Tag Archives: Collective Bargaining

Gilbert Brown, Famed Green Bay Packer, Urges Wisconsin Voters To Recall Republicans

Today may just turn out to be a pivotal moment for the progressive movement across the nation.  All eyes are on Wisconsin and the re-call efforts of its citizens.  Go Wisconsin!

The Huffington Post

As Wisconsin voters head to the polls Tuesday for the first of two critical recall election days, the labor backed coalition We Are Wisconsin is pulling out the big guns.

The group released a robocall campaign on Tuesday featuring mammoth former Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Gilbert Brown. The call urges voters to replace six Republican state Senators who supported Governor Scott Walker’s controversial budget bill.

“Hello this is Gilbert Brown, defensive lineman for the ’97 Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, calling on behalf of We Are Wisconsin. I have a message for you about Tuesday’s election, I know a little bit about playing defense and right now it is time to defend Wisconsin. We are holding the line, putting our children’s education before big corporate tax giveaways. It is up to voters like you to make the difference. Please gather your friends and neighbors and go to the polls on Tuesday from 7 am to 8 pm and support Nancy Nusbaum for Senate.”

Famous for his girth — he weighed in, by conservative estimates, at 340 pounds during his playing days — Brown anchored a Green Bay defensive line that led the Packers to two Super Bowls, one of which they won. Nicknamed the Gravedigger, Brown wasn’t exactly known for getting involved in progressive political causes. But perhaps his time as a member of the National Football League Players Association compelled him to help push back against a Walker budget that stripped collective bargaining rights from public sector unions.Tuesday is a big day for union forces on the ground in Wisconsin. Picking up three seats would give Democrats control of the state Senate. More broadly, losses by multiple sitting Republicans would send a message to other state legislatures that there are consequences for pushing harsh anti-union measures.

With those stakes, there are few spokesmen in the state more revered than beloved former Packers. Current Packer cornerback Charles Woodson spoke out forcefully against the Walker budget when it was being debated in February.

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Filed under Wisconsin Recall Efforts

Americans For Prosperity Accused Of Voter Suppression In Wisconsin Recall Elections

In my opinion, voter suppression is an insult to every American who believes the Constitution has set guidelines to avert such activities.  Once again the GOP usurps the same Constitution they claim to “love”.

Huffington Post

Patch.com reported that Charles Shultz, a Democrat who lives in the 10th Senate District, received an absentee ballot application form last week from AFP that contained incorrect information on it. The form instructed him to mail it back to the wrong location by Aug. 11 — two days after the recall election in his district between Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R) and Shelly Moore (D) is set to take place, on Aug. 9.

Politico obtained a copy of the AFP mailer, which was also distributed to voters in the 2nd District.

The Wisconsin Democratic Party filed a formal complaint Tuesday with the state’s Government Accountability Board over the issue, accusing AFP of “falsely representing the time frame” for the upcoming August 9 recall election. Shultz filed his own complaint with the GAB on Saturday.

AFP may also be getting involved in the increasingly heated ad wars that have been leading up to the recall elections. According to One Wisconsin Now, AFP has reportedly purchased over $150,000 in television ad time in the Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee areas.

A spokesperson for Americans for Prosperity did not respond when asked for comment on the purchase, but One Wisconsin Now, a non-profit statewide progressive communications network, says the ad buy appears to be an effort to help the six Republican state Senators who were challenged by recall elections after supporting Governor Scott Walker’s anti-collective bargaining legislation in early 2011.

Scot Ross, the Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now, said at least one of the AFP-backed ads will air in support of two Republicans, Sen. Luther Olsen (District 14) and Sen. Robert Cowles (District 2). The group has also confirmed a $90,000 AFP ad buy in District 12, currently represented by Sen. Jim Holperin, a Democrat who is being recalled.

Continue reading here…

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Filed under Wisconsin Recall Efforts

Wisconsin Justice Prosser “grabbed fellow justice around the neck” prior to union bill decision

This little creep needs to be arrested for assault.

Think Progress

The Wisconsin State Journal reports: “Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser allegedly grabbed fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley around the neck in an argument in her chambers last week, according to at least three knowledgeable sources.”

