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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/19/11

US Workers: Resurgent or Waging a Rearguard Action?

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"Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain, generally seems like more of an assault on unions."

This by a president who disdains working Americans. Many thought his election would end Bush era politics. Instead they intensified by trashing worker rights, including under an appointed Auto Task Force, eliminating tens of thousands of jobs, ravaging communities, imposing draconian new hire demands, and appointing a "pay czar" to reward management.

His administration endorses the "new normal," including 22% + unemployment, poverty wages, eroding benefits, and pensions targeted for elimination to help states and enrich corporate bosses more. Yet for some, he's a "people's president," a man with a message: "Change," and "Yes We Can." Yes he did, in fact, serve corporate interests, not loyal constituents he trashed for big money.

Feigning support for Wisconsin protesters, he said nothing about Governor Walker's threat to use National Guard force against them, a clear constitutional First Amendment assault.

Protesters so far are undaunted, their ranks growing and spreading across the state in solidarity, but to what avail. Expected passage of Walker's bill was only was delayed when Senate Democrats walked out. They took refuge in neighboring Illinois, ignoring a Republican "call of the House," sending police off to find them, a shameless political stunt.

Their maneuver, in fact, is delay, negotiate, co-op union bosses, and reach accommodation with Walker and majority Republicans. As a result, the fix is in to force first-step draconian measures, more coming later, including concessions on collective bargaining rights. Activists know the scheme well, University of Wisconsin-Superior Professor Joel Sipress saying:

"We all know that this is part of a broader assault on the ability of working people in this state and this country to have decent, humane lives. The same people who want to strip public workers of their rights - they're the same (ones) who want to say to all of us 'it is a sink-or-swim society.' We will not allow Wisconsin to become a state where the working people live off the scraps that are thrown to them by the economic elite."

Protests Spread to Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Perhaps Beyond

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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