In an attempt to throw the country back into the 1930s, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has proposed changing state employee unions ability from being able to negotiate “Wages, Hours, and Other Conditions of Employment” to only being able to negotiate for “Wages” as long as those wage negotiations don't exceed the consumer price index. In other words removing collective bargaining for state employees altogether.
This would mean removing Chapter 111.84 of the state's Employment Relations Code which prohibits the State Government from from engaging in unfair labor practices. Under the Taft-Hartley Act this is legal as State Employees are not covered under the Federal Labor Laws.
Even though it is legal (barely) for the Governor to do this it is not right or even the least bit sane.
The reason States are granted the exclusion from the Federal Labor Laws because of public safety. If Firefighters and Police went on strike society would break down quickly. So the idea was to have the states work out more powerful mediation and arbitration procedures than a factory. Gov. Walker is using this loophole to simply bust the unions.
So what can the unions do? Use another loophole to starve him out, literally.
If one union goes on strike there is very little most other unions can do, with one exception Farm Workers. Because farms can't set the prices on their food Farm Workers are allowed to engage in secondary strikes to support workers within the food supply chain. So it is a fair labor practice for Farm Workers not to allow their labor to supply the Governor's Mansion with food.
The other action that can legally be taken is mass picketing. Under the Norris-LaGuardia Act labor organizations are allowed to peacefully picket in any public area. Private Employers can get around this by having no solicitation rules, the State Government can't. Unions and union supporters can fill the common areas of the Government Buildings picketing. As long they aren't threatening they can make sure that lawmakers no longer have free access to cross common areas but merely reasonable access.
What Governor Walker is proposing is an outright attack on the rights of the middle class. The right to bargain collectively is the middle classes only defense against what President Lincoln called, “Wage Slavery” it's up to everyone who doesn't want to see the robber barons come back and control the economy again to rise up against this attack.
So to Governor Walker, I say, “Shut-up Stupid” and President Lincoln backs me up with his words, "All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms is treason. If a man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool. There is no America without labor, and to fleece the one is to rob the other."
By Darrell B. Nelson author of Alien Thoughts