Monday, September 7, 2020

Workers in WI labor under multiple GOP restrictions

While celebrating on Monday the contributions working people make to community and the economy, let's also remember on Labor Day 2020 that former Gov. Walker and the Wisconsin Republican Party used state power and a profoundly partisan gerrymandered Legislature - more, here - to cut workers' take-home pay and weaken unions while boosting management's top-heavy advantages in offices and factories statewide.

* The minimum wage in Wisconsin remains at a poverty-enforcing $7.25 an hour, Republicans have no interest in raising it, and Walker eliminated the legal obligation to pay workers in Wisconsin "a living wage.:

The change means minimum-wage Wisconsin workers will earn nearly $6,000 per year less than what the Massachusetts Institute of Technology calculates is a living wage in the state. And they will have no recourse, according to the Center for American Progress. MIT says a living wage would be $10.13 an hour.
The new law eliminates the ability of low-wage workers to appeal for a living wage. Previously, Wisconsin law stated that employee pay “shall be not less than a living wage,” defined as “adequate to permit any employee to maintain herself or himself in minimum comfort, decency, physical and moral well-being.” Wisconsin’s living wage was tied to the state minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour.
* Walker's Act 10 - his signature power play Walker's speaker's agency touts to clients - upended  50 years of public sector union bargaining rights - including procedures covering wages, pensions, health insurance, union certification and election rules, and local governments' ability to negotiate with union members on municipal payrolls.

City of Milwaukee public workers carried out infrastructure repairs in the August heat. 
* Despite Act 10's broad reach, Walker misrepresented Act 10's goals as "modest" after having formulated it in secret and springing his "divide-and-conquer" strategy on an unsuspecting public shortly after his 2011 swearing-in.

* Walker later signed separate GOP-authored legislation that strengthened corporations' powers at the expense of private sector workers and restricted long-standing pay scales on publicly-financed projects.

* And while a majority of Wisconsin counties have passed resolutions demanding a fair redistricting process after the 2020 census, and Gov. Evers has appointed a panel to ensure a more fair/gerrymander-free redistricting, Republicans have made clear they intend to maintain their artificial edge in representation which has hurt working people here for a decade:

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, signaled in January that lawmakers would ignore the panel, saying the process is out of bounds of what lawmakers should use.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Act 10 is here to stay, which it appears it is with the current make up, it's time to bring the police unions in line with the rest of the public sector unions.