Unions in America received another devastating blow as Gov. Scott Walker rammed through his ‘budget repair bill’ (ie. union smashing bill) that basically takes away all collective bargaining rights from public workers. The Huffington Post reports:
In a bold gambit to put an end to the weeks-long budget standoff in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) split his controversial budget-repair bill in two on Wednesday, allowing the Senate to pass the most hotly contested provisions while their 14 Democratic colleagues remained out of state.
The repercussions of this drastic move could be absolutely huge as witnessed by the ongoing protest in Wisconsin and around the country. The 30 year relentless Right wing assault on collective bargaining has essentially evaporated the middle class in America, and yesterdays move to further dismantle what is left of it is sparking an enormous backlash.
Wisconsin’s regressive decision represents a more starkly defined front line in the Right’s war against the middle class – it is now clear where Republicans stand on protecting working families, teachers and government workers – and their overt betrayal will be no be taken lightly.
Today, the battle has been won by the GOP. They have succeeded in their strategy of giving back to the rich and taking away from everyone else – but such brazen tactics can only yield short term results. In the long run, stripping the bargaining rights of teachers and government workers will only mobilize public opinion against the Republican Party, and given we are coming up to election time, the timing could not have been worse. As Greg Sargent writes:
Republicans blindly following him [Walker] have pulled a stunt that will only exacerbate grassroots anger in Wisconsin and leave national unions and liberal groups no alternative but to pour everything they have into recall drives. National Republicans can’t be happy about this overreach: It has galvanized the labor movement, allowed it to restate its case to the public, given Obama an easy way to mend fences with unions, and complicated GOP outreach to blue collar whites in key swing states and districts heading into 2012.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.