Scott Walker Naked in Wisconsin

The holiday for MARTIN LUTHER KING was long fought by the Republican wingnuts but now that it is well-established even wingnut politicos go through the motions. Everyone knows that it is hypocrisy and not idealism that fuels such escapades.

Case in point: Governor Scott “Union-Killer” Walker of Wisconsin did his bob and weave on the dais of the State’s King Day observance but was given his come-uppance by its guest of honor. Margaret Rozga, widow of civil rights activist James Groppi, accepted the King Day Heritage Award on behalf of her husband and used the opportunity to rebuke Governor Walker.

“As a person who remembers that Martin Luther King was killed while he was working to organize sanitation workers, I know that anyone who works to curtail union rights is not in the tradition of Martin Luther King,” Rozga said.

Walker, who having busted public employee unions in his State, went on to curtail voters’ rights, must have shrunk a bit when Rozga added, “As a person who got her start in the Civil Rights Movement by volunteering to work on Southern Christian Leadership voter registration campaigns in Alabama, I know that those who [propose] any curtailment of voting rights are not in the tradition of Martin Luther King”.

We wish we would have been there, it had to have been as much fun listening to Margaret Rozga as it would have been listening to the children who exclaimed, “The Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes”.

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6 responses to “Scott Walker Naked in Wisconsin

  1. I hate it when Republicans and others who are anti-union and against economic equality pretend they admire Martin Luther King Jr.’s work just because he’s currently held in such high esteem by the American public.

    It also makes me sick when Republicans pretend King was a Republican when he didn’t really have an affilliation with the Republicans or the Democrats.

  2. I probably sound like a right wing spy, (I’m not), but Scott Walker did not bust the unions in Wisconsin. They can still engage in bargaining over wages and hours, and they still have seniority and tenure, which are of incredible value.

    He did make membership voluntary. This caused a real drop in membership, I assume because the union organizers were not prepared to sell their program to their own members. I do not blame them as Walker took them by surprise.

    But German unions have voluntary dues and 95% of workers belong, I believe.

    In the recall election, we hear that one third of union families had someone vote for Walker.

    Some trace this to a feeling that the recall itself was over the top and uncalled for. Also I think there is a jealous resentment of public employees, even amongst private sector union members.

  3. dissentingdemocrat

    Sorry, Bob, but the law was more damaging than that. Scott Walker allows public unions to negotiate over wages BUT only to the extent of seeking wage increases to meet the cost-of-living. And, most importantly, benefits would no longer be subject to collective bargaining. I have no knowledge about German unions and will look it up. But where ever non-union members get the benefits of a union contract without paying union dues, this will inevitably lead to the destruction of the union. Why would someone pay when they can get it for free?

  4. dissentingdemocrat

    MORE ON UNIONS –

    No, German Unions represent about 22% of German workers and not 95%. Membership has gone down in the last decade by 4 MILLION members (quite a drop!)

    Yes, Union membership in Germany is voluntary and scholars attribute the “free rider” problem where non-union members get the benefits of union contracts as one of the reasons for the union decline.

    Which brings us to Wisconsin and to so-called “Right to Work” States where the law prohibits Union Shops (The ability of a Union to bargain for a contract where all beneficiaries are union members OR who pay for the cost of collective bargaining paying fees in lieu of union dues)

    Workers should have the freedom to be represented by a Union and Unions should have the freedom to contract. One of the core principles of labor-management relations is to share the costs of bargaining among all of those who benefit from the bargain. To make union membership “voluntary” sounds like a freedom but what it really is is a diminuition of freedom and a sowing of the seeds of discord with the goal of breaking up the union.

    If some workers get the benefit of union-negotiated wage increases without paying the cost of the negotiation it is an unfair burden to those who do pay.

  5. Riight to work legislation is monstrous, I agree with you 100%.

    But I keep struggling with the fact that Walker won two elections with fairly generous majorities.

    If all the mangers, business owners, and investors in any American district voted Republican, and all the workers voted Democrat, then the Democrats would win every election by 20-30 percent.

    What is going wrong?

    Thomas Frank hit on some of the reasons when he showed that guns, gays, and abortion bring working class voters over to conservative candidates.

    What else is going on?

    When Wisconsin teachers went down to Madison in 2010 to protest against Walker, many workers said to themselves, ‘Those teachers get to call in sick when they are not sick at all. And they get paid while protesting.”

    Workers who stuggle terriibly to find a new job after age 50 look a the teachers’ seniority wages, and they just shake their head.. The teachers seem to them like the 1% elite!

    Is this a major factor? I welcome any cpmments.

    • dissentingdemocrat

      Three factors to keep in mind:

      1) Scott Walker won election and won in a recall. But Walker did not raise union-busting as an issue during his first campaign and the electorate did not have a campaign in which this was examined.

      2) The recall turned off many would-be liberal voters just as it had in California years before. Liberals, more than conservatives (derived from survey data) are more process-oriented than conservatives. Liberals did not vote to save their guy in California, and did not vote to challenge Walker in a probably excessive deference to the rules of the game. I don’t share liberal process orientation myself.

      3. As the Bourbons established Jim Crow after Reconstruction in the South by pitting white workers and poor against black workers and the poor so too today’s Koch Heads, Tea Partisans and the Professional Right are trying very hard to drive a wedge between public employees and private employees. This explains a lot about Wisconsin.

      A weaker labor movement works to the detriment of working people and common Americans. Just as black workers have more in common with white workers than they do with Clarence Thomas, so too publicly-employed workers have more in common with privately-employed workers than either do with Jaime Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein or the Koch Brothers.

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