Jul 07

Union Workers Replaced With Prison Labor Under Scott Walker’s Collective Bargaining Law (Think Progress, July 6, 2011):

While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) law dismantling collective bargaining rights has harmed teachers, nurses, and other civil servants, it’s helping a different group in Wisconsinites — inmates. Prisoners are now taking up jobs that used to be held by unionized workers in some parts of the state.

As the Madison Capital Times reports, “Besides losing their right to negotiate over the percentage of their paycheck that will go toward health care and retirement, unions also lost the ability to claim work as a ‘union-only’ job, opening the door for private workers and evidently even inmates to step in and take their place.” Inmates are not paid for their work, but may receive time off of their sentences.

The law went into effect last week, and Racine County is already using inmates to do landscaping, painting, and another basic maintenance around the county that was previously done by county workers. The union had successfully sued to stop the country from using prison labor for these jobs last year, but with Walker’s new law, they have no recourse. Watch a report from Fox6 in Green Bay:


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Mar 11

The land of the free looks more and more like a gulag.

WASHINGTON — In a bold gambit to put an end to the weeks-long budget standoff in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) split his controversial budget-repair bill in two on Wednesday, allowing the Senate to pass the most hotly contested provisions while their 14 Democratic colleagues remained out of state.

The parliamentary maneuver, first reported by local press, enabled the Senate to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers without the quorum required to approve fiscal legislation.

It was also a 180-degree reversal by Walker and state Senate Republicans, who have insisted for the past three weeks that the collective bargaining provision was designed to help alleviate the state’s budget problems. State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) had previously said he would not attempt to pass any portions of the bill without Democrats present.

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Mar 05

(CNN) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday warned 14 absent lawmakers trying to stall his controversial budget bill to return to the state Capitol immediately to vote on the measure, or layoff notices will be sent to 1,500 public employees before the weekend.

“Unfortunately, if we don’t have action by tomorrow we have a legal and moral obligation to start forewarning people,” Walker said a Thursday night press conference.

The layoffs would take effect April 1, the governor said.

Walker’s threat to start laying off workers capped the third week of a high-stakes drama playing out in Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, a Dane County judge on Thursday issued an order barring demonstrators from the state Capitol after business hours. During protests, some demonstrators have been sleeping inside the building. The order from Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge John Albert gave the state Department of Administration the authority to forcibly remove anyone who refuses.

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Mar 03

And here is one reason why:

BREAKING: Wisconsin Police Have Joined Protest Inside State Capitol

In case you want to know, who Mr. Walker really works for:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Falls For Phone Prank


Wisconsin Assembly Passes Bill Stripping Union Rights From Public Workers

On Monday afternoon, the Capitol Police in Madison, Wisconsin refused to enforce an order to clear the Capitol building of hundreds of peaceful protesters who have been occupying the site to protest Governor Scott Walker’s plan to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! interviews State Rep. Kelda Helen Roys (D), who spent Sunday night in the Capitol building with other protesters. Roys describes what happened at four o’clock on Monday afternoon when the government gave the order to clear the protesters from the building:

And after several hours of the same sorts of scenes that we’ve been seeing all week—singing, chanting, drumming, speechifying—the Capitol police captain, Chief Tubbs, made an announcement, and he said that the protesters that had remained in the building, they were being orderly and responsible and peaceful and there was no reason to eject them from the Capitol.

Police attempted to clear the building of protesters on Sunday night, but they relented when the protesters refused to leave and allowed them to stay another night. On Monday, the police decided not to eject protesters already inside, but no additional activists would be allowed in. The governor plans to deliver his budget address on Tuesday afternoon. Walker is expected to call for spending cuts that could exceed $1 billion dollars.

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Feb 26

In case you want to know, who Mr. Walker really works for:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Falls For Phone Prank


Wisconsin Assembly Passes Bill Stripping Union Rights From Public Workers

From inside the Wisconsin State Capitol, RAN ally Ryan Harvey reports:

“Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside.”

Ryan reported on his Facebook page earlier today:

“Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: ‘We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!’ Unreal.”

You can find more updates from Ryan Harvey on Twitter @ryanharveysongs and his blog Even If Your Voice Shakes.

UPDATE: This video says it all. It makes me proud of my neighbors. “Let me tell you Mr. Walker, this is not your house, this is all our house.”

Added: 25.02.2011

Written by Jenn Breckenridge
Posted on 25 February 2011

Source: The Understory

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