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Wisconsin Gov. Walker Threatens To Deploy National Guard Against Unions

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Ragusa, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    It appears Wisconsin Gov. Walker has a problem with unions. Now union-busting is a cherished pastime in the GOP, currently especially in states that face budgetary problems (not that it needed that for them to oppose unions):
    Workers rights are one of those little things that distinguish a free society from an unfree one.

    In a sense, Walker is simply taking traditional GOP union-busting one step further by being a tad more reactionary than most of his peers. He is essentially simply turning back the clock to 1914. After all, a deployment of national guard against strikers is not unprecedented, it's just that the case can be made that it was not a particularly good precedent. Oh that, ancient history. Why bother?
     
  2. BOC

    BOC Let the wild run free Veteran

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    He is just answering to the battle call

    [​IMG]

    I would say back to feudal age.
     
  3. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    It's hardly surprising that the economist as THE neo-liberal outlet is headlining like that. The union issue is where hard core corporatists and (economic) neo-liberals (read: free marketeers) meet.

    Somewhat dated - it is from 1946 - but it makes a good point, namely that it doesn't really matter whether it is the government that says 'What I say goes' (at 3:11), or an employer.


    It certainly offers food for thought.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2015
  4. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    On the one hand, in many states, unions have become the very abusive master that they were intended to oppose. I don't know how many of those states are right-to-work states, but those that aren't are the worst. In many states, union contracts have the state budget in a strangle-hold, with the state having essentially no options.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: the purposes for which unions were created, the injustices they were meant to reverse, have passed in most business areas in the US today. In many cases, there are federal laws protecting employees. In others, competetiveness for skilled workers is driving things. In still others, unions have become hated monsters of their own, forcing anyone who wants to work in the industry to join them or give up their dreams. There are few areas where unions are still necessary in the US (the airline industry is one good example).

    I do agree that threatening to call in the National Guard is too much. Unless the unions have threatened violent protests, there's no justification for that.
     
  5. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    They have passed because the unions forced them, if the unions were to disapear the practices they were created to counter would be back in the blink of an eye. We can see it already with weakened unions in many sectors and young people being spoon fed propaganda of how bad the unions are worker's rights are quickly deteriorating all over the wealthy world. Of course it is expensive to give employeers decent wages and workconditions but I really do not think we should do away with it.
     
  6. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    NOG,
    I have worked in a 150 people company where the boss tried to pull off changing salaries (to the worse, naturally) by e-mail - to be surprised when I told him that contracts are mutually consented on agreements and that thus I consider his e-mail null and void *deleting it with a keystroke*. After some gasping, he said: "What do you think you're doing?! I own this company!". "Sure," I replied, "but you don't own me - I still sign my contracts myself, thank you. You're boss only within the limits of the law.". Strikingly, he didn't fire me for that. And our company ended up hiring a dedicated labour law lawyer full time (who still had to put into practice policies that resulted in her losing all her cases, poor thing - the old boss was utterly impervious to good counsel).

    Eventually we all found better jobs. But try to get a good new job in a depressed job market. Usually, it is during recession time that employers start to exert pressure, because then it is harder for employees to fight back. Employees depend on salaries, and unions are the only thing that make strikes feasible. And indeed, it is hard to explain to employees why their company reports record profits, the CEO gets a raise and some stock options - but they see to get their wages crunched or stagnating, losing buying power, and have increasingly difficult time.

    Point is, there are abusive employers out there and the only way for workers to be able to resist the pressure exerted by such employers is to form a union or to organise in a similar way. Think about how WalMart treats their employees; examples from Germany would be Schlecker and Lidl. You want to learn about pressure and intimidation? Get a job at one of the aforementioned and organise labour. Some employer practices are simply blatantly illegal. Often unions are the sole source of information for employees about what their rights are and how to enforce them. That easily explains why abusive employers hate unions, and why they donated richly to politicians to whom they lobbied for weak labour laws.

    That unions have in some parts become a racket, has to do with them having been infiltrated by rackets (read: teamsters, longshoremen). Or think about sport unions - millionaires going on strike for more millions. But that are exceptions.

    Unions have an important function. It is no accident that both communists and fascists alike cracked down hard on labour unions.
     
  7. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    I'd go one step further - to me the possibility of violence during protests might be more in the police's alley, at least at first. Shouldn't the National Guard only be called on if the local law enforcement is shown to be unable to cope with the problem?
     
  8. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Maybe the governor just needs a "revolutionary guard" instead.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Guard

    Welcome to Iran....
     
  9. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I agree that unionizing in the public sector is a bad idea and a conflict of interest. The unions have too much power when the supposed representatives of the public good who determine the public salaries and benefits are beholden to the unions for getting them elected.
     
  10. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    It's funny that people won't use that same argument when it comes to big business. Then it is a question of the "freedom and liberty" of business to get someone elected who is "beholden" to them.
     
  11. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I just wish public officials couldn't be bought; they're supposed to be working for the public good, not special interest's good. :)
     
  12. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Agreed, BTA!! :)
     
  13. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I agree as well, but, if we are talking about this world, rather than Utopia, you're going to have to wait until a different species is the dominant one on this planet, because all politicians can be bought and they all really are bought -- it's just a question of degree.
     
  14. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I believe that is because businesses can't vote. All a business can do is donate money to a campaign. If a candidate ran on a campaign to eliminate corporate taxes, that isn't going to motivate the average voter (even though it would be a good idea). However, if a candidate is telling school teachers that they are going to give them a 10% raise and increase their pensions that is going to motivate a lot of teachers to vote for him/her.

    So yes, BTA is correct that it is a vicious circle that some politicians pander to the unions for their votes and then reward them handsomely with pay and benefits even though it is to the detriment of the non-union voters (and in all probability not economically feasible)

    I personally feel that the day of the union has passed. I also do not agree that if we get rid of them the bad old days will return. I just don't see us returning to having kids in coal mines with a canary for $1/day.
     
  15. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I'm on the fence on this one. On the one hand, unions protect workers, even modern day workers, from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers. Snook's comments about the rotten wages and conditions are kind of funny, because there are places in the world today where working conditions are just as *****y as they were in the 1800s. No unions there, coupled with no government laws to protect the workers. Not a cool situation.

    On the other hand, my wife works for Canada Post. She is a supervisor, and it appears to me that the union people spend more time causing hassles about irrelevant crap than they do actually delivering the effing mail, which is what they are paid to do. If an employer hires me, they are hiring me to do a job, and I accept the job knowing what it will entail. Being a person with morals, and a work ethic, I strive to do a good job and satisfy my employer within the bounds of legality and decency. I take pride in my work. As near as I can tell, some of these union douches treat a manager asking them a simple question ("why didn't you deliver those flyers on time, Dave?") as the equivalent of being asked to work in a coal mine, and they grieve EVERYTHING. There has to be balance.

    Especially since the Union leadership often goes in directions wildly contrary to the positions of the majority of its members.

    There is a need for balance. Unions need to be reasonable, and negotiate / bargain in good faith. So do employers. When either side fails to do this, you have trouble. I believe that unions have a role to play in modern society, but they should be focussed more on actually helping their workers overcome real problems rather than stirring up trouble about insignificant crap.
     
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  16. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Unions themselves are not always effective, sometimes harming the little guy to whom they've promised the protections of solidarity. It's a shame when that happens.
     
  17. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    :bs:
    :bs:

    Then you "believe" in fairy tales, largely of your own making. Businesses don't employ thousands of employees who depend upon them for their livelihoods? Whatever.

    In that same sense, that's all unions can do as well.

    However, much like business, we know there are special interests involved in these cases that may influence votes. The difference is that for workers it's only about pay and benefits; for business that is still a part of it, but it goes beyond that to lax regulation for consumer protections to pollution, to something far more insidious, such as needless wars and foreign policy that not only damages this country, but other countries and their populations as well. Halli, KBR, Blackwater, Lockheed, Boeing and other affiliates are just a few of those handsomely "rewarded" for being on the right side of a needless war.

    ...And I still have not started on private contractors at the state and local level. I will leave that to your imagination. Why do you think all these business clowns want to take the cuts in SS rather than take the cuts themselves? Let the old people pay for a balanced budget and leave the corporate bastards to their share of the government, taxpayer, money. Right.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  18. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I have a problem with any entity getting extra government access due to its funding of candidates. It happens all the time, though.

    In the case of unions, though, it's a little different, IMHO. I'll illustrate.

    Ian Walker runs a successful factory. He treats his workers well in all ways. He runs his business intelligently. He makes a profit. He chooses to spend some of that profit to finance the campaign of Wyatt Winger, the local Conservative candidate. By so doing, he is not claiming to speak for any of his workers.he might catch soime flack from the board of directors or the stockholders, but you get my drift.

    The union that represents Ian's workers collects dues from the workers, and uses them to support the campaign of Siegfied Barta, the local Socialist candidate. There is a major difference there, in that they did not consult the membership before doing so. Given that they are using worker money, the workers shoiuld have some say in how it is distributed. Many might not appreciate tneir money going to such a campaign.

    This is happening right now with the Canada Post Union. It's not cool.
     
  19. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I disagree. You are implying that workers vote in the best interest of their employers. I think that couldn't be further from the truth. Now maybe I could believe that of a Detroit politician saying they are going to save the auto industry, but that is a minority of voters. When you worked at Circuit City did you even have the slightest idea as to how they were spending lobbying money? Did a Circuit City memorandum ever come out asking you to vote in a certain way? I'm going to guess the answer to both of those questions is no.

    This is also a question of numbers. With the possible exception of some Fortune 500 companies there are way more public service employees then you would find in any individual company, and possibly in any individual industry.
     
  20. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    You are implying that union workers vote in the best interest of the union, which you really can't answer with any certainty. Let me advise you that my dad was a cop who often [probably always] voted against the policman union's mandate, as many others did on the force. So don't even go there.

    But me let speak directly to your comment. Yes, btw, they do, especially here in the oil patch, where both Dems and Reps pander to oil companies and their employees. If you have ever worked in the oil industry, or knew a few who have, then you know that they tend to be industry loyal. Also, my ex-wife was an AVP who worked at a major bank here in Houston and was not only told how to vote by her bank, but was advised that it was in her best "career interest" to also make donations to the bank's political fund. So don't go there either. I've seen too much and be around enough not to be taken in by that line of BS.

    Yes. Want to find out? Why don't you google the name "Richard Sharp" and see what you discover. He was the CEO for most of my time there.

    We were expected to support what was in the "best interest" of the electronics industry, whatever that was at the time, and was sometimes urged to contact our poltical leaders over specific issues. An example was the move to digital TV.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/06/t...d=2&adxnnlx=1297808047-r8HPG61cBqxdE5MLA9xLXg


    Bad guess.

    I don't believe it. How many are employeed by the oil industry alone?

    Hint:

    http://www.nndb.com/org/520/000167019/
    http://www.nndb.com/org/175/000167671/
    http://www.nndb.com/org/440/000219780/
    http://www.nndb.com/org/005/000208378/
    http://www.nndb.com/org/083/000167579/
    http://www.nndb.com/org/716/000171203/

    Richard gets around a bit, it seems....
     
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