February 14, 2011- With help from the billionaire Koch Brothers, Wisconsin's new Republican Governor, Scott Walker, is "taking a page from Mubarak's playbook" in a scheme to destroy the state's unions, according to political watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.
On Friday,Walker announced plans to literally bust unions representing the state's 175,000 public workers–and he's threatened to call out the National Guard to do it.
Under the guise of budget cuts, Walker and his Republican-controlled legislature are set to unilaterally strip workers of collective bargaining rights. Though the measures getting the most press are his proposals to have workers cough up about 6 percent of salary to pay for benefits, the measures go much deeper and have been branded as the most extreme of any sought by any state–so far.
Some of his proposals:
1. Workers would have to vote every year to re-certify their union.
2. No more automatic payroll deductions for union dues; unions will have to collect from each worker individually.
3. Workers can just opt out of paying union dues completely (and unions will still have to represent them, regardless).
4. No more bargaining or contract rights for work rules, such as transfers, vacations, hours of shifts and days off, health and safety, applying for jobs….nothing. Without work rules, Walker and his cronies can put whoever they want into state jobs. The vast majority of work rules are considered "non-economic" items and will have no economic benefit to the state if eliminated.
5. The only thing that could be bargained is wage increases, which even then would be limited to the consumer price index.
So what does all this have to do with the Koch Bros.?