#WIunion ALERT: Another GOP Bomb: 3PM facebook update from Wisconsin Senator Lassa: GOP bill targeting private sector unions is being fast tracked in the legislature.
screenshot is of an update made roughly 3PM February 19, 2013
Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers are on strike in Shorewood, Wisconsin (a suburb of Milwaukee) because VJS, the general contractor for a major development project, refuses to hire certified crane operators. Instead, VJS hired uncertified workers to operate the crane using a remote so they can “multi-task” and do other projects on the construction site.
I brought coffee to the union members this afternoon and they were incredibly grateful. It’s 30 degrees and miserable outside today, and it’s a rough time of year to be on strike. Milwaukee folks, if you have a chance to swing by and drop off coffee or just offer a word of encouragement, I’m sure the union members would be grateful.
If you’re not in Milwaukee but would like to offer support, perhaps consider calling in a pizza order? Ian’s Pizza (414-727-9200) will deliver to the picket line (4060 N. Oakland Avenue). Especially after the holiday weekend and as we enter a new year, it would be nice to show those on strike some support.
One of the enduring myths of legislation designed to bring ‘right-to-work’ laws to the states is the notion that these laws actually have something to do with the right to work.
They decidedly do not.
-Rick Ungar of Forbes Magazine, Right-to-Work Laws Explained, Debunked, and Demystified
The article above is a great primer in so-called right-to-work laws.
The protestors filled three floors of the rotunda inside the Capitol building. They also made their presence known in and around the Romney Building. They could be heard chanting “Hey he, ho ho, right-to-work has got to go” as they banged on railings inside the Capitol. Michigan State Police arrested at least three of the protestors and pepper sprayed a handful of others.
Photo from AFT Michigan
There Is (Economic) Power in a Union: An Illustrated Guide
Who are the real “job creators”? Contrary to conventional wisdom, the answer seems to be: People who have jobs – particularly those that pay well. Well-paid employees buy things, and that creates jobs for other people.
And what creates those kinds of jobs? A healthy union movement. Unions are also a bulwark against income inequality, an economic distortion which even conservative Forbes magazine acknowledges is bad for the economy.
It looks to all the world as if there’s a correlation here: Union membership goes down – deficits go up. Perhaps the correlation isn’t as strong as it looks, but the idea isn’t crazy. Higher-paid employees pay more in taxes, which is good for the government’s bottom line. They require fewer government services. The same is true of their families, neighborhoods, and communities. And their contribution to economic growth means everybody’s better off.
The lesson for all those deficit-obsessed policymakers might be, to paraphrase the late Joe Hill: Don’t “austerize,” organize.
Maybe that’s why the 1956 Republican Party platform boasted that under the leadership of President Eisenhower “unions have grown in strength and responsibility, and have increased their membership by 2 millions.” They knew what was good for the economy … and good for business.
Protests Erupt in Michigan Over Republican Anti-Union Legislation
Police arrested several protesters and they threw mace at a crowd gathered at the Michigan State House today. As the Detroit Free Press reports, State Police used “chemical munitions” when the crowd tried to rush the Senate floor.
More from the Detroit Free Press:
Gov. Snyder’s right-to-work initiative has the coordinated support of Americans for Prosperity, the conservative non-profit organization that funded Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to strip that state’s public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights.