Court Strikes Down Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law

NPR

September 14, 2012;by Eyder Peralta

The controversial law that curbed the collective bargaining rights of public employees in Wisconsin has been struck down by Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas.

The law, if you remember, was championed by Gov. Scott Walker and it unleashed massive protests and even led to Democratic law makers to flee the state to forestall its passage. After it became law, union activists mobilized and triggered a recall vote, which Walker ultimately defeated.

The Associated Press reports:

“Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled Friday that the law violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void. The ruling comes after a lawsuit brought by the Madison teachers union and a union for Milwaukee city employees.

“Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie says he is confident the decision will be overturned on appeal.

“It was not clear if the ruling means the law is immediately suspended. The law took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most workers and has been in effect for more than a year.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that this means municipal workers return to what was the status-quo before the law was passed. State employees still have to abide by the new law.

“The ruling means that, unless it is overturned on appeal, school districts and local officials will have to return to the bargaining table with their workers in a much more significant way,” the Sentinel reports.

Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law Struck Down By County Judge

Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law Struck Down By County Judge

By SCOTT BAUER 09/14/12 07:46 PM ET

 Wisconsin Collective Bargaining

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin judge on Friday struck down nearly all of the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers.

Walker’s administration immediately vowed to appeal, while unions, which have vigorously fought the law, declared victory. But what the ruling meant for existing public contracts was murky: Unions claimed the ruling meant they could negotiate again, but Walker could seek to keep the law in effect while the legal drama plays out.

The law, a crowning achievement for Walker that made him a national conservative star, took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most workers and has been in effect for more than a year. Continue reading “Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law Struck Down By County Judge”

G.O.P. Platform Seeks to Weaken Powers of Unions

 

New York Times
August 30, 2012, 10:58 am

G.O.P. Platform Seeks to Weaken Powers of Unions

By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

 

Unlike in the past, this year’s Republican platform in Tampa, Fla., does not contain any sympathetic nods to the nation’s labor unions, which have become among the Republicans’ most formidable political foes. Instead, the platform calls for numerous steps that could significantly weaken America’s labor unions — public-sector and private-sector ones — and help speed organized labor’s overall decline.

The 2012 platform urges elected officials across the country to change their laws regarding public-sector unions and follow the lead of Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, who spearheaded an effort to curb the ability of his state’s public employees to bargain collectively. The platform states, “We salute Republican governors and state legislators who have saved their states from fiscal disaster by reforming their laws governing public employee unions.” Mr. Walker said that that legislation was needed to weaken overly powerful unions and balance Wisconsin’s budget, while labor leaders said the legislation aimed to destroy public-sector unions and cripple them politically. Continue reading “G.O.P. Platform Seeks to Weaken Powers of Unions”

Republican platform: Cut 10% of workforce, privatize TSA

Republican platform: Cut 10% of workforce, privatize TSA

Aug. 29, 2012 – 11:07AM   |  By SEAN REILLY   |    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney waves as he arrives in Portsmouth, N.H., on Saturday. The GOP platform says the federal government should use attrition to reduce the payroll by at least 10 percent and adjust “pay scales and benefits to reflect those of the private sector.”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney waves as he arrives in Portsmouth, N.H., on Saturday. The GOP platform says the federal government should use attrition to reduce the payroll by at least 10 percent and adjust “pay scales and benefits to reflect those of the private sector.” (Jewel Samad / AFP via Getty Images)

The Republican National Convention approved a party platform Tuesday that calls for cutting the federal workforce by at least 10 percent, overhauling federal pay and benefits, as well as privatizing airport screening and possibly some U.S. Postal Service operations.

Although the document acknowledges the dedication of federal employees, it says that the civil service has grown by at least 140,000 employees under the Obama administration, while the number making $150,000 or more has doubled. “At a time when the national debt has increased to over $15.9 trillion under the current administration, this is grossly irresponsible,” the platform continues. Instead, the government should use attrition to reduce the payroll by at least 10 percent and adjust “pay scales and benefits to reflect those of the private sector.” Continue reading “Republican platform: Cut 10% of workforce, privatize TSA”

RNC 2012: Bashing Working People Everywhere

RNC 2012: Bashing Working People Everywhere

08/29/2012; Jackie Tortora

Bashing unions and working people seems to be the unifying theme of the 2012 Republican National Convention (RNC) held in Tampa, Fla., this week.

Josh Eidelson wrote for Salon that the RNC’s choice of speakers and agenda is “a full-on embrace of the same anti-union agenda that helped earn Scott Walker and Nikki Haley their Tuesday night speaking slots.”

The new platform reflects a Republican Party even more hostile to organized labor than the one that nominated John McCain four years ago. Continue reading “RNC 2012: Bashing Working People Everywhere”