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Show ALL Forums  > Politics  > UNIONS UNDER ATTACK      Home login  
Joined: 3/7/2008
Msg: 31
UNIONS UNDER ATTACKPage 3 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Now of course we have laws in this country that won't allow the owners to take advantage of the workers,

When did the owners start letting a few laws get in their way of obtainining obscene amounts of profit while their workers were forced to live in sub-human conditions? You have to hand it to those owners/employers for being able to adapt to the circumstances. First they had the slaves, then they had the indentured servants. Later when those workers became free and started to unionize, the owners/employers began to bring in the illegal aliens so they could have people they could take advantage of. You see, those illegal aliens are workers too, and they are being taken advantage of by the owners/employers who are breaking the laws just so they can keep on piling up their profits.
Joined: 12/9/2008
Msg: 32
view profile
Posted: 2/26/2011 2:56:32 PM
Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell talks about the challenge of cutting expenses and raising revenue to close government budget deficits at the state level, and the importance of collective bargaining and unions to the U.S. middle class. Wisconsin’s Assembly passed Governor Scott Walker’s limits on the collective-bargaining power of government workers’ unions, ending a debate that began Feb. 22, while Senate Democrats remained out of state to block the bill. Rendell speaks with Matt Miller and Carol Massar on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

Rendell Says `No Need' to End Collective Bargaining: Video

“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as 'right-to-work.' It provides no 'rights' and no 'works.' Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining... We demand this fraud be stopped.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes (American Baptist Minister and Civil-Rights Leader. 1929-1968)
Joined: 9/4/2009
Msg: 33
Posted: 2/27/2011 1:24:07 AM
Msg. 37:
what do you think of the interview Walker gave admitting he considered sending in paid provocateurs to initiate violence

I think you should stop believing everything you read over the Internet. Otherwise, is Walker REALLY the illegitmate son of space aliens?

Msg. 35:
I think we should start impeachment procedures against Walker and the 19 republicans

Heh. Fine. The Democratic senators would have to return to the state for a quorum to do that.

Msg. 42:
If that's the case, then send me to the damn homeless shelter.

The Homeless Families Foundation is on 651 West Broad St. in Columbus.

These two teachers and their supposed salaries seem to be wrapped up in this debate. So let's clear the air: how much do you feel that a US teacher should make? Consider that average tuition at a state school may cost $10k per year. For two 4-year degrees, that's as much as $80k debt between the two of them. Because you were too cool for school, does that mean everyone should suffer?
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 34
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Posted: 2/27/2011 4:49:14 AM

what do you think of the interview Walker gave admitting he considered sending in paid provocateurs to initiate violence

I think you should stop believing everything you read over the Internet. Otherwise, is Walker REALLY the illegitmate son of space aliens?

Apparently you can't find any thing to prove that the phone call was bogus, so you try to attack the messenger by implying that it was not factual. These are the same type tactics used by the "birthers"

It seems like Walker admitted to the taped conversation

MADISON, WIS -- During a 20 minute press conference in the governor's office, Gov. Scott Walker (R) addressed the prank call he received Tuesday from a man impersonating billionaire oil tycoon David Koch.

"I take phone calls all the time," Walker said in response to a reporter's question about whether Democrats could trust him to negotiate with them in good faith. "The bottom line is, the things I said are things I said publicly all along."
Joined: 3/7/2008
Msg: 35
Posted: 2/27/2011 9:19:52 AM
^^^^^^^ It seems to me that the one who is totally clueless in this discussion is yourself. How can you post stuff that you can't back up. Denying that employers/owners take advantage of the workers is just fluff, and then replying that the employers/owners don't take advantage of the workers, because there are laws to prevent that, is absolutely laughable.
Joined: 3/7/2008
Msg: 36
Posted: 2/27/2011 12:55:21 PM

some employers do take advantage of the employers NOT ALL

Oh yes! That is going to make it all better now.

Guess what? We already knew that, but it is nice to see that you recognize that the main reason for the workers struggle still exists. On the other hand, you seem to have a need to reflect on the language that you use. You didn't use any qualifiers when you started attacking the unions wholesale. Case in point would be your insulting language, like calling union people "parasites." You didn't say some of them are, but others aren't. You just branded them all as parasites. So we had to shake you a bit to get you to recognize that employers/owners take advantage of the workers. NOT ALL, but obviously some do.

I know this arcane process called " reading" is difficult for some, point out where I said that All Employers/business owners does take advantage of all workers, I said there are some bad one out there, yes......Does that mean all do? I know when I was replying to Earls post about serving two masters he misunderstood what I was talking about, unless that is what youre referring to ?

Isn't it a bit funny that everytime you find someone contradicting what you post you blame it on people misunderstanding you, and then you become very defensive and go on the attack questioning people abilities to read?

And when you have a problem responding to an argument that contradicts your thoughts, you blame it on the other poster's writing to hide your inability to deal with the topic:

Obviously, you're not being coherent or precise enough to get your point across,It's not my fault that I can't accept half-processed thoughts.

Which leads me to ask you, who is the one who really needs someone "to dumb it down for next time"?

So, let's go back to what you said:

Now of course we have laws in this country that won't allow the owners to take advantage of the workers,

This is what I said:

When did the owners start letting a few laws get in their way of obtaining obscene amounts of profit while their workers were forced to live in sub-human conditions? You have to hand it to those owners/employers for being able to adapt to the circumstances. First they had the slaves, then they had the indentured servants. Later when those workers became free and started to unionize, the owners/employers began to bring in the illegal aliens so they could have people they could take advantage of. You see, those illegal aliens are workers too, and they are being taken advantage of by the owners/employers who are breaking the laws just so they can keep on piling up their profits.
(message 57)

Sorry you couldn't deal with the information in that paragraph, which simply illustrates the fact that, throughout history, the owners/employers have taken advantage of the workers.

Your response to that post in message #62 is nothing that you should feel proud of. It only shows your inability to deal with information that doesn't fit in your narrow view of the issue. Currently, there are millions of workers that are being taken advantage of by the owners/employers, some of which are those referred as illegal aliens and the rest are those who don't have the protections that unions provide to their members.
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 37
view profile
Posted: 2/27/2011 3:33:45 PM

I know this arcane process called " reading" is difficult for some, point out where I said that All Employers/business owners does take advantage of all workers, I said there are some bad one out there, yes......Does that mean all do? I know when I was replying to Earls post about serving two masters he misunderstood what I was talking about, unless that is what youre referring to ?

First I want to say I am glad that you are here and involved enough that you are taking the time to debate this issue, that says a lot for your character

I did not misunderstand, you identified business owners as one of two masters, owner's of businesses, now I have no way of knowing you might be a great employer or maybe your employees are afraid of losing their jobs if they speak up, if they are afraid to talk to you, you as an owner are not getting the benefit of your most valuable asset the people who work for your company.

I have been at this for over 40 years, early on I learned the value of having people work "with" you not "for" you. The truth is each of us have one master that master is the one that looks back at you each morning. I learned that if I could make coming to work less painful and more fun for those I worked with that achieving my personal goals, my goals of increased productivity, a better quality product at reduced costs could be realized by having a highly functional, highly motivated team of people. I was a manager the people that I worked with were all union production workers and union craftmen/women.

Whether an employee is union or non union people go to work to earn a living, the word "earn" can be translated to indicate pride, everyone from the janitor to the company CEO has a stake in doing their job as proficiently as possible. When a person feels that he/she plays an important role in obtaining the end goal, they take a lot of pride in what they do

Now I am the very proud parent of a daughter who spent 10 years in college to become a doctor, she holds a double PHD and had a choice as to whether she goes into practice or teaches. She gave up a considerable amount of money to become a professor at a college. Her starting salary is 53,000 per year plus benefits she is a member of a teachers union, her salary is not much really when you take in account that she spent 10 years to receive her doctrate, that she had to work, take out student loans and receive grants to pay for her education. She could have picked a private college to work at and made 15 to 20,000 more, but she choose a public school she now faces the possibility that the republicans intent on busting unions will further effect her living conditions.

One of her students wrote the essay below, even though he published this essay on the internet I have removed any reference to his name.

As an observer of Wisconsin politics, I am frustrated with the standoff between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the State Senate’s Democratic minority.

I have inherited a bit of Wisconsin love in my blood. But as a current outsider, I believe that the anti-union bill proposed by Walker is damaging the rich foundation of Wisconsin politics.

The effects of the bill — which requires state employees to make contributions toward their pensions and weakens collective bargaining rights — could be a devastating precursor for other Republican-controlled states.

Support for Walker has taken up arms in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and other states, where Republican leaders are looking to modify and shave stipulations from similar collective bargaining agreements.

In Pennsylvania, this union-busting technique has yet to be addressed. But, as Philadelphians, we must be vigilant of deceitful efforts by Harrisburg to cut the benefits of our state’s public officials.

The passage of the bill in Wisconsin could result in the largest reduction of power in the public sector in decades.

As The New York Times described, Wisconsin’s 7.5-percent unemployment rate is less than the national average. Its pension fund is one of the best in the nation. Additionally, the union representation in Wisconsin is one of the strongest in the nation.

Marty Beil ­— the executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, which represents about 22,000 state employees — has already approved state decreases of overtime raises and employee furloughs. Walker, however, believes the new collective bargaining will generate $300 million in state revenues over the next two years and reduce the $3.6 billion state deficit.

If cutting the state budget seems to be the motivating focus behind Walker’s measures, then how can the governor rationalize the cuts of state workers when allowing ongoing tax breaks to corporations in Wisconsin? While the tax breaks aim to encourage state profits, they actually generate a net loss of over $100 million in state taxes.

Furthermore, the state’s alcohol tax hasn’t seen an increase in over 40 years. A 1- or 2-percent increase in the alcohol tax in a state known for its beer and brats would not deter its residents from indulging in such pleasures. This money could be used to slash budget deficits.

The decisions by Wisconsin affect us all. We must collectively use our voices to demonstrate the power of a working democracy.

is a 2012 Master of Social Work candidate at P---’s School of Social Policy and Practice.

As stated above Governor Walker had other ways to cut the deficit and did not, instead he went after the teaqchers and collective bargaining.

Governor walker wants to sell off publically owned utilities to private owners, why? Why would a private owner be able to make money when the publically owned utility was losing money? I have one answer poor management

The teachers in Wisconsin were willing to work with Govenor Walker, they agreed to give up over 7,000 a year, Govenor Walker refused their offer, he is intent on taking away their ability to use collective bargaining. If the govenor was intent on bringing the deficit down he could have found other ways to do it, he picked the unions because the republican and tea partiers are not just trying to bring deficits under control they are trying to prevent people from organizing and supporting democratic candidates
and policies. Freedom is under attack here, you freedom to organize and vote people into office that will support your wants and needs is under attack, Whether you are a democrat, republican or indendant your freedom is at stake , there is a lot of waste in every budget before an elected representative of the people turns to cuts that will effect the living standards of the people who pay the taxes and consume the products that generate income,taxes and employment he'sle should exhaust every other option
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 38
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Posted: 2/27/2011 9:27:47 PM

if the company agrees to pay a worker 40 per hour to turn a lug nut whose fault is that the workers?

and its the hubris filled statement like this that highlights what unions have evolved into............this is like if i accidentally left my car door unlocked and a thief steals it, by this logic, its my fault that the car was stolen....not the thief's.

I will just display a little more arrogance just for you, if a company believes that it can or should pay 40 dollars per hour to have a lug nut turned give me their address and name, as far as the rest of your statement how you can make the comparison that you did above explains why you can not see the real problem, comparing a negotiated contract with a car being stolen defies all logic.
Joined: 7/30/2004
Msg: 39
Posted: 2/28/2011 12:45:31 PM

Do you also find it difficult to understand that the problems in WI are manufactured to make it look like the Unions are the problem?

I think that's what EVERYONE reading this thread should've started thinking about first. As much as I see people here post about how certain mainstream media outlets aren't to be trusted, I would think that people would question the reporting before automatically assuming the unions were the cause of the problem. That did NOT happen in this thread.

Didn't ANYONE actually take a look at the Legislative Fiscal Bureau report? Did ANYONE take a look at the fact that Governor Walker passed three specific initiatives that pissed away the $127 million dollar surplus (the equivalent of G.W. doing the SAME exact thing when he took office in 2001, after inheriting a surplus in the national budget)?

Of course not, because the majority of posters in this thread decided that the unions were at fault before actually doing the research to pinpoint the exact reason why Wisconsin is facing a deficit!
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 40
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Posted: 2/28/2011 1:10:12 PM
So employees that work for companies that are private are protected by the NLR ACT
while employees that work for public companies only have their unions and their collective bargaining rights to protect them, take away their right to collective bargaining and public employees have no rights to bargain for wages, conditons as a group.

This is not about pay this is about union busting, this is about denying workers the right to be represented as a group

In the United States, the National Labor Relations Act (1935) covers most collective agreements in the private sector. This act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate, spy on, harass, or terminate the employment of workers because of their union membership or to retaliate against them for engaging in organizing campaigns or other "concerted activities" to form "company unions", or to refuse to engage in collective bargaining with the union that represents their employees. Unions are also exempt from antitrust law in the hope that members may collectively fix a higher price for their labor.
Joined: 8/1/2006
Msg: 41
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Posted: 2/28/2011 1:25:12 PM

I will say it again management carries the responsibility of negotiating contracts and has the responsibility to make sure that the people who do the work earn their pay checks, blaming the worker union or not is nothing but a cop out.

If your business fails who is responsible, your employees?

Good point. Let me share a personal experience:

The steel mill that I worked at was in financial straits due to many factors: illegal imports, offshore dumping, material costs, OSHA & EPA regulations and mandates, etc. Our union was aware of all of this and knew the very existence of the company was at stake. We negotiated pay and benefits cuts of around 33%, and also negotiated work rule changes, so that workers would assume more duties(multi-crafting, etc). We also negotiated a large reduction of several thousand in the workforce through early retirements of those who qualified, and layoffs for those who werent.

We were one of the first steelworker unions to buck the established trend and do this.

