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The Path Forward After Passage of So-Called 'Right to Work'

Posted by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Robert Kraig is Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, 221 S. 2nd St.,
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on Friday, 06 March 2015 in Wisconsin

union-members-at-capitolMADISON - The Republican controlled Wisconsin State Assembly passed the so-called 'Right to Work' bill this morning. Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign the bill into law next Monday.

The passage of this bill is another step in the conspiracy of multinational corporations and right wing billionaires to rig the economy against average working people. The bill undermines the fundamental freedom of workers to band together, and have a voice in the decisions made by the CEOs of large multinational corporations. When added to the other elements of the conspiracy, encouraging the outsourcing of jobs, driving down the value of the minimum wage, devastating public employee unions, and gutting our generational investments in our schools and colleges, it will accelerate a race to the bottom by shrinking the middle class. It will make it harder and harder for millions of working families shutout of opportunity to work their way up the economic ladder and claim their piece of the American dream.

The heroes in this rigged legislative process are the thousands of average workers who over the past two weeks came to their State Capitol from all over Wisconsin to do that most American of things, exercise their first amendment rights as citizens. The culprits are a conservative majority that is so ideological that they cannot even hear the voices of their own constituents, and are willing to act on fraudulent facts made up out of whole cloth by the special interests they serve. The complete absence of workers coming to the Capitol to support this legislation is a powerful proof that this bill is about the demands of Corporate CEOs to drive down wages and benefits, and has nothing to do with the interests of average working families.

Although the radical brand of conservative who has seized control of the machinery of our government celebrate a present victory, they are actually sowing the seeds of their ultimate defeat. In due time their deliberate rigging of the economy to shrink and shut off the middle class will become an undeniable fact, and will inspire a wave of outrage which big money politics and gerrymandered legislative districts cannot not contain. The conservative “divide and conquer” path to power will not work once the consequences of their manipulation of the economy are fully felt and understood across Wisconsin. Once the vehicle of our economy is driven off a cliff, the wreckage will be visible for all to see. It is a shame that we must re-learn the harsh lessons of the past that when workers have no power in the economy multinational corporations will drive their wages and benefits into the ground. Once this harsh lesson is learned again, the action of today will not stand.

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Robert Kraig is Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, 221 S. 2nd St., Suite 300, Milwaukee, WI 53204.

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