Foxnews.com has reported:
Wisconsin (Republican) Gov. Scott Walker signed a right-to-work bill into law Monday (March 9), striking another blow against organized labor four years after the state effectively ended collective bargaining for public-sector workers. Supporters have argued the law will help keep and attract new businesses to the state who were wary to spend in Wisconsin before. … The new law, which takes effect immediately, makes Wisconsin the 25th right-to-work state and the first to do it since Michigan and Indiana in 2012. Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee, said the action now puts pressure on other Midwest states to follow suit. “Every worker deserves freedom of choice when it comes to union membership and dues payment, and if states like Michigan and Wisconsin can pass Right to Work then Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio can too,” Mix said in a statement. (end of Foxnews.com excerpt)
This is good news for Wisconsin and for the whole American economy, and the good news is spreading. After the labor unions wrecked the industrial economy of America in the post-World War II period with outrageous wage demands, absurd work rules, and endless strikes, labor actions, violence and vandalism, Americans finally are acting. They are supporting right-to-work laws in more and more states, including ‘liberal’ states like Wisconsin. These laws allow workers to have freedom of choice to join a union and pay its dues, or not.
Labor unions have bullied America and our workers since the 1930s. The unions strong-armed their way into the economy and ruined the freight railroads, the steel industry, the automobile industry and other companies large and small, by the thousands, killing millions of jobs or sending them overseas.
That is how Detroit, Michigan, which once was the heart of one of the most prosperous states in the world, now is a ghost town. That is why General Motors and Chrysler needed to be bailed out. Then get this… back in 2006, when a very liberal Democrat Jennifer Granholm was governor of Michigan, Toyota had proposed to build a new engine factory in southwest Michigan to create more than 1,000 high-paying manufacturing jobs. But since it was going to be a non-union plant, extremist figures from the auto workers union protested loudly while Granholm stood by and did nothing. Toyota withdrew its offer.
As recently as Autumn 2012 the unions drove Hostess Bakeries out of business. Hostess was having financial troubles, and rather than cooperate with Hostess management, 5,000 members of the bakers’ union simply went on strike. Hostess closed immediately, throwing 18,000 workers nationwide out of a job.
These examples are endless. In Massachusetts the belligerent and confrontational unions drove the principal employer, General Electric, out of the hometown of Nikitas3.com, with 10,000 jobs lost in a city of only 55,000.
Right now, on the West Coast, thousands of unionized longshoremen are striking at the ports that receive ships from Asia. This is slowing down the whole American economy by blocking imports from Asia, and exports to Asia. The average longshoreman’s salary tops $100,000 per year, for a non-college-educated job. Thus this strike demonstrates once again how rapacious union greed and intransigence can overwhelm any kind of decency and common sense.
So obviously the rhetoric that unions “care” about workers is nonsense. And it will be great to see more and more states turning against the unions. And they will. The anti-union snowball is picking up speed because Americans now have seen the truth.
Governor Walker is a champion of economic growth. One chamber of commerce survey reported that just 10% of Wisconsin businesses were optimistic about the future when Walker took office in January 2011, but that that number now is 96%. Amazing.
Even in union-heavy Michigan, activist Republican governor Rick Snyder, who was first elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, helped to make Michigan a “right to work” state. Wonderful. Michigan was the Sick Man of America for decades. It now is gaining jobs, and its population losses have been stemmed. Which just goes to show, once again, that labor unions and their policies actually harm the workers, and that economic reforms to provide jobs for all are a matter of simple common sense.
When governor Walker first proposed to rein in the public-employee unions in Wisconsin in Spring 2011, the socialist left threw a tantrum. Tens of thousands of unionists and leftists from all over the US gathered at the state capital in Madison for weeks, “occupying” the capitol building, creating noise and chaos, and trashing the building and its grounds, doing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. This is what we can always expect from the left.
They even held protests outside the homes of Wisconsin Republican legislators and of Walker himself. But the US Constitution guarantees that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Notice the specific wording… “peaceably” to assemble, not in a threatening and intimidating manner like at a political leader’s personal residence, as union thugs are doing more and more often these days. States need to make laws against these types of menacing demonstrations; they are yet another reason why Americans have turned against unions.
The unions then tried to throw Walker out of office in a 2012 recall election, but Walker won it easily. He then won re-election in November 2014 by a comfortable margin. So even “liberal” Wisconsin is seeing the light about unions (Wisconsin has not voted for a Republican president since 1984).
In Walker’s first term (January 2011 to January 2015) he eliminated a $3.6 billion deficit and double-digit tax increases both of which he inherited from his Democrat predecessor. He turned it into a surplus, and has cut taxes by $2 billion.
Walker made other reforms that his Democrat predecessor would never have even considered. Wisconsin now has the only fully-funded retirement system in the US. Walker has reformed the public-employee system such that state agencies and public schools can hire or fire on the basis of merit, not union seniority. He is pro-life and has seen that Planned Parenthood is no longer funded by the taxpayers of Wisconsin. He has reformed the tort system to end frivolous lawsuits that hamper business, and he is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. He instituted a policy that requires voters to show a photo ID at the polls. All in “liberal” Wisconsin. Good.
Labor unions represented more than 40% of all private-sector workers in the 1940s, but today that number is about 7%. This happened because unions have been destroying the very businesses that employ their workers. Duh!!
Today the new home for labor unions is the government sector where 37% of all workers are unionized nationwide. But this number too will fall as states act against their public-sector unions, as governor Walker did.
The arrogance and greed of the public unions, however, has driven many state into serious financial difficulties. In liberal states where the public unions still hold enormous power, the economies are reflecting the bad effects. States like New York and California have stagnant economies and are losing jobs as younger, skilled and educated workers flee to free-market, right-to-work states like Texas and Georgia.
On the other hand, we are seeing economic resurgence in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and other newly “right-to-work” states. Rest assured that some people who fled these states 10 or 20 year ago now may return ‘home’ and find a much better place for them and their families under these new policies.
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