March 12, 2011- The protests in Wisconsin have focused on whether the state of Wisconsin will take away the right of government workers to bargain collectively. However, government does not "give" workers the right to strike, nor the right to bargain collectively. That right is inherent in every human being's right to decide what he or she will, or will not, do. No power short of death can take away this inherent right. Gov. Scott Walker and his Republican Legislature may be able to rescind the rules that govern strikes and collective bargaining, but they cannot take away the right to strike or bargain collectively.
Workers have used strikes, walkouts, boycotts and even sabotage successfully to exert this inherent power. Our social contract is based on the consent of the governed and it does not take many to deny either an employer or the government that consent. The collective bargaining rules of the last century were developed by the government as a way to control, regulate and mitigate the power of organized working people. The rules have served us well and Wisconsin has benefited by avoiding crippling public and private strikes.