The incident occurred “before the court’s release of a decision upholding a bill to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees.” According to their sources “Bradley purportedly asked Prosser to leave her office, whereupon Prosser grabbed Bradley by the neck with both hands.”

Prosser recently “defeated challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg by 7,000 votes out of nearly 1.5 million cast.”

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Filed under WI SC Judge David Posser, WI Supreme Court

Rep. Bruce Braley puts the screws to Scott Walker

I love this, although Walker got help from the Rep. Darrell Issa.  Rep Braley is a very good inquisitor and I mean that in a positive way.

More Scott Walker testimony…

 

Scott Walker: “I Don’t Even Know Where Cali Is”

 

Wisconsin Congresswoman Gwen Moore Questions Governor Scott Walker before Congressional Committee

 

C-Span has the entire three hour testimony here…

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Filed under Gov. Scott Walker

Ohio Union Bill Signed Into Law By John Kasich

Here we go again…

Huffington Post

Gov. John Kasich on Thursday signed into law a limit on the collective bargaining rights of 350,000 public workers, defying Democrats and other opponents of the measure who have promised to push for repeal.

His signature came a day after the measure was approved by the state House and Senate, which are led by his fellow Republicans.

The measure prompted weeks of pro-labor protests by thousands of people amid a national debate over union rights, keyed by a similar bill passed in Wisconsin and signed by the governor there.

The Ohio bill prevents unions from negotiating wages but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. It also eliminates automatic pay increases and bans strikes. It applies to teachers, nurses and many other government workers, including police and firefighters, who were exempt in the Wisconsin measure.

Kasich, a first-term governor, has said his $55.5 billion state budget counts on unspecified savings from lifting union protections to fill an $8 billion hole. He and his GOP colleagues argue the bill will help city officials and superintendents better control their costs at a time when they too are feeling budget woes.

Democrats opposed the measure but offered no amendments to it. Instead, they delivered boxes containing more than 65,000 opponent signatures to the House labor committee’s chairman.

Many Democrats, along with other opponents, have vowed to lead a ballot-repeal effort if the measure passes. Backers of a ballot challenge have 90 days after Kasich signs the bill to gather 231,148 valid signatures from at least half Ohio’s 88 counties to get it on the ballot.

The bill signing comes two days after a House labor committee added GOP-backed revisions that make it more difficult for unions to collect certain fees.

The committee changed the bill to ban automatic deductions from employee paychecks that would go the unions’ political arm. They also altered the measure to prevent nonunion employees affected by contracts from paying so-called “fair share” fees to union organizations.

Unions argue that their contracts cover those nonunion workers and that letting them not pay unfairly spreads the costs to dues-paying members.

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Filed under Gov. John Kasich, Ohio State Assembley, Ohio State Senate, Ohio Unions

Wisconsin Goes National

Politico

The first round is over. Republican Gov. Scott Walker delivered a crushing defeat to government employee unions in their fight over labor rights in Wisconsin.

But the passage of a law stripping away collective bargaining rights for public-sector workers has touched off a much larger political battle that threatens to spread over Wisconsin’s borders and across the 2012 landscape.

Democrats in Wisconsin are vowing to transform virtually every upcoming state and local election there into a referendum on Walker’s administration. Party leaders from Madison to Washington are gearing up for a major fight in the hope of sending an unmistakable signal to other ambitious GOP state executives.

Their efforts to make Walker and his supports pay a high political price for their victory has led Republicans to activate their own campaign machinery. Few expect the conflict will stay contained in Wisconsin.

“What you’re seeing is a reaction from the national Democratic Party to try and hold the line because they realize that if we’re successful in Wisconsin, there will be a national impact,” said Republican State Leadership Committee president Chris Jankowski, whose group supports GOP candidates in state-level campaigns.

Already, the national parties and their House, Senate and gubernatorial campaign committees have sought to capitalize on the Wisconsin struggle through fundraising appeals, press releases and television and online ads.

Leaders in both camps are describing the next phase of the struggle in Wisconsin in dire terms.

