Wisconsin: The Implications

originally published in the Colorado Labor Advocate

Wisconsin public sector unions face a sobering truth after nine weeks of over 100,000 activists in the streets --- no contracts.

Wisconsin Republicans with the leadership of Governor Scott Walker railroaded through the “budget repair” bill on March 9, which will strip many public sector unions of almost all of their collective bargaining rights.  Although it is currently tied up in the legal process many expect the bill to eventually take effect.

This may seem like a statement we should be depressed about, but it is not.  It is a statement we should be proud of.  Out of the nine week struggle came forth a realization that all of us, together, must fight back.  Out of the nine week struggle rose up unprecedented solidarity across the country speaking out loud enough that a sleeping giant awoke---the labor movement.

The implications of what has already taken place in Wisconsin are now being felt across the country. Governors are using the budget crisis to justify cutting resources to public programs and blaming teachers, firefighters, and nurses who exercise their right to collectively speak together to advocate for safety and economic democracy as the problem.  Why? Politicians receive financial contributions from the same individuals and corporations that are not contributing to the community by paying their fair share in taxes.

Dennis Kucinich, U.S. representative from Ohio, stated it best at a rally in Wisconsin:
This attack on our workers, this attack in Washington on working people that results in wealth being accelerated to the top, that results in tax cuts going to the rich, that results in energy policy turned over to the oil companies, that results in defense policy turned over to the arms manufacturers, that results in endless war, that results in the National security State, it's all a part of the same thing, and it's up to us to FIGHT BACK!
So now working people are being asked to bear the budget on their backs. The question is: Will we?

No comments: