FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Take the “Sin” Out of Wisconsin

By now, we have all heard the hideous news. While it may not have completely sunk in, we have all heard it, we have all processed it, and we are understandably sickened by it.

Wisconsin, one of America’s great “progressive” states (yes, it had Joe McCarthy, but it also had Robert LaFollette, William Proxmire and Russ Feingold), and the first state to allow (in 1959) public sector employees to engage in collective bargaining, recently became the 25th state to adopt right-to-work legislation. Given Wisconsin’s illustrious history, it’s a crying shame.

For those unfamiliar with the rules, this law means that Wisconsin employees working in a union shop no longer have to pay their union dues. No one can “force” them to do that. And before anyone is lulled into thinking that this measure is a victory for the proponents of “free choice” or “libertarianism,” they need to take a step back and consider who got it done and their reasons for doing it.

This was nothing more than knee-to-the-groin Republican politics. It was pushed through by Governor Scott Walker and his state assembly in order to deflect money away from organized labor because, as everyone knows, Big Labor contributes heavily to the Democrats. Big Labor helps Democrats get elected, and Republicans hate that. Claiming this was anything more noble than a political power-play is disingenuous.

Also those who think right-to-work laws are somehow “fairer” than laws that force workers to pay dues need to look up the word “fair” in the dictionary, because there’s nothing remotely “fair” about this. Even though union jobs across-the-board are seen to offer 15-20% better wages and benefits, as well as superior working conditions and safety programs, if a person truly hates unions, so be it. Hating unions is not only his privilege, it’s his right.

And if this person happens to be a “self-made” man and practicing libertarian, so much the better. Not only does abhorring labor unions conform to “Natural Law,” it’s the gateway to enormous opportunity, because close to 94% of all private sector jobs (and 89% of all jobs) are non-union. These libertarian dudes are going to have no problem whatever finding jobs that aren’t unionized. There are plenty of them

But here’s the problem. These phony bastards don’t want a non-union job. They don’t want a job that pays 15% less, or has crappy working and safety conditions. They want a union job, with union pay, with union benefits, with union rules, with union grievance representation, and union protection. That’s what they really want. The only thing these greedy-assed mother-lovers don’t want is having to pay union dues.

Shockingly, Wisconsin’s right-to-work legislation is going allow them to get all this stuff handed to them, without having to pay for it. Even more shocking is the fact that, with Michigan and Wisconsin having so readily capitulated, this right-to-work fever is going to spread. The only thing that can stop it is repeal of all or portions of the Taft-Hartley Act (1947), and we know that ain’t going to happen.

When the next state surrenders, it will mean that the U.S. now has a right-to-work majority. And there can be no doubt that more states will be throwing in the towel. Those who think Ohio and Pennsylvania are sacrosanct are kidding themselves. Indeed, the last four holdouts are likely to be New York, California, Hawaii and Alaska. Who the hell would ever have thought that?

David Macaray, a playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy: Essays on Modern Labor,” 2nd edition), was a former labor union rep. He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

More articles by:

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
September 20, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World
Rob Urie
Strike for the Environment, Strike for Social Justice, Strike!
Miguel Gutierrez
El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pompeo and Circumstance
Andrew Levine
Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway
Louis Proyect
A Rebellion for the Wild West
T.J. Coles
A Taste of Their Own Medicine: the Politicians Who Robbed Iranians and Libyans Fear the Same for Brexit Britain
H. Bruce Franklin
How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East
Lee Hall
Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry
Louis Yako
Working in America: Paychecks for Silence
Michael D. Yates
Radical Education
Jonathan Cook
Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage Before He Exits?
Valerie Reynoso
The Rising Monopoly of Monsanto-Bayer
John Steppling
American Psychopathy
Ralph Nader
25 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare for the 2020 Elections
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality
Vincent Emanuele
Small Town Values
John Feffer
The Threat of Bolton Has Retreated, But Not the Threat of War
David Rosen
Evangelicals, Abstinence, Abortion and the Mainstreaming of Sex
Judy Rohrer
“Make ‘America’ White Again”: White Resentment Under the Obama & Trump Presidencies
John W. Whitehead
The Police State’s Language of Force
Kathleen Wallace
Noblesse the Sleaze
Farzana Versey
Why Should Kashmiris be Indian?
Nyla Ali Khan
Why Are Modi and His Cohort Paranoid About Diversity?
Shawn Fremstad
The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric
Mel Gurtov
No War for Saudi Oil!
Robert Koehler
‘I’m Afraid You Have Humans’
David Swanson
Every Peace Group and Activist Should Join Strike DC for the Earth’s Climate
Scott Owen
In Defense of Non-violent Actions in Revolutionary Times
Jesse Jackson
Can America Break Its Gun Addiction?
Priti Gulati Cox
Sidewalk Museum of Congress: Who Says Kansas is Flat?
Mohamad Shaaf
The Current Political Crisis: Its Roots in Concentrated Capital with the Resulting Concentrated Political Power
Max Moran
Revolving Door Project Probes Thiel’s White House Connection
Arshad Khan
Unhappy India
Nick Pemberton
Norman Fucking Rockwell! and 24 Other Favorite Albums
Nicky Reid
The Bigotry of ‘Hate Speech’ and Facebook Fascism
Paul Armentano
To Make Vaping Safer, Legalize Cannabis
Jill Richardson
Punching Through Bad Headlines
Jessicah Pierre
What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America
John Kendall Hawkins
Draining the Swamp, From the Beginning of Time
Julian Rose
Four Funerals and a Wedding: A Brief History of the War on Humanity
Victor Grossman
Film, Music and Elections in Germany
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ahmet Altan’s “I Will Never See the World Again”
David Yearsley
Jazz is Activism
Elliot Sperber
Captains of Industry 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail