Wis. Lawmakers Take Up Bill To Cripple Unions

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — With their Senate colleagues still in hiding, Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly began introducing a barrage of 100 amendments Tuesday to try to stymie the Republican governor’s plan to strip unionized public employees of most of their bargaining rights.

Both houses of the GOP-controlled Legislature convened shortly before noon amid noisy protests outside the state Capitol that began more than a week ago in an epic showdown that is being watched nervously by organized labor across the country.

The Senate was unable to take up the union measure because its 14 Democrats skipped town last week, denying the chamber a quorum. But Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald pledged that his chamber would approve the bill this week, despite the blizzard of Democratic amendments.

Turning up the pressure on the Democrats, Gov. Scott Walker warned that state employees could start receiving layoff notices as early as next week if the bill isn’t passed soon. The layoffs couldn’t take effect immediately — existing union contracts could forestall them for weeks or months — and Walker wouldn’t say which jobs he would go after first.

“Hopefully we don’t get to that point,” the governor said in a statement.

Borrowing the strategy pioneered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Walker planned to take his case straight to the voters Tuesday evening with a fireside chat. In excerpts released in advance by Walker’s office, the governor said his bill is about balancing the budget now and into the future and nothing else. He commended Wisconsin for “showing the rest of the country how to have a passionate yet civil debate about our finances.”

Walker also praised public employees — thousands of whom have been calling for his resignation for more than a week — saying he has a “great respect for those who have chosen a career in government.”

While Wisconsin remained the main front in the national debate over union rights, similar battles were taking shape in other states. In Indiana, House Democrats walked out of the Statehouse on Tuesday, blocking a GOP-backed bill against mandatory union dues. Only three of the 40 Democratic members of the chamber were present, depriving it of a quorum.

A similar debate in Ohio drew thousands of union protesters Tuesday, prompting officials there to lock the doors to the Statehouse.

In Wisconsin, if lawmakers take no action on the union bill by the end of the week, the state will not be able to refinance debt that Walker had counted on for $165 million worth of savings under the legislation. The governor warned that not doing that would force even deeper cuts and possibly lead to 1,500 layoffs by July.

Republican leaders in both the Senate and Assembly said they have the votes to pass the bill.

Fitzgerald said the bill was a key part of the Republican agenda to cut government spending that won the GOP majorities in the Legislature in November.

“When you talk about a compromise, no. We’re going to make a reform,” the Assembly speaker said.

Debate began in the Assembly with the Democrats introducing amendments that would do such things as restore public employees’ right to strike and submit the bill to a referendum before it could take effect. Given the number of amendments Democrats were proposing, an actual vote on the measure may not happen until Wednesday or later.

“It’s going to be a long day,” Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca said at the start of debate. “Tempers are going to flare.”

He was right. Two Democrats lashed out at Republican lawmakers and aides for laughing at them during the debate.

“This is not a game! We’re dealing with people’s lives! This isn’t funny!” Rep. Andy Jorgensen shouted in the chamber, his face red. “I haven’t laughed in a long time, especially not on a day like this!”

Rep. Cory Mason, a former organizer for the American Federation of Teachers, said Wisconsin has enjoyed more than 50 years of labor peace between state and local public employees and their bosses after passing collective bargaining rights in 1959.

“What the governor is proposing and what the majority is proposing today is to break that labor peace,” he said.

The roar of protesters in the Capitol rotunda, many of whom were banging on drums and chanting through megaphones, could be heard while both the Senate and Assembly met.

The Wisconsin bill would force state and local public workers to contribute more toward their pensions and health care and would strip them of the right to negotiate benefits and working conditions. They would largely be limited to negotiating pay raises no greater than the inflation rate.

The proposal, designed to help Wisconsin plug a projected $3.6 billion hole in the budget, has led to eight straight days of monumental protests that grew as large as 68,000 people on Saturday.

Democrats railed against the bill during early debate of amendments that proposed doing everything from restoring public workers’ right to strike and requiring approval in a public referendum before the law could take effect.

The Senate was stymied for a second time in its attempts to take up the bill after none of the 14 Democrats who skipped town on Thursday showed up. Under Senate rules, 20 lawmakers must be present to take up a budget bill. There are only 19 Republicans.

Unable to act on Walker’s proposal, the remaining Republicans instead took up some non-controversial measures, voting to extend tax breaks to dairy farmers and unanimously commending the Green Bay Packers on winning the Super Bowl. The Senate does not need a quorum to deal with non-budget matters.

Unlike last Thursday, when the Senate galleries were filled with protesters who disrupted action by shouting, only about a dozen people showed up under heavier security to watch the action on Tuesday.

In the Assembly, the gallery was packed with hundreds of spectators who watched the debate without causing any disruption. Democrats wore orange shirts to show solidarity with protesters that read, “Fighting for working families.” Thousands more people watched the debate on TV monitors inside the rotunda.

Walker and Republican leaders have repeatedly called on the Senate Democrats, who fled to Illinois, to return and get back to work. Democrats have said they won’t come back until Walker is willing to negotiate.

“We’d love to come back today,” said Sen. Jon Erpenbach. “We could be up there this afternoon and pass this if he would agree to removing the language that has absolutely nothing to do with balancing the budget.”

Packers star Charles Woodson and two other players, along with five former team members, have come out against the bill.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. JB says:

    Why do we care what’s going on in Wisconsin? I sure don’t.

    1. Kris F. says:

      If Gov. Walker gets his way, what is going on in WI will most definantly go on here and in EVERY state in the union! Tho unions have weakened over the years, but they still do a lot of good and we as a society need them to keep big business in check. Without them Big Business will have the right to fire you because you have worked for them for too long and make too much money!

      1. andy bell says:

        they can already do that here. wisconsin’s unions have more power than most other states.

      2. Come on says:

        What good do unions do in the present age? I understand their place in the past, but what do they do today?

        Also, it is illegal to fire someone because of their age, it’s called age discrimination so that’s not a justified reason. As far as because they make to much? If they make more than they are worth then their should either have their wages reduced or be fired. Why do they deserve to make more than they are worth?

      3. Big John says:

        Kris F.
        The unions serve absolutely no valuable purpose in today’s society. They protect the lazy, and extort unreasonable wages and benefits out of companies. The usefulness of the union has long passed, and it is time they go.

      4. Kris K says:

        Big John.

        You clearly don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Before you start posting ignorant comments maybe do some research. Did you know there is more to CBA’s than just money?

      5. Ed Miller says:

        Unresonable union demands have been one of the reasons jobs have been exported overseas. If they were viable union participation would be growing!

        Even Obama has questioned teachers unions. He believes they stand in the way of education. Once you get tenured as a teacher it’s almost impossible to get fired.

      6. Tom says:

        Big John

        Only a conservative would say that. I take it everytime you are asked too bend over to protect the company you do so willing?

      7. Chris says:

        Kris F, I believe that you are exaggerating and over-simplifying it at the same time… It is just not like that and we are not in the 1800’s anymore. Stop fanning the flames and get real already…

      8. John S. says:

        The issue is related to public unions, not private. Big business has nothing to do with this. Many would agree that public unions have an unfair advantage because the people controlling the purse strings are politicians, most of whom would love the number of votes they would get if they had union backing. Is there any other such blatant conflict of interest on the planet?

      9. pat says:

        How about all the big business they drove out of state or to right to work states. Unions are their own worst enemies.

      10. Nathan C says:

        Over 80% of the workforce private and public are not unionized and the have been no mass demonstration against big businesses. If unions keep big business in check they are only keeping ~8% of them in check, which most of those companies airlines and auto mfg. filed for bankruptcy recently. So I am not sure where unions are adding value in todays economy except by taking tax payer dollars when the taxpayers can afford it the least. Are unions keeping taxpayers in check or making taxpayers situations worse?

      11. dge says:

        Big business will take as much from you as they can. If they know you can’t from a union they will work you weekends, forced over time and cut your pay. if you don’t like it you will get the pink slip. good luck Wisconsin

      12. DANO says:

        Incredible, the lack of knowledge, and history that you group of real Numb Nuts exhibit.
        Lets see. First Jobs over seas. The Unions did not cause this problem. Corporate Profits did. Ya That union guy making 20 an hour got replaced by someone in India or the Phillipines making 150 dollars a month. Did your favorite corporation Give you a discount on that car made in Mexico? No they did not. But you still gladly bought the car.
        As to someones worth. Who the hell are you to determine that? What are you worth? Not much.
        Amazing to read you people who are mostly middle to lower tier income earners, who are protecting the companies and the greedy. Do you really in your heard believe a ceo should make 3-5=10 million dollars a year? How does that benifit you? Do you really believe that your job is guaranteed, that your cost are fixed, That what ever client, corporate or private , will not attack your wage base? How about all those immigrants in this country who are will to re-roof your house with no benifite packages. Can you compete.? What do you think matt. Your special? You have no competition?
        And to the rest of you clowns.
        You sure want the riight to donate to your party of choice, buy would gladly prevent someone else from doing it, if you can put them out of work. Germany started out this way in in the 1930’s.
        What goes around comes around.
        And Walker save you money? Read the News. He just cost the state 500 Large. And he put a Guy with a prison record in charge of guarding state buildings. Where is that department of homeland security?

      13. Kally says:

        These unions are government worker unions and have nothing to do with big business. They keep nothing in check they just make government cost more to tax payers. Where were all the protesters and union people when IBM got rid of all their pensions? These government union people are only out for them selves and do not and will never care about anyone but themselves. Please do not insult us with they help all workers BS.

      14. jimmy says:

        Kally “Where were all the protesters and union people when IBM got rid of all their pensions?” Why did you not organize and fight for your benefits? Or is whining for the rest of your life more your style.

      15. Brian A. says:

        There is a BIG difference here between Unions in “Big Business” and public employees Unions!!! Unions were NEVER designed for public employees. It is US, the taxpayer who pay the employee and Union head salaries, NOT the “big bad government” as some would lead you to believe! It’s about time public employees share in the hard economic times that almost everyone else has had to endure!

    2. chuck says:

      name calling – nice touch JC – forgot to read your post beyond that point

      1. JC says:

        Dearest Chuck-If you cannot debate, you quit! Perhaps you were sleeoing in class class like Lin was.

        1. Chris says:

          JC, What was your point again? You keep losing me… zzzzzzzzzzzz……….

    3. David J. Conklin says:

      >Why do they deserve to make more than they are worth?
      ===
      Ask that about your boss. American CEO’s take home way more than their overseas counterparts.

      1. PAUL says:

        WHO ARE YOU TO SAY WHAT WE ARE WORTH ? I PUT MY LIFE ON THE LINE EVERY DAY DOING MY JOB FOR THE STATE OF MINNESOTA FOR LESS THAN 40,000 DOLLARS PER YEAR AFTER 12 YEARS WITH THE STATE ! I’M UNDER PAID YOUR A HIPACRITE

      2. ohoh says:

        what does someone elses salary have to do with you? I think you suffer from class envy. These unions suck money from the tax dollars of others and do nothing to earn it. They can’t/won’t put in a full days work, but gosh they can show upa and bellow for more in the streets of Wisconsin.

      3. John says:

        PAUL

        WHO ARE YOU TO SAY WHAT WE ARE WORTH ? I PUT MY LIFE ON THE LINE EVERY DAY DOING MY JOB FOR THE STATE OF MINNESOTA FOR LESS THAN 40,000 DOLLARS PER YEAR AFTER 12 YEARS WITH THE STATE ! I’M UNDER PAID YOUR A HIPACRITE

        $40K a yr……who pays for your health and retirement? The STATE. Try making $40K a yr and pay $5-$6K a yr for health insurance and still put awary for your retirement. You argument does not Fly.

      4. Brenda B. says:

        I have to stick up for Paul, NO the state does not pay for my health ins, they pay part of it. $648 a month I pay. That equals more than your 5-6k and again your wrong the state does NOT pay fully for my retirement I pay 5k a year toward it straight out of my check. So get your facts straight John.

    4. pretzeldude says:

      This situation is one of the reasons unions came about.

      1. Brenda B. says:

        I have to stick up for Paul, NO the state does not pay for my health ins, they pay part of it. $648 a month I pay. That equals more than your 5-6k and again your wrong the state does NOT pay fully for my retirement I pay 5k a year toward it straight out of my check. So get your facts straight John.

    5. Chuck says:

      JB, Who cares what you care about or don’t?! Spare us…

    6. Tom, says:

      If the unions can’t accept the fact that the State is broke, let the Governor do what he has to do… People in the private secotor aren’t getting the benefits we need to survive, yet we DO!

      1. Nica Johson says:

        The unions accept the fact that the state is broke. They have agreed to the salary and benefit cuts Walker has proposed. They are demonstrating against having their bargaining rights taken away from them.

  2. BI says:

    this is not really for you…. its for the wisconsin residents who only hear about MN bs on the news because its the only channels we pick up.. and it would be beneficial for you since MN will be going through the same damn thing….

    1. Chuck says:

      Mike, What is this crap about a race to the bottom? With only 10% of workers in unions, it is not a show-stopper and has lost clout already… You must be very insecure as you really are buying into the union smoke and mirrors… The unions cannot stop them from paying what they want now and for moving jobs elsewhere… There is no magic that the unions bring to the table other than unreasonable demands. I am sick of being held hostage!

  3. DG says:

    …because if this goes through and works, then other states may follow suit. This could include your state…

    1. Dan says:

      We can only hope…

    2. Matt says:

      We can only hope

      1. Mike says:

        Hope to what, a race to the bottom? After they take away the standard for wages and benefits that unions provide and replace it with third world salarys, how long do you think it will take before YOUR affected? Use your head for something other then a butt part…………

      2. Matt says:

        I’m NOT worried about it, because I know the value I bring and will ask that rate. If I don’t get it I will bring my services elsewhere or start my own business. I don’t need a union defending me.

    3. Jason says:

      We can only hope.

  4. RTC says:

    If you don’t think this is “coming to your state”, wake up as it mayl be at your door soon if it succeeds in WI. My fear is that, this is only the beginning.

  5. aaron says:

    Go Walker go!! Nail those crooked unions!!

  6. Irv says:

    Those of you who are so opposed to any union activity, have you ever worked in one? I have worked in industry with and without. I have worked construction with and without. Have you? If you never have then you truly don’t know what your talking about. it would be better that you collect your benefits and overtime pay and workers rights and thank the union for getting those for you as standard industry practice. Thats what the union does. You don’t think that industry will take advantage of you when the unions die? take a look at WalMart. They sure are doing a lot for their employees, who average poverty income and free and reduced lunch for their chilldren. Thats what we will all have if the unions go under. Get educated and look at all the data before you judge.

    1. Matt says:

      Irv,

      First off this is a public sector union which is completely different. In the private sector if a union prices itself out of the market the company goes out of business. (Unless you are GM and Obama breaks our piggy banks to save the union.)

      In the public sector there is a serious conflict of interests. The unions charges dues which are used to get a politician elected, then the union sits down with the person they just got elected to negotiate wages and benefits. What do you think that the politician is likely do to?

      Even the uber-liberal FDR that brought us Social Security, The New Deal and many others was opposed to public sector unions.

      FDR – “… Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the government. All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations … The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for … officials … to bind the employer … The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives …”

      This is why Scott Walker should be applauded for what he is doing, as he is standing up to a corrupt system to add equity and fairness for ALL citizens public sector employees or not.

      Second, as for WalMart, I have a very easy answer. Don’t work there, if no one will work there their wages and benefits will go up. it’s called the free market, be thankful that we have it.

      1. Irv says:

        Again get your facts. Public workers work as long and hard as you do and get paid less than average in the provate sector. These unions are willing to pay their share of benefits, which many in the private sector don’t, but want their right to negotiate their work environment. As stated before, after you work in a union you can criticize. Until then you have second hand info. Last thing, is Walker going to pay for his health and take the same pay cut. he’s a public employee. No he is not. Just like he doesn’t expect the state patrol or fire fighters to as they backed him in his run for office. He says its good for all public employee, but he never mentions himself. Wonder why?

      2. Matt says:

        Irv, if you would make more in the private sector why not go work there? That’s a pretty short sided stance.

        As for your other arguments, I agree the cuts should be felt across the board and that is a mistake that gov Walker made.

    2. ck says:

      agree – i’ve not worked union, but my dad has. And he has worked outside a union. He can point to the advantages of each, but he cannot say they helped him with employment. The company that had the union shop went out of business… but he says the union workers were the best trained, hardest working, and the first in demand. They all found new jobs at the top of their skills. He cannot say the same about ALL unions… he laughs at the concept of office-oriented unions as they never train anyone to work better, only to take (he calls it greed).

      1. Matt says:

        ck – that’s a good point I didn’t make about the private sector. Wages are higher in union shops, but ideally labor is better so it offsets the costs. If it’s not, it goes belly up.

        Either way, the public sector is a direct conflict of interest and anyone who disagrees isn’t looking at the facts.

    3. ohoh says:

      Yea buddy and people can afford to shop there too. they share the savings to the consumer. funny how you don’t bash Macy’s or any other retail store who pay their help the same but have astronomical prices on their goods, all made in some poor country like China

    4. Rachel says:

      Irv if you think Walmart is so evil then why are people working there? The jobs being done at Walmart are jobs not careers. They can be done by any high schooler and they get paid for the level of skill the job requires. If you want to get paid more become more skilled and seek a career. They are paid what they are worth. If they were paid less then they are worth they would find somewhere else to work that pays more. But there are those of us that enjoy our jobs at Walmart, those of us that don’t think we are being ripped off, those of us that enjoy the flexibility in scheduling that Walmart has allowed us so we can be with our kids when they are home. And that is why we work there. Not for a career but for a job to have to help support our families a little better.

  7. JS says:

    I believe this will pass, and very long overdue. This is not about busting all unions. What this is about, is the government employees demanding that they do not pay more for their health benefits, and their bloated obscene pensions that are strapped to the backs of the Wisconsin taxpayer. They obviously feel that is owed to them, and the Governor and the Republicans know this cannot go on any longer. The state is in a terrrible financial situation. The public employees feel they should not give up a thing. so, he is going at it in a firm way. All of us in the private sector pull in our belts, and pay more every year for our healthcare costs, and we provide for ourselves with our 401-K. What a unique idea……taking care of yourself, instead of letting others pay for your benefits! If they demand a raise, they threaten strike, and put the fear of everything falling apart because they will strike. The state gives in to their demands, and we go deeper in debt. I guess that is what they call “collective bargaining”. All in the private business world know that some years see challenge due to the bad business climate. We understand that some years there is no pay raises, and yet our health costs go up. It is a simple economic reality, that in today’s world, things have to change, and yes Virginia, the sun will come up tomorrow!

    1. RayJay says:

      And the Governor isn’t using striking techniques? More Bullying. Come on!

  8. Fin Planner says:

    This is only conjecture at this point, but I believe Walker wants the Dems blamed for the coming layoffs ( Dems out of town). This will happen regardless. Walker intends to make significant cuts in education and aid to other organizations in the state which will also result in layoffs. Walker, at least be real about the intent and outcome. Good thing he is doing it early in his term so all the fellow cheeseheads will forget about it when it comes time for re-election.

  9. Chris says:

    These unions members jobs are important for all people living in the U.S. If this continues around the nation… and it will if Walker gets his way it will lead to a reduction in wages of all jobs union and non union alike. This will decrease all of our standards of living and only increase these states budget deficits because less wages means less in taxes coming in.

    1. Chuck says:

      Chris, Calm down already because they are not helping in that cause at all anyway… Get a reality check and see that companies will do what they want anyway, so get with the program… You will be just fine without the overhead (dues, distractions, politics, curruption, etc)… Let’s clean this show up in Wisc and get it done in MN as soon as possible too!

  10. ham says:

    this isnt about balancing the budget is about busting up one of the strongest union strong holds. if the can bust this union then they can bust em all. the unions are the biggest contributors to the democratic party. if the dems lose there contributors they wont be getting elected. then we ill be down to a one party system. the repubs and there corporate masters and the middle class will be slaves to them all.

