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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/19/11

US Workers: Resurgent or Waging a Rearguard Action?

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"A Republican-controlled Senate committee advanced a contentious proposal....critics contend would strip Indiana teachers of their collective bargaining rights." It's a measure Republican Governor Mitch Daniels supports as part of his sweeping education agenda.

If enacted, only wage and benefits negotiating will be permitted. Local contracts henceforth will exclude the right to bargain on evaluation and dismissal procedures, working conditions, and other related issues. Special education teacher Diana Koger told lawmakers that proposed measures strip teachers of all rights, giving school boards full authority.

Nonetheless, passage by Indiana's Republican seems likely, step one before targeting all state workers.

On February 18, Michigan's WILX television reported state worker protests over cuts, saying their message is "Enough is enough," rallying in the Lansing capital to make lawmakers and Republican Governor Rick Snyder listen.

Chanting "Legislators get the gold mine, workers get the shaft," they rallied outside the Capitol building against Snyder's budget proposal, wanting public workers to absorb $180 million dollars in cuts, including hundreds of eliminated jobs.

One worker had it right saying:

"They can fire every state employee....but you're not going to fix the budget cause you're not generating revenue. Everyone....is responsible for this debt, not just state employees, not just the poor, not just kids trying to get an education."

According to Ken Moore, president of the Michigan State Employees Association, "Let's close up the corporate loopholes where come of the big money's at. Let's close those up so we can get back to a reasonable budget." He wants workers to be part of the solution, not a casualty they're becoming as in other states across the country. As a result, Main Street America is becoming a wasteland, a backwater, facing inhumane third world harshness.

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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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