Wisconsin Union Busting

A Curious Blend of Protests
Sorry for my lack of posts on this blog lately. I have been working on  a couple of my other eight blogs. That is right, I have nine in total. Excessive? Probably.

A couple of things caught my eye in the paper this morning however.

There was a great letter to the editor in the G & M this morning from a B.R. Cook. He wrote:

 "John Ibbitson asks why Canadians should fear a Conservative majority government under Stephen Harper.
Five word answer? Wisconsin under Governor Scott Walker."

There hasn't been much about the Wisconsin protests outside the CBC these last couple of weeks. On the "Q" media panel Margaret Wente did agree with Judy Rebbick that it was a big and important story that got very little ink here in Canada. I was surprised therefore that she seems to have missed the point in todays opinion piece.

 I find it odd that the public servants are being blamed for the Wisconsin State  bankruptcy. Once again legislators and commentators are trying to make it out to be a private sector vs public sector battle - big fat cat government workers vs the poor downtrodden masses working in private industry.

The American economy is collapsing as a result of private sector greed and corruption and very shoddy banking practices, not because of public servants.

Notwithstanding that. it is the public sector that now has to cough up and save the economic asses of the government leaders who were the regulatory overseers during the private sector excesses.

The interesting thing is that they are willing to do just that. They have already accepted wage rollbacks and  have taken on much of the burden of paying for health benefits. They still want to get back to the bargaining table to see what else can be worked out.

What few, including Wente, seem to grasp is that what really has the American trade union movement steamed, is the attack on the union's themselves.  It is the legislation which would;

  • suspend collective bargaining rights, 
  • deny the right to strike
  • force trade unions to have each and every member re-join the union anew every year, 
  • stop automatic dues checkoff so union dues would have to be collected from each and every member each month this in an effort to bankrupt the union administration.

This is all about good old right-wing union busting.

Should Canadians be interested? Of course we should. You have to believe that Chambers of Commerce, Independent Business lobby groups and Conservative governments here north of the border are watching events unfold very closely. Union busting is their favorite sport.

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