The company presented a long range plan and we worked within their plan to acheive their goals of cutting losses and returning to profitability. We felt that we were all in this together.

In leiu of our sacrifices, the company issued us remaining employees shares of company stock quarterly as an incentive reward system. Many stipulations were put in place concerning this issuance; we could not sell any of it for the duration of the labor contract, and when the time came, we could only sell a certain percentage of it. We all agreed to this in good faith negotiations. In due time I owned 1374 share of stock valued at $13 per share.

Media releases were issued showing the progress of this cost-saving effort. Even though we were still losing money as a company, certain factors due to our contractual changes were itemised to show the cost savings of these sacrifices. Things were looking somewhat rosy, and the company painted a somewhat rosy picture of the future.

Within a year or so of the deadline when we were able to sell stock, the company, in a surprise move, abruptly filed chapter 11 bankruptcy, terminated our pension plan, liquidated assets, and sold the the company. In one felled swoop, my 1374 shares of stock became mere pieces of paper, our pension that the company promised us in good faith was eliminated, along with the pensions of all past retired employees, and those workers who opted for early retirement through attrition, and best of all, the cost savings that we realised through our sacrifices funded millions of dollars in severance packages for upper management along with millions of dollars in golden parachutes for the president, his 13 vice presidents, and dozens more of their friends in various executive and upper management positions.

The essence of the company's survival and those connected to it was swallowed by corporate greed

So in spite of unions, companies usually fail for many other reasons, none of which is our fault.
Joined: 7/30/2004
Msg: 42
Posted: 2/28/2011 1:37:47 PM
To message #73:

100% Agreed!

I don't see why anyone else hasn't understood that concept. Most posters in this thread don't even get the fact that this "union" issue (over why the problem exists) is nothing but manufactured spin by the SAME EXACT mainstream media that NO ONE trusts to be a credible source. Yet, they SWEAR up and down that the unions are the problem...and they didn't even do the damned research. And some of these posters are the same folks that INSIST that other posters get their facts straight before making their next post.

It's not about the unions or balancing budgets. This is a direct attack on the middle class, simple and plain. Making this bill law means that they will not have any protections against abuses like what's been highlighted here.

There WILL be a ripple effect, as other states are trying to pass similar laws to strip employees of their rights to unionize and collectively bargain.

Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 43
view profile
Posted: 2/28/2011 11:02:12 PM

I will just display a little more arrogance just for you, if a company believes that it ____________________ pay 40 dollars per hour to have a lug nut turned

the correct wording you should have used (to fill into the blank line) is: "inevitably has to".........then what choice does such a company have?....what are the consequences for the company if it doesn't succumb?

You seem to have a very high opinion of your self, telling others what they should write and what threads they should or should not start

The poor companies unable to negotaite a contract with the employees that work for both the company and the employees

give me their address and name,

..Ummmm....perhaps GM, Ford and Chrsyler (pre-2008)!!!

Is that ummmmmmmmmm perhaps for sure or perhaps maybe

So in spite of unions, companies usually fail for many other reasons, none of which is our fault.

Hozo, you seem to be assuming that unions in the manufacturing sector (such as the company you worked for)have the same philosophy as those in the service the manufacturing sector, it now behooves a union to closely work with that company to keep their members employed (such as you illustrated), but sometimes a company fails for entirely different reasons.

Lets see are GM, Ford and Chrsyler in the manufacturing or service sectors

Its different in the service sector because most services cannot be outsourced...thus giving the unions way more leverage in the negotiating process (examples: sanitation workers; police; teachers; etc) such that they simply put the "squeeze" on the governing body to attain their goals...what you end up having is "collective bargaining" that has "run-amok"

You mean like the air traffic controllers, you do nothing but make excuse after excuse for the people that negotiate salaries for the public sector, they hold the purse strings and know what they can afford or should know what they agree to, if they don't they should be replaced with more competent people.
Joined: 7/30/2004
Msg: 44
Posted: 3/1/2011 7:16:20 PM
That's what it says NOW. Keep in mind that the proposed legislation was changed after the issue was put in the national spotlight. You should've read what the original bill was prior to the changes. Collective bargaining rights were going to be stripped from government employees.

You obviously understand that one intention of this legislation IS to bust unions (even though the underlying point is still being missed by many).
Joined: 3/7/2008
Msg: 45
Posted: 3/2/2011 8:49:05 AM

I don't see any reason why Government employees should be unionized. Unions were set up to protect workers rights, laws have been enacted that do that now

Without the unions workers would be at the mercy of any crazy governor that would decide to pit one sector of the workers, in this case the public sector workers, against the other workers in the state so that his party would benefit from the weakening of the unions.

What would prevent a governor from trying to use his power to get rid of public sector workers and replace them with his own political appointees. I can imagine a day when a bible thumping governor would try replacing the science teachers in order to get rid of those who teach evolution. Or he could try to have all teachers use the textbooks that they use in Texas!

