The powers of the unions are being tested in the country. The situation in Madison, Wisconsin is quite troubling. The legislature led by Republicans of course, have passed Governor Scott Walker’s proposed restrictions on collective bargaining for state employees. The Democratic contingent refused to participate in the process and have made it clear by being absent, that they do not agree with the passing of this legislation. This is a clear message that the rights of public employees are at stake. If Republicans can get away with this in Wisconsin, then all of the other states that are in financial ruin are going to try and do the same.
Walker and GOP lawmakers are trying to close a $137 million budget shortfall their plan calls for curbs on public employee union bargaining rights, and requires public workers, with the exception of police and firefighters, to cover more of their retirement plans and health care premiums. Also, employee raises would be capped at the rate of inflation and only the police officers would have the ability to negotiate raises in the near future.
I just want to speak about some of the major factors that contribute to the attacks on labor unions that represent the public service workers such as teachers, police and firefighters. Historically, these labor unions have always been major supporters of the Democratic Party. These unions represent millions of voters who are the lifeblood and lifeline of the Democratic Party. The theory is simple: if the Republican Party which represents the owner/capitalist class limits the powers of the labor unions; then the Democratic Party will be weakened substantially. The essence of capitalism is to seek the use of labor on the cheap. Public service workers cannot be ignored. The labor unions of public service workers are very strong. The political power that the labor unions have is very strong as well. It is no coincidence that the Republicans and Tea Party members for that matter will try an all out attack to weaken them. It is a useful goal to destroy the Democratic Party due to the fact that historically it is the party that represents the worker class in America.