Wisconsin’s Walker Calls for End of Collective
Bargaining, Alerts National Guard
By Mike Hall
February 11, 2011
First Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) announced a state
budget plan that strips state workers of nearly all
their collective bargaining rights, cuts pay and
benefits and says there will be no negotiations.
Today he took it even further: He announced he has
alerted the National Guard to be ready in case state
workers strike or rise in protest. He told the
Associated Press [http://tinyurl.com/4j4b7wb] he’s been
working on contingency plans for months.
The last time the National Guard was used against
public workers was the Memphis sanitation strike in
1968, just before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s
assassination. The last time the Guard was called out
in Wisconsin to quell a labor dispute was the 1934
Kohler strike by the UAW.
Walker may be suffering from a bit of right wing
paranoia about unions. Today when he dropped the
National Guard bombshell, the Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel reported [http://tinyurl.com/45lst2v]
The Capitol news conference where Walker announced his
plan had unusually high security, with four Capitol
police offers stationed outside of it and checking on
who was attending the event.
What a way to conduct the state’s business!
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Wisconsin May Take an Ax to State Workers’ Benefits and
By Monica Davey and Steven Greenhouse
New York Times
February 11, 2011
Citing Wisconsin’s gaping budget shortfall for this
year and even larger ones expected in the years ahead,
Gov. Scott Walker proposed a sweeping plan on Friday to
cut benefits for public employees in the state and to
take away most of their unions’ ability to bargain.
The proposal by Mr. Walker, a Republican who was
elected in November after pledging that he would get
public workers’ compensation “into line” with everyone
else’s, is expected to receive support next week in the
State Legislature, where Republicans also won control
of both chambers in the fall.
The prospect left union leaders, state and local
employees and some Democrats stunned over the plan’s
scope and what it might signal for public-sector unions
in the state. Union leaders began planning rallies in
Madison and contacting lawmakers, pressing them to
reject the idea.
Mr. Walker said Wisconsin was prepared for any fallout,
noting in an interview that the National Guard was
ready to step in to handle state duties, if need be.