I say, we need the Unions!
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 46
view profile
Posted: 3/3/2011 4:49:52 AM
My problem with the attack on unions that is characterized by the mess in Wisconsin, is the nature of the attack itself. It's not that this or that union has in the past, or might in the future call for undeserved benefits. It's that these particular people believe that there is NO way that any workers can possibly have anything to say about working conditions, or anything else about their employment.
That the big, corrupt unions of the 1970's made a mess of things is a fact. But that big business ALSO made, and continues to make, a huge mess of things is ALSO a fact.
I have never been a member of a union myself. I haven't needed to be. But I am glad the unions existed, because I know history. Before unions were allowed, the ONLY limit to abuse and stupidity by the people running businesses, was financial disaster. The idea that capitalism would self-regulate everything and create a wonderful world of high-quality products, manufactured responsibly, and sold for reasonable profit to fairly paid workers and business leaders alike, has repeatedly been proven to be a complete fantasy.
Unions are a very imperfect solution to a very difficult problem, just as most of our governmental tools are. But until human nature and greed, and egotistical self-blinding behavior magically leaves the human race, we'll be better off WITH things like unions, however imperfect, than with ONLY all-powerful leaders.
Joined: 3/7/2008
Msg: 47
Posted: 3/3/2011 8:21:23 AM

unions were borne of necessity, and rightfully so.......however, unions evolved into another species, and it is hard to make a strong case for their ongoing existence(in their current form)....given the labor laws now on the books

Even with the laws now on the books, (which some employers don't respect at all because they interfere with their ability to reap profits from abusing their employees,)without the unions the workers would be left to fight on their own for their rights in the court system, where usually the winners are the ones with the most resources. The rich corporations usually can buy their way in the justice system that we have now. Imagine what they could do against a single worker complaining about not being allowed to take 15 minutes to eat his/her lunch quietly, without having to answer the phones in between the bites on the sandwich.
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 48
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Posted: 3/3/2011 3:16:39 PM

So it comes down to who deserves more money?

Big Business or Middle Class Workers.
Only just who exactly are considered "middle class workers"? Certainly not the firefighters or police or teachers!!!! Anyone who makes as much as they do certainly can't be considered "middle class" ... or?

I'm still trying to figure out why teachers should complain about having to eventually pay 30% of their health care premium!!! I saw that on TV recently ... a teacher in a crowd of protesters whining about having to possibly pay up to 30% of their health care premium. Sh1t ... if that's considered a hardship, what is it when we have to pay 100% of the premium?

I have to pay 100% of my health care premium and have more than a $5000.00 deductible. I barely have a pot to piss in and have to shell out that much before the damn insurance will even fork over a $1.00 and the teacher has it so bad?

Where the hell is the reality here?

People speak of the need to help our police officers, firefighters, teachers, and health care workers.

I'm a health care worker and can't get a job that offers me health care benefits much less pays for them. I'm a health care worker and can't get a job that offers paid days off much less even get a day off.

I have to work 7 days a week to earn enough money to buy my own health benefits. I have to pay 100% of the premium. I wish all I had to pay was 30%.

I'd like to feel badly about these people having to pay for their own health benefits and retirement, etc. but they really have it made ... they get at least 20 or more paid holidays per year ... sick leave ... gobs of vacation ... (teachers get all summer off) ... have retirement benefits out the waazoo ... they have lifelong health benefits.

My tax dollars pay for all that including their benefits and I have nothing ... and now I'm expected to get out and support those who have everything thrown at them?

I'm sorry ... I've simply run out of sympathy for those who have so much when so many of us have nothing!!!!
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 49
Posted: 3/4/2011 8:51:22 AM
The movie industry is not a good template for looking at tax incentives.

When you make a movie, you come in for a few months, then leave. They can shop around all over the world for where they want to do business for those months. They can bring in their own people, set up and be gone. If you're making or selling widgets, you need a workforce, transportation, a market, etc. If we're making a movie we can make it in Vancouver, or New Mexico or Israel. If Walmart is building a store, they look for where they can get people coming in their doors. Tax incentives aren't going to bring Walmarts into Wisconsin.

The movie industry is treated differently than any other industry everywhere. A production brings in an 8 figure investment with very few downsides. They can shut down city streets, have dedicated liaisons at city hall, and get tax breaks that no other industry gets. That's because they are so mobile.
Joined: 7/10/2008
Msg: 50
view profile
Posted: 3/4/2011 11:34:04 AM
theres been a lot of discussion here.........yet nobodys mentioned anything about actual costs............thought i might add this

Sounds like it's tough to survive as a public union employee in Wisconsin!