    1. Matt says:

      Unions don’t vote citizens do, if the will of the people is to vote in a Dem, than that is what would happen.

      Also, I agree this is about busting the public union, a union that should be busted. Public unions provide a direct conflict of interests to the American public and Gov Walker should be commended for being brave enough to face them.

      1. PAUL says:

        MATT as a us citizen and a union member I VOTE MY VOTE COUNTS SO YES UNIONS VOTE Union help protect ALL workers NOT only Union workers Unions help get BETTER working conditions, safer work places when and were you can work higher wages for everyone who do you think got the FAIR LABOR ACT envoked NOT the big corporations THE UNIONS , SO TO BUST THE UNIONS WOULD ONLY BRING US BACK TO THE WAY THINGS WERE IN THE TWENTIES OR IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES. If that is what you want OK ! PERSONALLY i LIKE THE WAY WE ARE NOW.

      2. Matt says:

        Paul, I think you mixed my words. I was saying that unions and business don’t vote, citizens like you and me do.

        if citizens like you and my want unions then the individuals that represent those views will allow and encourage unions. It’s called a representative democracy.

        Obviously in WI people were sick of their representatives and went another way. If it’s not what you want, then I suggest voting against it and hope that is how the masses feel.

      3. Chris says:

        Matt, You are right and keep up the drum beat! Thanks.

      4. lib says:

        I am just curious, what is going to happen when the states are broke? do you expect them to put higher and ever higher taxes on non union workers so that you never have to pay a nickle toward your own health care?

      5. Rachel says:

        Unions do not provide Paul with the ability to write sentences correctly! They may want to work on educating their members so that they can write an argument on Yahoo and not look like an idiot. Just a thought.

  11. steve says:

    back to slayery ya that will help

  12. America the Critical says:

    I do not understand the hateful people on this board. Why you want to punish people who have worked hard for the pay and benefits they have are beyond me. Perhaps you are selfish little ones who dropped their lollipop in the sand so you want to slap the lollipop out of public employees’ hands?

    You all should have good wages, health insurance, pensions and job security. But your anger belies your character as you wish other ill, not the character of those you criticize.

    1. Chuck says:

      America the Critical, Then stop with the awfulizing yourself as the US will be just fine without the union garbage… er bagage… You seem to think that they are responsible for all that is good and that couldn’t be futher from the truth… And let’s remind people of good business philosophies and reimforce the fact that it is what creates jobs and success!

    2. Jason says:

      What punish?? , unoins have no problem taking food off my table to enrich themselves. And one more thing, where im from you get paid what your worth, not how much you find acceptable, after all we pay your wage.

  13. steve says:

    back to slavery ya that will help

  14. Ralph says:

    How many Reps and others they have in that Capital? I can see where things can get cut and not impact a thing.😉
    That holds for every state and the Feds too – if waste is to be addressed it starts at the TOP.
    Imagine if we actually had leadership (lol) that attempted to work to resolve. Can ya imagine that!? I’m 68 and yet to see it happen. I’ll likely be dead first too

  15. Who made these deals anyway? says:

    I guess Gov Walker dosn’t trust the people who negoatiate contracts to do what is best for the state, school, or whatever. He thinks that he is the only one that can hold the line. If the public employees have contracts that are not in the interest to the state, why not blame the people that negotaited them? any employee, union or not, always trys to get the best deal they can when they take a job, IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT!!!! They are really going to be just the losers!!!

    1. pat says:

      the state is broke because the people of Wisconsin trusted unions to negotiate fairly, now you can see the results. And the Dems run away? That is typical response from Democrates, can you imagine the media response if Republicans ran away from a tough decision?

      1. Troy says:

        Please, where are you getting the idea that the unions are the reason WI is broke, rather than a crappy economy and tax cuts passed by a new GOP governor and legislature (they contribute to the 3.6 bil shortfall coming, not the current 137 million, but still)? Who said that, other than Walker and the GOP? Can anyone provide evidence?

    2. Chris says:

      Remember, If it seems too good to be true, it probably is…
      The honeymoon is over and needs to be addressed ASAP…
      And it will hit them to be sure and it may not seam fair at all…
      No different than a couple companies that I worked for that had to restructure, close, etc… the unions just cannot help you on that front!

  16. AN says:

    Anyone else seeing Scott Walker’s sociopathic characteristiscs? Check the criteria-it fits!

  17. Goob says:

    A right to work state….right to work for less for the big buisness gotta make a million, jerks..bosses used to make 20 times what his workers made…now it’s 300-450 times….jerks!!!

    1. C. says:

      GOOB, What are you talking about – Big Business???
      It is public work that we are discussing here, so stay on task…
      quit exaggerating this stuff when you cannot keep a clear thought on this… much less understand it thoroughly, like the expert you must be!

  18. PAUL says:

    IMPEACH WALKER NOW !!!!!!!!!! for a person who dropped out of school he is a ral SMART ASS

  19. Concern citizen says:

    Why don’t the Republicans go after the rich. Republicans have money but they don’t want it taken from them. They always go after the people who don’t make as much money. I think they better try going in a different direction.

    1. paab says:

      Hey if you are so full of class envy why don’t you demand Mark Dayton give up all his money and give it to you? He didn’t work for it either.

      1. C. says:

        Mark Dayton… Do we know of a bigger hypocrite?
        Millionaire or Billionaire, it is all relative and so much BS…

  20. Matt says:

    I hate to be that guy, but I would love someone who is ripping on gov Walker to give me a reason why I am wrong. Unless of course you can’t.

    _______________________________________________________________

    In the public sector there is a serious conflict of interests. The unions charges dues which are used to get a politician elected, then the union sits down with the person they just got elected to negotiate wages and benefits. What do you think that the politician is likely do to?

    Even the uber-liberal FDR that brought us Social Security, The New Deal and many others was opposed to public sector unions.

    FDR – “… Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the government. All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations … The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for … officials … to bind the employer … The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives …”

    This is why Scott Walker should be applauded for what he is doing, as he is standing up to a corrupt system to add equity and fairness for ALL citizens public sector employees or not.

    1. Matt says:

      Hmm, so it looks like the best way to shut up a Den is through logic and common sense, who would have guessed?

      I’m a little disappointed I expected a lot more name calling, world is ending speech, but I guess I will just go on with my day in hopes that I opened a couple peoples eyes.

      Thank you for that.

