Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stand with Labor

You remember how Ernie Fletcher blocked all those blogs a few years ago in Kentucky government buildings? Wisconsin is doing the same thing for the websites that are protesting their Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Here's a link via the AFL-CIO blog:
CNN.com just confirmed that access to a pro-worker website, www.DefendWisconsin.org, was blocked inside the state Capitol today and yesterday.
The Dropkick Murphys have even joined the fight with releasing “Take ’Em Down” from their new album, Going Out in Style. You can stream it here. The band did release a statement:
Dropkick Murphys would like to take a moment to acknowledge the struggles of the working people of Wisconsin and to pledge our support and solidarity by releasing the song ,”Take ‘Em Down” from our upcoming album. We think it’s appropriate at the moment and hope you like it….We’ll see you in Wisconsin in a few days! The Dropkick Murphys Stand With Wisconsin!!!!!
Over in Columbus, Ohio, they blocked people from getting inside to protest.
Thousands of workers are braving the cold after authorities shut the doors on demonstrators trying to enter the Capitol building earlier today, claiming the limited access was a safety issue.
Safety issue? Yeah, right.

Indiana Democratic legislators have fled the state to prevent an anti-union bill from passing while Hoosier employees were expected to protest in Indianapolis.
Seats on one side of the Indiana House were nearly empty today as House Democrats departed the the state rather than vote on anti-union legislation.

A source tells The Indianapolis Star that Democrats are headed to Illinois, though it was possible some also might go to Kentucky. They need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana.[...]

With only 58 legislators present, there was no quorum present to do business. The House needs 67 of its members to be present.[...]

Today’s fight was triggered by Republicans pushing a bill that would bar unions and companies from negotiating a contract that requires non-union members to kick-in fees for representation. It’s become the latest in what is becoming a national fight over Republican attempts to eliminate or limit collective bargaining.

Gov. Mitch Daniels had warned his party late last year against pursuing so-called “right to work” legislation. While he agreed with it philosophically, he said it was a big issue that needed a state-wide debate and noted no Republican had run on this in the November election.
It’s not just union busting that the Republicans are trying to accomplish but it’s a complete attack on the middle class. If there has EVER been a way to unite the Democratic base following the disastrous results this past November, this past week’s events.

A USA Today poll shows that 61% oppose the law that is being proposed by the Wisconsin Republicans.
The public strongly opposes laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions as a way to ease state financial troubles, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.

The poll found that 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to one being considered in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.
Scott Walker will get no love from a few of his Republican colleagues.

Florida Governor Rick Scott:
My belief is as long as people know what they’re doing, collective bargaining is fine.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbitt:
We’ll begin negotiations with the public-sector unions and anticipate we’ll conduct those in good faith.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels:
I’m not sending the state police after anybody. I’m not gonna divert a single trooper from their job of protection the Indiana public. I trust that people’s consciences will bring them back to work. … For reasons I’ve explained more than once I thought there was a better time and place to have this very important and legitimate issue raised. I’ll also say I think it would have the potential — just tactically — to possibly reduce or wreck the chances for education reform and local government reform and criminal justice reform and the things we have a wonderful chance to do.
Moreover, check out this tidbit:
The deep recession has had a profound effect on virtually every segment of the country's population. But if there is an epicenter of financial stress and frustration, it is among whites without college degrees.

By many measures, this politically sensitive group has emerged from the recession with a particularly dark view of the economy and the financial future. Whites without college degrees also are the most apt to blame Washington for the problems, and are exceedingly harsh in their judgment of the Obama administration and its economic policies.
The whole economic recession came about because of the Bush administration’s decision to deregulate. They were lax on regulations that were installed before Bush took office. Going to war in Iraq did not help matters.

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