> Subject: State wages in Wisconsin
> Source WTMJ is a liberal media outlet that owns Milwaukee's only paper. It also owns the NBC affiliate and radio stations.
> This is insane!
> The current budget repair bill would have them paying about 5.8% towards their own retirement....right now, we the taxpayers, pay 100% of their generous retirement, and most of us pay 100% of our own retirement too.
AVERAGE WAGE AND BENEFITS (remember this is for about 9 months of work)
> Milwaukee $86,297
> Elmbrook $91,065
> Germantown $83,818
> Hartland Arrwhd $90,285 (highest teacher was $122,952-lowest was $64,942)
> Men Falls $81,099
> West Bend $82,153
> Waukesha $92,902
> Sussex $82,956
> Mequon $95,297
> Wettle Mor $87,676
> Muskego $91,341
> Arrowhead - Bus Mng - Kopecky - $169,525
> Arrowhead - Principal - Wieczorek - $152,519
> Grmtwn - Asst Princ - Dave Towers - $123,222
> Elmbrk - Burliegh Elemetary - Principal Zahn- $142,315 (for a primary school!!)
> Madison - Asst Principal - McGrath - $127,835
> UNIVERSITY of WISCONSIN STAFF (2009) (salary alone):
> Michael Knetter - Prof of Bus - $327,828
> Carolyn Martin -Chancellor Mad- $437,000
> Hector Deluca - Prof of Nutritional Science - $254,877 (really??)
> (source: -as the UW removed salaries from being posted online in 2007- why if they are so low?)
> How about some other "public servant job" ??? What do they make?
> Madison Garbage men (2009) (salary only):
> · Garbageman, Mr. Nelson earned $159,258 in 2009, including $109,892 in overtime and other pay.
> · Garbageman, Greg Tatman, who earned $125,598
> · 7 Madison garbage men made over $100,000
> · 30 Madison garbage men made over $70,000
> 136 Drivers made more than $70,000
> 54 Drivers made more than $80,000
> 18 Drivers made more than $90,000
> 8 Drivers made more than $100,000
> Top Driver made $117,000
> (Source WTMJ)
> (The average private bus driver makes $9-13 an hour (about 20,000 yr) with no pension, or healthcare.)
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 51
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Posted: 3/5/2011 9:59:24 AM

I'm sorry ... I've simply run out of sympathy for those who have so much when so many of us have nothing!!!!

So just because you don't make a lot of money doesn't mean you have to demand everyone be as low paid as you, especially those who are responsible for teaching children.
People responsible for teaching children don't teach "better" because they are paid like royalty. If that were the case, then no one in our generation would have gotten a good education because when I went to school, teachers were not paid like royalty and they still got the job done!

I think it's criminal for them to be whining around about having to now pay a bit more for their health benefits when they are already getting over-the-top wages.

I don't agree with what Walker is doing, but I also don't appreciate unions driving up the cost of teaching our children or protecting the citizens or just helping us put out a fire when a fire alarm goes off.
The Last Time Scott Walker Went Union Busting, He Was Overruled And Wasted Taxpayer Dollars

While his anti-union crusade proved to be a boondagle for Milwaukee County, Walker had escaped in time to wash his hands clean of it, as the arbiter’s ruling against didn’t come down until last month — after Walker had been sworn in as governor. Maddow also notes that the man put in charge of Wackenhut’s security at the courthouse had a criminal record and had served prison time.
We begin tonight with the connection between two stories that we never, ever, ever in a million years thought we would be connecting.

The first story is what's going on in Wisconsin, where 68,000 people turned out to protest over the weekend at the state capitol, and thousands more gathered today -- day seven of the remarkable protests. That's story number one.

Story number two is -- fair warning -- a story about which we tend to get aggrieved blog comments and voice mails from my mom whenever we show these pictures. But there's no other way to explain the story without showing these pictures. Oh, yes. Ladies and gentlemen-- the few, the proud, the Wackenhut. A private security company that our tax dollars have been paying to guard the U.S. embassy in Kabul. They're still there actually -- still getting paid to guard the U.S. embassy in Kabul 17 months after these pictures of them at work surfaced. These pictures, which as you can see, show American defense contractors simulating sex, posing semi-nude, wearing coconut brassieres, and shooting vodka out each other's hind quarters, these guys worked for a subsidiary of the firm Wackenhut while they were doing this, teaching the world that it's possible to drink vodka out of places nobody had any idea you could or should drink out of before.

The connection between what's going on in Wisconsin and what went on in Kabul with those guys' pants off is what the governor of Wisconsin is doing right now, he has tried before. The governor of Wisconsin who has thrown his state into chaos by trying to strip union rights from people who work in the state, he has tried this before with disastrous results, and with Wackenhut.

When Scott Walker was in charge in Milwaukee, he decided to fire the security guards who worked at the courthouse and at two other county buildings. They were public employees. They were represented by a union. And Scott Walker just fired them.

