balance
its budget deficit.
"This is about protecting the middle class and doing it in a way that avoids
massive tax increases and massive lay-offs," Mr Walker said on Thursday.
He added that the bill would give local governments the "tools" they needed to
balance their own budgets.
Protesters flood capitol
The US state's 14 Democratic senators had sought to prevent the bill moving
forward by fleeing the state, leaving the chamber short of the number needed
for a vote.
But Republicans used a procedural move to allow them to vote on the measure in
committee instead on Wednesday evening.
Crowds of protesters swamped the state capitol in Madison following the vote.
The state House - the lower legislative chamber - passed the measure in a
53-43 vote on Thursday afternoon, after police had removed protesters from the
The state faces a $3.6bn (£2.23bn) budget deficit in the coming two-year
period. The bill on labour unions would affect rubbish collectors, teachers,
nurses, prison guards and other public workers.
Democrats, labour unions and their supporters, who disparage the bill as an
attack on labour unions and on the middle class, spent three weeks protesting
at the state capitol building.
On Thursday, Mr Trumka, head of one of the largest labour union coalitions in
the US, told reporters the Republican move had engendered solidarity among
Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, Mr Trumka joked that unions
should give Mr Walker their "Mobiliser of the Year" award for galvanizing
support for labour among thousands of protesters and in national polls.
"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
(Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')
Paul's book, "Energy Beyond Oil", is out now!
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