Wisconsin: Ground Zero to Save Public Worker Rights - by Stephen Lendman
Ronald Reagan was right saying:
"Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem."
His type governance, that is, and from administrations that followed, Democrats as ruthless as Republicans.
For decades, bipartisan consensus governed lawlessly, waging imperial wars, trashing human rights and civil liberty protections, unabashedly backing monied interests, letting them loot the federal treasury, fleecing working Americans, and targeting organized labor for destruction.
Washington is ground zero for government's assault. Outside the beltway, it's Wisconsin, but spreading fast to other states and cities. An unfair fight pits major media-supported federal, state and local governments allied with union bosses against American workers, largely on their own, relying on their grit and resourcefulness to survive in a very hostile environment.
Threatened are hard-won worker rights, including secure jobs, a living wage, essential benefits, and the right to bargain collectively with management to protect them. They're going, going, and soon gone unless mass grassroots activism saves them, what's so far absent. Wisconsin worker heroics are impressive, but not enough.
Much more is needed - there and across America, because workers in all states and communities are threatened, their rights being trashed and have been for decades, especially since the Carter administration drafted plans Reagan implemented:
Firing over 11,000 PATCO workers, jailing its leaders, fining the union millions of dollars, and effectively busting it for monied interests. It was a shot across organized labor's bow, a clear message to Wall Street and other corporate favorites - supported by then AFL-CIO president Lane Kirkland, one of many labor bosses who betrayed rank and file trust. They still do for their own self-interest. No wonder organized labor is a shadow of its former self, headed for extinction unless stopped.
Reagan's administration set the pattern. Union bosses conspired with management against their own membership. During bitter coal miner, steel worker, bus driver, airline worker, copper miner, auto worker, and meatpacking worker strikes, they denied rank and file support, assuring them defeat. At decade's end, trade unionism in America was decimated and kept declining since, heading for oblivion with little pressure to stop it.
Obama's war on labor shows he matches Republican harshness. He abandoned US auto workers for management forcing:
-- plant closures;
-- jobs shipped abroad;
-- permanent ones lost;
-- lower wages;
-- gutted work rules, including on-the-job health and safety protections; and