Now, the county board was opposed to that. They rejected his plan. But then after he was blocked by the county board, Mr. Walker just unilaterally insisted that he could do it anyway. He just seized the power to do it, claiming he had the right because there was a budget emergency. And so, all of those union security guards got fired, and Scott Walker replaced them with the butt vodka company guys. He replaced them with Wackenhut, with a private company called G4S Wackenhut, which is based in the U.K., and which uses, naturally nonunion security guards. Mr. Walker fired all of the union guards and replaced them with private nonunion guards.

This is like the dress rehearsal for what Scott Walker is doing at the state level right now, and it may offer a little bit of foreshadowing as to how this is all going to work out. An arbitrator in Wisconsin ruled just last month that the so-called "budget emergency" that Scott Walker used to justify hiring the butt vodka company guys by decree, doing it unilaterally, that justification was essentially ginned up.

Quote, "The county did not have a true budget crisis at the time -- according to the decision from the arbitrator." It's true the county was facing budget shortfall, but again, according to this arbitrator, not a big enough one to justify Mr. Walker's "hair-on- fire, it's an emergency, I can do what I want" actions.

Also, firing all of those union guards did not turn out to save the money that Mr. Walker said it was going to save. Since Scott Walker hired the coconut bra vodka guys, the county has since had to revise down, way down, how much money that would save. It turns out they over-guessed by more than $330,000. But wait, there's more.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: An arbitrator just ruled Walker overstepped his authorit, and now, the county must give those guards their jobs back and provide back pay.

MADDOW: Scott Walker's last big cost-saving, bust the union stunt could ultimately end up costing his former employer, Milwaukee County, close to a half million dollars after all is said and done.

And you may be shocked to learn -- it turns out the coconut brassiered, drinking vodka out of your friend's orifices company didn't do that great a job for the people of Wisconsin, once Scott Walker gave them those used to be public, used to be union jobs. The man Wackenhut installed as the security chief for all of the locations where all of the union guards had been fired was a man with a criminal record, that included jail time.

That's who they picked for their security chief. So, the last time Scott Walker did something like this, in his desperation to get rid of employees who joined unions, he improperly fired them, he overestimated how much money that would save, and then he allowed for a private, foreign-based, butt vodka company to put a convicted criminal in charge of security at the Milwaukee courthouse and city hall. Woo hoo! That's Wisconsin's new governor. That's where he comes from. The playbook here is clear. The priority is to get rid of the unions, to break them up.

The pretext to do that is financial, but it is clear that it is just a pretext. The unions at the center of this fight offered to the governor, they said they would essentially give him all the financial concessions he said he wanted. But he said no to that. He doesn't want those financial concessions. He wants to strip them of their union rights or he wants nothing. Finances are just a pretext.

Among the most expensive benefit package the state pays for any union employees are the ones for the unions that supported Mr. Walker when he ran for governor. Those also happen to be the only ones who are exempted from his union-stripping plan. If this was really about money, those ones would be the first ones on the chopping block, but it is not all about money. Finances are just a pretext.

In the midst of the supposed budget deficit emergency that makes necessary this dramatic anti- union bill, the governor supported adding about $140 million to the state's deficit, when he passed a bunch of tax cuts without paying for them. Finances are just a pretext.
When Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey announces that he needs to do the same thing because of his budget crisis, he's expected to announce that tomorrow. And when Governor John Kasich of Ohio moves to do the same thing in his state because of his budget crisis, it will be a pretext in those places, too.

Republicans understand that the business interests that support them have always wanted to get rid of unions -- as it has always been and as it will always be. But more directly, Republicans understand sources of Democratic political power, and they understand sources of Democratic political power well enough to be focused across the country on how they can destroyed those institutions. Corporations, broadly speaking, support Republicans.

In the last election cycle, Chamber of Commerce made donations that were 93 percent Republican. But the people who cash paychecks instead of sign them, the people who work for companies instead of own those companies, actual humans instead of conglomerates, labor unions, those groups, broadly speaking, do tend to support Democratic causes. Here again are the top 10 big money contributors in last year's elections, seven of the top 10 are right wing.

The only three that are not are -- ding, ding, ding -- unions. Republicans understand enough about the sources of Democratic political power to want to destroy the institutions that make it possible for Democrats to compete in elections. The question is whether or not Democrats understand the sources of their political power well enough to defend those institutions against Republican attacks. Republicans, ideologically speaking, like to talk smack about the government, right? Government is the problem.

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.

MADDOW: Government is the problem. That's always the great awkwardness at the heart of Republicans campaigning for political office. If you don't like government so much, if you think that government is the problem, why do you want to be in charge of it? But there are two things that Republicans really like about having government power.

One is the opportunity to hive off things government does and give them to private companies to be done for profit instead. Hello, you there in the coconut bra.