    2. PAUL says:

      STUPID we have to nagotiate with whoever is in charge NOT only the people that we VOTE for the KEY is NAGOTIATE WALKER WILL NOT NAGOTIATE WITH US HE IS DICTATING TO US NOT FAIR Now the contract that we Nagotiated was a fair contract. now all pensions are taken and put in TRUST FUNDS by the States and based on how the funds go is how the people are paid THEY ARE NOT PART OF THE BUDGET LIKE ALL REBUBLICANS ARE SAYING IT IS A PLOY BY THE REBUBLICANS TO MAKE THE MIDDLE CLASS FIGHT BETWEEN OURSELVES !!!!!! IF you would read the budgets there is NO mention of pensions !!!

      1. Matt says:

        Thank you Paul, that’s what I was looking for. A rambling rant that is inaccurate and off topic.

        Just one little issue, who puts the money into those trust funds? Does that add to the budget?

        Anyone else?

      2. PAUL says:

        What is in acurate ? LOOK IT UP ALL PENSIONS ARE IN TRUST FUND ! You people that trust the rebublican HAVE NO CLUE PERIOD!!!!

      3. Come on says:

        Yes, pensions are in a trust fund, but where does the money that funds the trust fund come from? TAX MONEY

        In addition the trust fund is based on an assumed market return which is not being hit which creates unfunded liabilities. Guess how those unfunded liabilities are addressed? TAX MONEY

        Please feel free to address where I am incorrect.

  21. Ben says:

    Can you imagine these self-serving spoon-fed infantile whiners trying to survive in the real world? Say PRIVATE SECTOR. The walk out dems and pathetic protesters should get back to work. As a business owner I would take this opportunity to replace you with people who are committed to the principles they swore to uphold. The public sector in general has completely lost its understanding of its purpose and who pays their above average salaries and benefits packages. In case you’re wondering, it’s all of the rest of us in the private sector. It is a difficult job that the governor has, but he is exemplifying what must be done nationwide to save our country from bankruptcy. It’s called leadership. I, along with countless others through the years have been laid off from jobs when companies need to cut expenses to survive. I didn’t like it, but I landed on my feet and found something better because I didn’t waste my time being a crybaby. Grow up people. Do something positive for your state. Go back to work and be grateful you have a job at all.

    1. PAUL says:

      So Ben are you ONE of the CORPORATIONS THAT GOT PART OF THE 142MILLION FROM IDIOT WALKER ? as for who pays our as you think above average wages ……NOT YOU !!! as a citizen of the state of Minnesota I pay the max in taxes do I complanine NO As for you being able to do my job I DON’T THINK SO !!!! why do I work for the state because I want to, I don’t have to I could be in the private sector using my college degree BUT I ENJOY MY JOB!!!

      1. Chris says:

        Paul, Who are you talking about when you say “Corporations”?
        Do you understand that many thousand “little guys” are investors in these?
        That is how they are owned and operated… You may even be an owner as part of your 401(k) or Union investments = Now that is ironic and you should stop criticizing yourself… as you are probably as guilty and responsible for some pretty harsh management decisions that may have even been detrimental to the union bunch… So my point is “stop generalizing and awfullizing”, because you are only embarrassing yourself!

    2. Jason says:

      Very well said. Excellant!

  22. Teacher says:

    I hope we can hear MODEST used another 100 times by Gov. Walker. That must be his word for the month.

    70,000 people will be effected my the Medicare changes.

    THINK HE WILL TALK ABOUT THIS:
    Only 5 states have no collective bargaining and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:

    Texas(47)
    Georgia(48)
    South Carolina(50)
    North Carolina (49)
    Virginia (44)

    1. Teacher says:

      Wisconsin is ranked 2nd as of today..

    2. Chris says:

      What is your point?

      My teachers must have been out protesting the day we were to cover this stuff in class!!!

      Get back in the classrooms because this is a legistlative event and not an official union event … Let your leaders lead as you have elected them to do.

  23. Murph says:

    I hope all you brainwashed GOP lovers who work for a living get a clue sometime pronto! When they are done with the teachers,who do they fleece next? Millionaires?,billionaires? not a chance.But you’ll look snappy in the animal skins you will be wearing and sleeping under won’t you! Welcome to the race for ice age existance! You’re winning that one at least! Wild game has less fat,so at least you won’t get fat and cheese burgers will be a real treat if you trip over a gold nugget in the woods.Hope the snow melts quickly in Wisconsin so you at least have a chance to do that! Good luck!

    1. C. says:

      Murph, Settle down as I think your medication is wearing off…
      The unions do not create jobs, even if Obama believes it…
      There is hardly any union shadow left and hopefully the rest dries up soon too…
      Good luck at finding employment where you can be King for a day!

  24. JC says:

    Dear Chuck-Read JB’s while you think—-There are far too many who don’t care or understand what is going on, perhaps yourself included. Not caring or being ignorant is no longer acceptable. We are in the early stages of a revolution that is going to change our country and government.

  25. Been There says:

    Matt makes some good points. I am a public employee. I am in a union. The union has done some very good things for us, but at the same time, they are a little out of control. I had a co-worker who slept on the job, falsified daily activity logs, didn’t do a darn thing and laughed about it. He hated the boss. He was terminated twice, and both times the union got him his job back. This was WRONG! Even his co-workers did not support him! He finally got cocky and went to far–theft of public funds, and was charged with a crime. FINALLY they were able to fire him. This process took YEARS! And all the while he earned a paycheck and benefits for DOING NOTHING! He bragged that they couldn’t touch, and he was right. How sad. I am grateful for my job and try to earn my pay every day. Of course, I’m sure I have bad days like everybody else, union or not. Just please don’t vilify all of us because of a few bad apples. We don’t want them there either!

  26. KegHead says:

    Wow!

    I wish i had benefits!

    1. Chris says:

      Me too… maybe there will someday be some crumbs left for the rest of us after the pigs (CBA Unions) leave the trough…

  27. Lin says:

    Heres a shout out to the middle income people of this country,the tea party and repubs are not your freinds.They are balancing budgets off our backs while seeing to it that the rich are protected,that is abundantly clear.We need to organize across this country and stand up for ourselves before it is to late.We out number the rich,and we need to make our voices HEARD before what wi. is doing spreads throught our nation.If there is one thing that I am certain of, it is this ,together we can mobilize and tell them NO MORE.I There is POWER IN NUMBERS.So lets stand in unity and get the job done.

    1. Come on says:

      Class warfare the easy way out…

      1. C. says:

        Yes, lots of “victims” looking for the boogeyman in their minds that they categorize as big business, rich people, etc… Are you going to tell me that I am too rich to be worthy? What a laugh…

    2. Chuck says:

      Oh hush up already, you are so far over-the-top we can’t even hear you anymore… Did you just get off the boat from some 3rd world dictatorship?
      This is America and our people are smart, hardworking, and driven to succeed…
      not leech off the rest and make excuses that they somehow are victims!
      You are no more a victim than I, so get back to reality.

  28. Incredulous says:

    He’s got his lapel flag pin on. He must know what’s right for EVERYONE!

