The War on Working Americans and the Battle of Wisconsin
First they came for the factory jobs, but Americans didn’t speak out, because most didn’t work in factories.
Then they came for the construction jobs, but again Americans didn’t speak out, because they didn’t work in construction either.
Then they came for the public employee jobs, and some Americans did speak out, but others fought against their efforts, because they believed that their fellow American workers were to blame for unbalanced budgets and economic strife.
Then they came for . . . who will it be next? Might it be you and yours?
Who will be left to speak out for you?
The fight for workers rights in Wisconsin is an issue that should concern all working Americans. Unions there have agreed to the severe cuts proposed by Governor Scott Walker, but still he refuses to move on ending their right to collective bargaining. Efforts there to cloak union busting as responsible fiscal policy are nothing more than the most recent attempt to squeeze working Americans in order to pile more into the coffers of our nation’s economic elite.
The origin of the demise of the American worker goes back more than 30 years. It was conceived in the stagflation of the 1970s and born out of the anti-labor policies of Ronald Reagan. It was Reagan’s 1981 firing of 13,000 striking air traffic controllers that was the shot heard around the world, the shot that started the war against labor that continues to this day.
Reagan was an anti-labor zealot who stacked the NRLB (National Labor Relations Board) with management types who were against unions. The result was an NRLB that sided with employers 75% of the time, a marked increase from the 33% rate under Nixon. Under Reagan the labor department was turned into an anti-labor department; OSHA was cut by one-third; training programs were cut back; he tried to lower the minimum wage for youths and even attempted to replace thousands of federal employees with temporary workers who would not be protected by a union.
Things weren’t as bad under George Bush Sr., but ignoring what Ross Perot called the “giant sucking sounds” from the south, the senior Bush worked diligently to establish free trade under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). President Bill Clinton signed the agreement into law in December of 1993, and as predicted by Perot, American jobs and money were siphoned off at a record pace.Continued on the next page