Wisconsin state Senate President Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican who shepherded the labor law to passage, touched off a small firestorm when he told Fox News that ending collective bargaining would affect the outcome of the 2012 presidential race.      More…

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Filed under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Assembly, Wisconsin Democrat Senators, Wisconsin Protesters, Wisconsin Unions, Wisconson Capitol

The Suicide Of The Republican Party

Keith Olbermann’s FOK (Friends of Keith) News

Still having never learned to be calm, retract their claws, and sit around and act rationally in a situation that calls for panic, Wisconsin’s Republicans and their Corporate Puppeteers tonight guaranteed themselves an unprecedented and disastrous recall next January.

More over, they also guaranteed themselves that any cloak of stealth under which they have operated in their attacks on teachers, firefighters, policemen, unions, and the settled law of collective bargaining, has been stripped away. If you pass a supposedly urgent “budget repair” bill with key budget components cut from it, you forfeit the fiction that you are doing anything remedial, anything essential, anything except a naked power grab on behalf of corporations who will get the money stolen from organized labor – civic or private.

And further, when you accomplish all this by parliamentary trick – after your national party has spent two years and more decrying Congressional reconciliation – when you deny the minority the right to participate in the outcome whether by compromise or protest, you cut through the cacophony of political-speak in this country and you transmit your sneering indifference towards democracy to ordinary citizens who do not normally pay attention.     More…

Edit: (Emphasis are mine)

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Filed under GOP, GOP Agenda, Wisconsin Assembly, Wisconsin Capitol Police, Wisconsin Protesters, Wisconsin Public Service Employees' Protests, Wisconson Capitol, Wisconson Fiscal Crisis, Wisconson GOP

Deja Vu all over again?

 Huffington Post – Max 1

Then:

“First they came for the Socialists­, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

==========­==========­==========­==========­=========
Now:

First they came for the Democrats calling them Socialists­, and I did not speak out -
Because I am not a Socialist.

Then they came for the organizing power of Unions, but I did not speak out -
Because I’m not a Union member.

Then they came for the Hispanics and Muslims, but I did not speak out -
Because I am neither Hispanic or Muslim.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

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Filed under Trade Unionists, WI Union Workers, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Public Service Employees' Protests, Wisconsin Unions, Wisconson Capitol

Wis. GOP strips public workers’ bargaining rights

Personally, I am not convinced that Walker and his gang of thugs won this stand-off.

Washington Post

Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate voted Wednesday night to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers after discovering a way to bypass the chamber’s missing Democrats.

All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker’s so-called “budget repair bill” – a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday split from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, which spends no money, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved the bill a short time later.

The lone Democrat present on the conference committee, Rep. Tony Barca, shouted that the surprise meeting was a violation of the state’s open meetings law but Republicans voted over his objections. The Senate then convened within minutes and passed it without discussion or debate.

Spectators in the gallery screamed “You are cowards.”

Before the sudden votes, Democratic Sens. Bob Jauch said if Republicans “chose to ram this bill through in this fashion, it will be to their political peril. They’re changing the rules. They will inflame a very frustrated public.”

Wisconsin crowd reacts:

 

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Filed under GOP Malfeasance, Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Unions

Emails Reveal Wisconsin Governor Walker Ready To Concede Key Points

Scott Walker’s poll numbers are not very favorable these days, so I suspect he has been advised to lose the “hardball” style and come up with a compromise…

Alan Colmes

Emails between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s chief of staff, Eric Schutt, and Democratic Senators Tim Cullen and Bob Jauch show a willingness on the part of the governor to concede certain points.

According to the e-mail, the changes would:

  • Allow unions to bargain for wages beyond inflation rates, without a mandatory voter referendum.
  • Permit collective bargaining on certain economic issues, including mandatory overtime, performance bonuses, hazardous duty pay, calendar and classroom size, as well as certification or license payment. Unions and public employers would be required to define the parameters of the negotiations in each case.
  • Allow public workers at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Authority to keep their collective bargaining rights.
  • Permit public workers to collectively bargain workplace safety issues, while restricting workers from negotiating hours, overtime, sick or family leave, work breaks and vacation.
  • Limit collective bargaining agreements to one or two years.
  • Require unions to register less than one year after the bill is signed into law, and compel their registration every three years to stay active. The original measure would mandate annual certification.

But there is no concession on one key point: the governor’s attempt to stop the union from collecting dues.

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Filed under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Assembly, Wisconsin Democrat Senators