  29. Tom says:

    Lets just face it the Republicans don’t want the little guy too have a voice.

    1. Sam i Am says:

      @Tom the little guy is someone who works at Burger King making $7.75 an hour. Not a union member making $70K+ a year.

      Your are not the little guy.

      1. Cheetos says:

        If you are in a union, you are no longer a “little guy”.

        Spot on Sam You Are.

      2. Chris says:

        Sam, You are so right! These people should take a look in the mirror…
        I hope they do not have to learn the hard way how nice they have it.

      3. PAUL says:

        NOT ALL UNION MEMBERS MAKE 70K PER YEAR. THE AVERAGE UNION WORKER MAKES LESS THA45K A YEAR . MAYBE YOU REBUBLICAN WANT A BES SHOULD LOOK INTO A MIRROR AND SEE HOW STUPID YOU REALLY LOOK . WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT THE UNION WORKERS ARE NOT THE ENAMIES,THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT. WE ARE WILLING TO PAY OUR FAIR SHARE ,BUT WE WILL NOT GIVE UP OUR BARGINNING RIGHTS ,

  30. Lin says:

    Your saying class warfare,what kind of fool are you,that is exactly what they the teapartiers and repubs have already started and they are digging their heals in.Now if you call standing up for your rights and dignity and right to exist warfare then you are not familiar with our constition,we have the right to peacfull assembly,or is it only the teaparty that is allowed to do that.So once again we can organize like the teaparty did or we can set back and gripe,however setting back and feeling sorry for themselves is not what our forefathers did.So any one and everyone out there who is ready to rally together and speak out for the peoples right let me know because I am ready.

    1. Come on says:

      You have every right to assemble, which is not what I was referring to. I was referring to your comment on outnumbering the rich and make them pay.

      As a side point unions make up only 12% of the workforce so strength in numbers is against you.

  31. John says:

    I like how people always like to Say that people should get the high wages and we should buy american made product. These are the same people who pass on the Higher priced american made product for the low cost ones of those made oversea’s.

    1. Come on says:

      Great point John…

      It’s a simple debate – higher wages and higher prices for goods or outsourced jobs and lower prices for goods. Over an over again people choose the low prices. If you want to stop outsourcing only buy American made. Simple

    2. JJ says:

      A few years ago, an election year, I was working with a union crew. over lunch our disscussion turned to “buy American” and don’t vote for that guy because we will lose to outsourcing of jobs. An interesting observation of the personal choices of this union group, (and I pointed out) thier cloths were almost entirly of “cheep foreign manufacturing” thier autos were over 50% foreign titles, the contractor had the majority of equipment with non-american names. We were ALL UNION workers. hippocrits? put your money and loyalties where your mouth is or shut up!!!!!!

  32. fred says:

    Why don’t someone take this guy and ship him over to the middle east, then let’s get someone in there that care’s about the working class. Ok now he is going to threaten layoffs to try and get his way!!!!!!!!!!!! Bone-head.

  33. SndGab says:

    I guess I don’t understand why no one is upset about the 14 who fled rather than vote yes or no on the bill. I tell you what, I bet they are still getting paid. Maybe the people of the US needs to start getting rid of some of the politicians, that would save money.

    1. PAUL says:

      they are paying for everything out of their own pockets and not taking wages right now so VOTE DEMOCRATE PRO- UNION IMPEACH WALKER

      1. Tabita says:

        If you are referring to the Sentators that walked off the job, they are getting paid their stipend plus expenses to cowardly walk of the job.

      2. PAUL says:

        TAABITA THAY ARE NOT THEY ARE PAYING OUT OF THIER OWN POCKET

  34. Lin says:

    good one,I missed the flag pin,bet it wasn’t made in the U.S.

    1. Matt says:

      Pro-Union or Anti-Union dosn’t matter in this age of NEOCON’s. They will take, take , take and continue to take from the middle class. Union’s are the only one’s standing up for thier members. Good luck on your own!

  35. TheoReddickLee says:

    I think it truly funny that the governor should threaten state employees with layoffs when their best option should this legislation pass is to walk off the job en masse until it is repealed.

  36. PAUL says:

    come on : I put in the SAME amount as the State into our pension that is funded and then put into the trust fund and as the markets go so do the funds

  37. JC says:

    Dear Lin- You and your socialist ideas, when I can read and understand them, are in the minority. Government at the state and national level is changing because it has to and you are clearly not going to like where we are headed!

  38. Lin says:

    COME ON spoken like a true republican.However you would notice that I didn’t use crosshairs,and at no point did I say anything about violence that is the difference between me and you,when I say that we the middle income need to organize and stand up for ourselves you take that to mean violence however I do not advocate violence that is what the teaparty does.

    1. mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

      @Lin bad spin

  39. Lin says:

    JC if that makes me a socialist then that’s what our forefathers were and I will wear it proudly.

    1. JC says:

      Again Lin you show your lack of education in both your writing skills and thinking! You must have been sleeping in history class. The vast majority of our founding fathers were from the upper class and were the business leaders you so seem to hate.

      The last election showed that the people, both Democrat and Republican are upset with the current direction and socialist policies of this country. You better get out and get people organized Lin, because America is not going where you want it to go!

  40. Just me says:

    Service sectors (hotel housekeepers, nursing home workers etc.) are now fighting to become unionized. I guess they think they need to fight for their rights. How right they are! If we lose unions (public and private sector), we will see the gap between rich and poor widen. Remember, people fought and died for the right to form unions; they did that for a reason. Then, when we realize what we’ve lost, more people will fight and die to reform what we allowed to vanish from the scene by our naive view of those “terrible unions”.

  41. Dan says:

    Are you seriously posting a political ad that says “Stand with Walker” on a page containing news about the Wisconsin collective bargaining dispute? Whatever happened to you guys being journalists?

  42. Layoffs & Economy says:

    In this economy, everyone needs to tighten their belts, we use http://bit.ly/fyeMuq to take our money even farther. If you can’t make more, the best you can do is get for the money you have…

  43. kevin says:

    “Anti Union Bill” Really? Why not call it “Get Real Bill”? We are bankrupt! We have no more money! Wisconsin is asking all to take a cut. My God I have not had a raise in 4 yerars…I have lost bennifits….And my tax dollars deep increasing to allow these few to maintain their lifestyle? Really? Unions are a joke…they complain about these issues in Wisconsin…while they fully support illegal immigrants….you know those who are here illegally…and driving the workers pay in the hole….morons…one and all……

    1. PAUL says:

      kevin get your facts straight Unions do not support illegal immigrents and what livestyle are you talking about I’m not living in a mansion on a hill with all kind of servents We are not getting Rich by being public servents, most of us are barely getting by also.

