I have already written three posts about Governor Scott Walker, his budget repair bill, and the protesters in Wisconsin. People have been interested in the Wisconsin story and have left nearly 1,800 comments at my three posts. I’ve even received requests to write up another post so that we could continue the discussion on the subject. I think there are others like me who believe the Wisconsin/Walker story is not over yet.
As I did last week, I’m posting links to some articles on the subject for you—as well as excerpts from some of the articles.
By Jason Stein, Don Walker, and Patrick Marley
Excerpt: Wisconsin is now among the vanguard of Midwestern states embarking on a new era with their rules for public unions. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, signed an executive order in 2005 to eliminate collective bargaining for state employees. Ohio is working on a measure to rewrite its collective bargaining law with public-sector unions.
But the fight in Wisconsin isn’t over – Democrats and unions are already filing lawsuits against the proposal and recall actions against GOP senators who approved it.
“It’s just the beginning,” said Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar). “This is the civil rights issue of this century.”
By Kate Zernike
Excerpt: In her book, “Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950,” Professor Feurer recounts how companies in the electrical industry in St. Louis started a network known as the Metal Trades Association in the first part of the 20th century to fight union organizing. The association had been alarmed by union protests that erupted violently with the Haymarket Square riot in 1886 and the demands for an eight-hour day, which started with the 1894 Pullman strike in Illinois — an early effort by Eugene V. Debs, the former Indiana legislator and future Socialist Party candidate for president.
“That left a legacy of the 1930s and ’40s for employers to form deep right-wing networks,” Professor Feurer said.
That network, she argues, was the precursor to the Midwestern groups that have now been assisting the fight against the unions in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana: the Bradley Foundation, based in Milwaukee, and Koch Industries, based in Wichita, Kan. David H. and Charles G. Koch, the billionaire brothers behind the energy and manufacturing conglomerate that bears their name, have been large donors to Mr. Walker in Wisconsin, as has their advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, which first opened an office in Wisconsin in 2005.
By Ryan Haggerty and Michael Muskal
Excerpt: Even as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Friday signed into law a bill that sharply curbs collective bargaining for most public employees, his opponents were preparing for more demonstrations, court battles and political infighting over what has become a national test of labor’s power.
Organizers were hoping to attract tens of thousands protesters to the Capitol on Saturday for a rally featuring the return of Democratic lawmakers who fled the state on Feb. 17 in an effort to block the measure from passing. Along with the rally, Democrats are planning to ask the courts to overturn the new law and they have begun circulating petitions to recall some lawmakers. GOP supporters are circulating their own recall petitions, directed at the Democrats.
My Previous Posts