Divide and Conquer Works in Wisconsin
This week Wisconsin became a right to work state. This was a “given” when reactionary Republicans took control of state government.
Legislation to eliminate prevailing wages is next. These laws require public contractors to compete by having better management or efficiency, not just lower wages. This is another attack on unions and the public good.
Ironically, this week the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a campaign finance reform advocacy group, released figures on union contributions to Governor Walker. Unions representing engineers, police, firefighters, plumbers, carpenters and other trades contributed contributed $83,000 to Walker’s re-election despite his anti-union record.
What were these unions thinking? Why do people vote against their own best interests?
Apparently divide and conquer works! Get the public to think teachers and public employees are lazy and over paid. Separate the workers with good benefits from those with no, or poor, benefits. Create phony conflicts between creating jobs and protecting the environment. Divide the taxpayers from the “takers” on welfare. Throw in some hysteria about the deer count, gun control, high taxes or other “wedge” issues and 40% of union represented workers vote Republican.
Republicans have always opposed what was good for workers and the public. Unions, equal rights, workplace safety, Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and workers compensation are only a few examples. When will we ever learn?
An injury to one is an injury to all. Everyone does better when EVERYONE does better! In politics you support your friends not your enemies!
Phil Anderson is a retired state civil servant, union member, and military veteran with 20 years in active duty and reserve service.