  44. Lisa Gonyea says:

    I have worked for a union, now am working private. What I need to know from public sector union people…where is your money coming from? There are retirement benefits I that no one I know has. You pay a very low premium for your health insurance. Your wages are substantially better than mine, even though I have my BS degree. I am paying your wages along with the wealthy and the waitresses. I hear fairness all the time, but see little of it when state revenues are down due to the recession. Unemployment at 10%…we are all hurting, but you still want a bigger piece of the pie. As for those teachers..what kind of a message are they sending students when they get phoney excuses for their time missed. It is very sad.

    1. Nica Johnson says:

      Lisa – what are the retirement benefits that public employees receive? How much does the average public employee contribute for their health insurance premium? Please answer these questions because I hear a lot of discussion about them but no one ever mentions what these benefits are that public employees receive. I would like to know so I can compare them to the private sector and see just how they stack up.
      Honestly, we ALL are paying EVERYONE’S wages in one way or another. Your wages are paid by the people who purchase whatever service your employer provides. So, depending upon what it is your employer is providing our society I could be paying YOUR wage.

      1. Lisa Gonyea says:

        You have a choice to purchase the product I supply…I don’t have a choice for most public employees. I believe public emloyees recieve a per centage of their wage depending on the length of their employment. Their health care (Wisc) was paid for or..I also heard 8% being asked to boost to 12%. Most private employees pay 20% and retirement is their 401K.

      2. Mike says:

        This is from MSRS. I don’t know what PERA and TRA are.
        Increase Year GENERAL PLAN CORRECTIONAL PLAN STATE PATROL PLAN
        Employee Contribution Rate Employer Contribution Rate
        Prior to 2007 4% 4% 5.69% 7.98% 8.40% 12.60%
        July 1, 2007 4.25% 4.25% 6.40% 9.10% 9.10% 13.60%
        July 1, 2008 4.50% 4.50% 7.00% 10.10% 9.80% 14.60%
        July 1, 2009 4.75% 4.75% 7.70% 11.10% 10.40% 15.60%
        July 1, 2010 5% 5% 8.60% 12.10% N/A N/A

        Health care. Last time I knew was employees didn’t pay a part of the premium (now @$400/month), but dependent premiums they pay 13%-15%

    2. Nica Johnson says:

      Well, actually you do have a choice to not use those services provided by public employees. You can choose not to drive on the roads that they plow and maintain, you can choose to home school your children, you can choose not to use the services of fire fighters, police officers, waste management workers, and social workers – just to name a few. Since most people use one or more of these services I would say they are services that our society needs. It is also supply and demand for the services that public employees provide. If a service is not needed that service will be eliminated. I hear that you think you don’t have a choice in paying for these services. Yes, you do. Simply don’t use them. If enough of you quit using the services these public employees provide then these jobs would be eliminated.
      Here are the facts about one public employee that I know that teaches in Minnesota. Average salary in this district is $47, 881 (not a bad salary). However, over 60% of the teachers in this district have taught for 18 or more years so this is a teaching staff with a lot of years of experience. (Starting salary is $34,547). Family health insurance premium PER MONTH for a $2000 deductible plan for that same teacher is $982.00 ($11784 per year). The district contributes $5100 PER YEAR. The district contributes 5.5% of the teacher’s salary for their retirement plan (TRA). This is $2633.45 per year for this teacher. That same teacher also contributes 5.5% of their salary – so $2633.45 per year towards retirement. They can also contribute to a 403B plan and the district will match that contribution up to $500. per year. Those are the facts.

    3. PAUL says:

      we will give up our fair share when you guys in the private sector give up your BIG BONUSES that public employee’s NEVER get

  45. Travis says:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/41655758#41655758
    Its political whats going on in wisconsin, plain and simple!

  46. JS says:

    One thing that needs to be addressed is that many people that dislike REPUBLICANS, automatically say they are rich. I have been of the Republican way of thinking for many years. I am not rich. I work at a place I have been for over 25 years. I know I earn less than many of you that say republicans are rich. It is strictly a definition as to how you feel your vote is going to effect the world. I vote for conservatism, not how much money someone has.

  47. mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

    If the WI teachers are all that great at what they do. Why are Catholic and Home Schools on the rise, and Public schools in the USA are falling behind the rest of the world? I have posted this question many times. but no teacher has answered it?!!!

    1. Mike says:

      I went through the teacher education program at a state university. I didn’t want to spend my free time grading papers. Mainly it was the apathy of the students who don’t care about school, no displine in schools, parents not caring and then complaing to the administration that their child doesn’t deserve a “F” or they are the best player on the team why are the benched. I had a dream, along with every other student-teachers to be the best teacher in their subject/grade. When it doesn’t work like they envisioned some just fall into the rut of not rocking the boat and pass all their students to just get rid of the bad ones or the ones who don’t want to learn. Go mentor a child who hates math and try to explain why it is important and just wants to become an automechanic. Everyone should volunteer a hour out of their day, every-other-day to mentor a student. And multiply it by 30 different students with differents like/dislikes abilities. It is what a teacher has to go through every day. The have teach at the average level so that the brighter kids get bored and the kids who have trouble understanding the subjet get disillusioned with education. A good teacher would have harder/extra work for the smarter ones and work with the struggling ones.

    2. GM says:

      Any shift away from the public education system is due to the shift in the US towards religious conservatism. It’ also one of the primary drivers of the political division in this country.

      Apparently, the teachers in Wisconsin are “great”. By multiple measures, the students in the system are in the top 5 in the country in terms of academic achievement.

      Lastly, do you have any statistics regarding Wisconsin’s standing in “the rest of the world” educational rating system?

  48. Mike says:

    Remember union workers also pay state taxes. Granted they are paid with taxes. Think of it as free labor for one month by public workers. How many private sectors employees ARE FORCED to pay 8-10% of their pay back to their employer?

    1. mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

      Mike, That makes no sense

      1. Mike says:

        I work for the state and pay about $3000/yr in state income tax. So I pay back to the state part of what my wages are. So my wages are a little less than what my gross is. It’s kinda hard to explain and I just have 3 minutes left on my lunch break. Private example. Engineer works ot Boeing and gets paid $150,000/year is he forced to pay Boeing back $15,000/year?

    2. Chris says:

      Mike, You stil do not make any snse…
      give it up already, because the Boeing worker does pay huge taxes that go in with your taxes… to help out your employer! Why don’t you send some of your take home pay to Boeing too, if that is how you think it works…

      1. Mike says:

        Chris, do you pay for your employer? I get paid $36,000/yr pay $3000/yr in state income taxes. Since I grossed $3000/month for 12 months, but have to pay back $3000. I then get paid for 11 months, but still have to work 12 months. So the state is getting a bargin. They act like they are paying me $36,000, but in reality they are paying out $33,000. Hence a free month of labor.

