That Republicans despise unions is not exactly news. It's kind of a core feature of their extremely pro-corporate philosophy. Right to Work laws exist explicitly to hurt unions. Wherever they can, Republicans have broken unions and they've been doing it for decades.
Yet, cops and firefighters keep supporting them and are shocked, shocked, when Republicans proceed to undermine their unions. Recently, Iowa Republicans tried to pull a fast one by splitting public unions into two groups: Public safety workers and everyone else. That way, they could attack the second group and convince the first that they were protected. It's not going they way they'd hoped:
That has many police officer, who voted for Republicans in large numbers this year, particularly upset.“It’s collective begging, that’s what it is,” Thomas labeled the bill at a subcommittee hearing. “
Half of law enforcement folks I work with are Republicans. And we voted for Republicans because of conservative values. But we didn’t vote for Republicans to get stabbed in the back while we’re trying to dodge cars and bullets.”
On the one hand, it's frustrating to hear this coming from Republican union voters. Of course Republicans are going to stab them in the back. The only people Republicans care about are the rich. Unions are the polar opposite of the wealthy, one of the few counterweights to their ability to buy and own politicians, therefor, they are a threat to the GOP's only real constituency.
On the hand, there was this:
Even some sheriffs are concerned over what impact it will have on their departments and community. Dave Drew, the Republican sheriff from Woodbury County in conservative Northwest Iowa, told Republican legislators that he’s worried they’d target them next.“
We stand as one,” Drew said of public workers. “It’s important to stand together. Because what you may give us or let us stay in, the firefighters and public safety, two years from now we may be out. We stand as one for the right reason: collective bargaining and Chapter 20 works.”
For Republicans, the sound of solidarity is like fingernails on a chalkboard. It's why they spend so much time trying to divide the country. And Sheriff Drew is correct; Republicans will eventually go after "public safety" unions as well. A union is a union and they all have to go. As long as unions extract higher pay, better benefits and pensions, it's a reminder to Americans in the private sector that their jobs used to be much better.
Right now, Republicans (at the behest of the rich) have people asking "Why do union workers get all those perks?!" The fear is that someday soon, people will start asking "Why don't we get all those perks?!" In the meantime, we have to stand with unions against the Republican agenda to dismantle them. They're one of best weapons against the unlimited spending and greed of the 1%.
There are 630 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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