When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared war on unions, he made the calculation that if he exempted private employee unions and emergency services from his initial assault, he could get away with it.
He was right. And now he’s coming for the rest of you.
Republicans are hurrying bills through the Wisconsin Legislature that they say could prevent layoffs by allowing companies to cut back workers’ hours, but Democrats on Tuesday called them a renewed GOP attack on unions.
The bills wouldn’t require companies to negotiate with unions about cutting back hours, in contrast to almost all similar laws in other states. But a spokeswoman for the author of the Assembly version of the Wisconsin proposal said there was no intent to harm organized labor. [...]
A hastily scheduled hearing was held in the Capitol on Tuesday, and committee votes could come as soon as Thursday, but Griffiths denied that the fast track was designed to skirt opposition.
“At this point in time we’re willing to expedite jobs-specific legislation,” Griffiths said.
Only a Republican would refer to a bill that allows companies to reduce work hours without negotiating with the union as “jobs-specific legislation.” Because that’s their idea of a jobs plan.
Wisconsin’s economy has faltered under Scott Walker. The state is trailing much of the nation in recovery and job creation, and Walker’s prescription of corporate tax cuts and austerity, which he promised would create 250,000 jobs, hasn’t cured their ailments.
A state that was once a bastion of Democratic politics has been transformed into what Esquire writer Charles Pierce refers to as the Koch Brother’s “midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin.”