Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Michelle Bachmann Fears Country That Dissolved 15 Years Ago, Verizon Union Hit By Reality, Wall Street Journal Takes a Victory Lap in Wisconsin Over Public Employee Unions and Ohio is Next At Bat.

Comments on This and Other News

Ms. Bachmann Confused the Soviet Union
with the Union Pacific
 Michelle Bachmann wanting to enhance her credentials for the presidency is alarmed about the potential rise of the Soviet Union.  Ms. Bachmann was taking her usual delight in the decline in America by raising concerns about threats from abroad, including the Soviet Union.Ms. Bachmann is apparently unaware that the Soviet Union is no more, has been no more for over 15 years, and is likely to be no more for the future. 

A spokesman for Ms. Bachmann said she was misquoted, and was referring not to the Soviet Union, but to the Union Pacific railroad, which she felt would become a threat to the Northern Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad.

The unions that had struck Verizon Communications have been forced to recognize reality.  That reality was that Verizon had determine many months ago to force a strike to force the unions to take reductions in benefits.  Verizon had spent months training supervisory personnel to take the place of union craftsmen, and it was clear the company had much deeper pockets than the union.

The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ended the strike, the leaders said, after Verizon agreed to undertake meaningful negotiations on key issues such as health-care costs, job-security provisions, pension contributions and sick pay. The company also agreed to leave in place the terms of the expired contract until a new one is in place.

Union negotiated benefits are the new target for both the private sector and the public sector.

It has taken a few days, but Wisconsin Republicans are now taking their victory lap in their win over Wisconsin Democrats who had hoped to use recall elections to take back control of the Wisconsin State Senate.  Writing in the Wall Street Journal opinion pages Robert Costa says that after the elections

Wisconsin Republicans on their victory lap

Mr. Walker is more determined to battle on, especially after four of six Republican state senators won recall elections this month


visions of a repudiation were snuffed. Democrats netted two races, but Mr. Walker could hardly be blamed for the losses: One Republican represented a Democratic-leaning district; the other became tabloid fodder after leaving his wife and taking up with a younger woman.

And the Republicans/Wall Street Journal are just giddy about the problems of public employee unions brought about by the punitive legislation the Republicans passed

This week, the Wisconsin Education Association Council announced it will lay off about 40% of its staff. Coupled with the millions of dollars lost in the recall effort, it's a damaging blow. In coming months, once Wisconsinites see that their school districts are increasingly solvent and their property taxes low, Mr. Walker expects many more on-the-fence voters to rally to his side. "People will pop themselves on the head and say, 'I get it,'" he predicts.

The effort to recall Republican State Senators and gain control of the Senate was a  huge gamble for the unions, in large part because a loss would invigorate their foes to make even greater moves.  The failure of the unions and their allies to succeed will have negative effects on all public employee unions for years to come.

The lesson, if you cannot win, don’t get in the game.

This lesson may or may not have been learned by Ohio Public Employee Unions.  An onerous bargaining law was passed by the Republicans in control of that state’s government, and the unions have succeeded in getting the measure on the November ballot.  The unions just turned down an overture to bargain from the Governor, preferring to go the ballot route. 

On Wednesday, Mr. Kasich, a Republican, and the party's leaders in the Ohio Senate and House made a pitch to public-employee union leaders to "avoid the bitter political warfare" over the law, known as Senate Bill 5. In a letter Thursday, however, unions said a "fresh start must begin with a full repeal of Senate Bill 5."

So like in Wisconsin, the Ohio unions have gone “all in”.  And like in Wisconsin they must be prepared to live with the consequences of a defeat.  A loss in Ohio, combined with the Wisconsin losses would mean any state in the future where Republicans gain control of the legislature and the governor’s office will likely mean the end of public employee unions for that state.

1 comment:

  1. Okay I guess I can name at least one blogger who missed every single news story from last week about the 20th anniversary of the August Coup