The other thing they have a real passion for is using public policy to attack and dismantle institutions that support Democrats electorally. So, just in case it wasn't crystal clear enough, that's what's going on in Wisconsin, that that's what explains why 70,000 are in the streets of Madison this weekend.

Just in case it wasn't clear enough, when the Republicans in Wisconsin announced today what they're going to do while the Democrats are gone -- while the Democrats are out of state, denying the Senate the quorum it needs to vote on this union-busting thing, guess what the Republicans are going to do while the Democrats are away?

Guess what they're going to do next? It is a bill to make it harder to register to vote in Wisconsin. You know, weirdly, we used this last week as an example of the kinds of issues that Republicans do this on. As an example of the way Republicans use public policy for partisan ends, to benefit their own party and hurt Democrats.

Registering new voters has long been a great source of Democratic electoral strength. Why is that? Because young voters and people who haven't voted before do tend to vote Democratic. So, if Republicans can make it really hard to register to vote, they can take away one of the ways that Democrats win in elections.

If you make it harder to register to vote, you make it harder for Democrats to win elections. Republicans understand what institutions help Democrats win elections and they are using public policy to dismantle those things, for partisan purposes. So, while they are waiting to destroy the unions in, say, Wisconsin, in the meantime, while they are waiting to do that, they will use their time to destroy voter registration drives. Republicans understand Democrats well enough to know what to attack in order to weaken Democrats.

The question now is:
Do Democrats understand their own institutions and their own strengths well enough to know that they ought to be defending them?
Joined: 3/7/2008
Msg: 52
Posted: 3/9/2011 7:26:34 AM

The question now is:
Do Democrats understand their own institutions and their own strengths well enough to know that they ought to be defending them?

I am not a Democrat, so I can't tell you if they understand anything at all. At times it is clear to me that the Democrats aren't a united force working for the good of all American workers, especially those who don't have much protection from the exploitation at the hands of their employers. It seems to me that many Democrats buckle under pressure from the Republicans when it comes to helping the workers that toil for minimum wages and many others who need to work 60 or more hours a week in order to barely earn enough money to pay their bills.

I agree with most of what you are saying, even with some of the criticism that you lay at the foot of the Unions. I agree that many of those unions have become self-centered and have abandoned the principles that should inform their existence. Perhaps, now that they are being attacked because their numbers have diminished substantially, they will wake up to the reality that the strength of the union movement relies on having the great majority of the workers become part of the labor union brotherhood.

My only problem with the current events is that the attacks against the unions are coming from the far right side, and I don't believe for a second, if they are successful in dismantling the unions, that the lives of the workers, especially the lives of the workers that have never been protected by the strength of a union, will be any better. I have no doubt that the lives of American workers in general will be worse if the unions are destroyed.

I can't shake off my mind the idea that maybe the current union movement in America is paying for the sins of the founding fathers of American unionism when they relinquished the working class ideals and entered into selfish agreements with government officials and corporate bosses in the name of nationalism. While some sectors of the working class were allowed to prosper and have a middle-class existence, other segments of the working were abandoned to fend for themselves, and those who were making noise were repressed and eliminated.
Joined: 9/4/2009
Msg: 53
Posted: 4/19/2011 6:43:51 PM
I can report one local effect of the union debate. When the Republican governor had his battle in Wisconsin, MSNBC was the only channel broadcast on the break room TV at work. True to form, MSNBC came out pro-Democrat and pro-union.

Our general manager saw the pro-union propaganda on the break room TV one night, and now we have mandatory Fox news on the TV set.
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 54
view profile
Posted: 4/29/2011 5:42:19 AM
Another thing to consider about the whole Union thing, is that killing off the unions will NOT do anything to solve the existing problem of shortfalls. The people who are working so hard to get rid of them are NOT helping the existing situation by doing so, they are just being petulant and vengeful. The horse left the barn over thirty years ago: even burning the barn DOWN wont help, but it WILL make certain that any future horses have a really BAD time.
Again, there is NO need to eliminate the rights of workers to have a say in working conditions. Even at the high point of union power, the folks in charge were NEVER forced by law or government force to accept a bad deal from them, they CHOSE to do so. In Wisconsin in particular, the unions had already agreed that the situation demanded the changes the other side wanted to make: that the GOP there went ahead with the destruction of the union had NOTHING to do with dealing with the problems, and everything to do with blind hatred of unions, due to their political affiliation NOT being GOP.
Joined: 1/5/2008
Msg: 55
Posted: 4/29/2011 11:45:34 AM
I think it's safe to say that the Repulicans will possibly gain one or two seats in the WI state Senate after all the recall elections are over in my home state of Wisconsin. I signed the recall for State Senator Dave Hansen (D) and look forward to having him beat in the coming election.
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