Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Tea Party's Attack on Unions and Social Rights

In my book, anytime the working man can stick it to the rich man it's a good thing. In Wisconsin, that is precisely whats happening. As Scott Walker, the Republican Governor attempts to turn the working man upon his fellow working man (non-union workers vs. union workers), I hope that his transparency is as clear to them as it is to me.
Here's the facts: Walker wants to eliminate the unions ability to collectively bargain pension plans and benefits. Currently, union members are paying astronomically low rates; less than 1% into their pension, only 6% into health care. In exchange, the unions take on lower salaries. Less money now, more down the line. All in all, the deal is a sweetheart deal, but let us be clear, there was no divine order stricken down from the heavens demanding that union members will only pay X amount into this or Y amount into that. The deal was negotiated. It was collectively bargained. But now, when its time to pay the "more later" bit, the government, headed by Scott Walker is attempting to renege. Instead of focusing on the facts, Walker continues to point out what a great deal these union workers have, correctly stating that other "working men", i.e. his relative at Sears, would love such a deal. It is a relatively smart bit of thinking, but with the aforementioned facts brought to light, it is also completely irrelevant.
If the fight were really about making economic concessions, though, the strikes would be over. Wisconsin union members are willing and ready to make the necessary compromises, so long as their ability to bargain collectively remains intact. Walker, though, refuses to allow it. Because, alas, it has nothing to do with the economic climate, it has to do with another "Tea Party Governor" trying to union bust and infringe on basic social rights of Americans. It is happening all across the country. Thankfully, Wisconsin has put its foot down, hopefully America takes notice.

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