  49. Ron in Stillwater says:

    I’d never have thought my yapper would be saying this but …… I actually “get” and support the union workers.
    Do they have to make some concessions also – absolutely they do.
    Does the Gov have the right to wipe out collective bargaining? I suppose that can be done.
    Frankly – he’s coming across as a jackazz and a moron.
    I guess one has to decide – do you desire to have input and rights as a worker bee or not? Pretty simple in my mind.
    Day by day and week by week we are becoming more and more like the Arab world. So far we have avoided the bloodshed but I sense it is right around the corner

  50. Lisa Gonyea says:

    Mike..there may be a large difference in your retriement packages. I don’t know yours, but most private industry is market base, plus as a state employee your job is probably safer.

    1. Mike says:

      MSRS is 1.4% x years of service x highest 5 years salary/60. MSRS, PERA and TRA are currently looking funding and distribution and are to report back to the legislators by June 1, 2011. There are looking at three options: Defined contribution, Defined benefit or a hybrid of those.
      Governor Pawlenty signed the Omnibus Pension Bill SF2918/HF3281 on Saturday, May 15, 2010. The legislation is now Minnesota Laws 2010, Chapter 359. There are several modifications to benefits for active, deferred and retirees in an effort to provide stability to the MSRS Retirement Plans.
      Our retirement plans funds are also based on the markets too.
      As for the safer job, I don’t think dodging traffic on I-35 is really that safe, but as a position it probably is. My boss can’t come up to me and say, “Mike, We have to let you go. Too many people here.” If I pad my timesheet or use a snowplow to plow a route to my home then yes, they can fire and union will not protect me from it. They will make sure my rights under labor laws are not violated.
      Go to http://www.msrs.state.mn.us to look at our retirement plans.

  51. kd says:

    Take a look at the end deals made. When a public employee retires from their job after a preset number of years, be the union and CBA, they will receive a retirement from the state. It will depend on salary and years served. They will get 80-100% of that salary for the rest of their life. Who pays, taxes, the CBA is part of the whole. If I retire from my job after 30 years, does my company pay my salary for the rest of my life, no just what I have in my retirement, SS and if my company paid into my retirement. The public vs private just sectors are now getting to be even. Welcome to the new pay as you go.

    1. David says:

      kd must be short for kid. You sound off like a kid and also don’t seem old enough to remember when the vast number of companies in America provided pension plans for their employees. As unions were busted and more and more companies became beholden to the share holders – rather than the company’s business, pensions disappeared and were replaced with your retirement accounts and rolling the dice on the stock market’s fortunes – or mis-fortunes. It was typical that pensions payed about 60% of wages in retirement. Money went into the pension plan (or was supposed to) and not the take-home check based on these numbers.

      Then it was no longer a big deal to under fund a pension account. Companies used the money instead to cook the books to look good to Wall Street. Employees could fend for themselves. But, oh, we’ll set up a 401K plan for them and match 1.5% of what the employee supplies. And, oh, we won’t make any change to your wages – we’ll keep what “was” going into the pension, you keep what you “were” getting – and good luck with that “Market” thing.

      My mother had a pension plan for the near 30 years she worked for her company. The payback? They said sorry, we under funded it and can no longer pay it to our retirees. And that also includes the health insurance we promised to pay our retirees. After that, to the day she died, she received $989 per month on Social Security (note: based on reduced wages due to the pension she had been promised). The unions were gone and no one was looking out for the good of the employees and taking the company to task for under funding the pensions. The guys in the boardroom all made off like bandits.

      kd – if you are all bent out of shape because you don’t have a pension and are worried about your retirement account (and a lucky roll of the dice in the “market”) – maybe you should look into what the unions are still able to provide. You feel good that someone is knocking those uppity public sector workers down to your level. Please note, your company hopes that you keep your blinders on and don’t see that it was once a very much better work place. They want you to feel beholden to them for the scraps they throw you and come back to say “please sir, may I have more?”

      You’ve fallen into the Republican trap – they’ve got you thinking these workers all have to be knocked down to your level to make you feel good. Exactly!!! what the corporate bosses want you to think.

  52. Goob says:

    This guy better be careful…he may push the wrong button on some loon…he’s freekn’ nuts!!

    1. C. says:

      Goob, What is this nonsense? Are you even in the same discussion as the rest of us? Speaking of “nuts”…

  53. Pay you own way says:

    Jimmy Hoffa is long dead he is burried in a hole wearing a dress and heals

  54. Idiot says:

    JC —- there be the right way and then there be the JC idiot way.
    ’nuff said

  55. Ryker says redneck trash around says:

    JC’s struggling ___ in many ways.😉

  56. HERB says:

    Chris

    You have the CBA confused with Wisconsin’s new dictator. He alone put the state in the red, regardless of the spin your bosses (the GOP) put on it. This is a calculated destruction of peoples’ rights in favor of the greed you worship. A revolution is coming and you and your ilk will be the first to fall. When the masses come to burn your house, smash your car and kill your family, just keep in mind that you were the one who supported giving all of the power and rights to corporations leading to the revolution. Think about that. Might be time to stop watching FOX and get some actual factual information about the state of civilization in the United States.

  57. JC says:

    First Wi, then MN and soon DC. The people spoke clearly in November, but many of you still do not understand or want to accept the message. s

    1. PAUL says:

      CJ some of the people voted for the IDIOT REBUBLICANS and that was a misstake some of us voted for DEMOCRATS and we are still right. we will see how you rebublicans do in 2012 VOTE DEMOCRATE

  58. Matt says:

    This is an interesting chain of comments on both sides, but one thing stands out. There is not one good reason from someone supporting the unions as to why the union collective bargaining rights should be maintained.

    At best it’s a lot of grips about hard work and it’s owed to us, but I hate to say that everyone always feels under paid. At worst it’s illogical rants about the rich out to get everyone.

    Fun to read either way.

  59. way to go gov walker says:

    this is about wi public workers not mn workers! mn workers may pay a portion of their retirement and ins but most wi workers do not! they are handed that on a silver platter! I am a college educated professional and when the town secretary with a high school education makes more the someone with a college degree because of their benefits package there is a problem! this isn’t only about teachers, which is what people are turning this in to, this is also about the workers in the small towns and other groups too! as for their ‘collective bargaining’ rights…..i don’t get to make decisions in my work place do you? just like the horse and buggy, unions had their place, they did wonderful things but their time has come and gone!

  60. Goob says:

    Reading all the arguments is like going to the in-laws..read the article and leave a comment…get lives..

  61. Colin says:

    This is all really sad. This is a huge step in the wrong direction. For all you people that are saying there is no place in todays society for unions your wrong, even if your not a union member your wages are directly effected by union members wages. Laws Protecting unions rights to collective bargain are the only thing setting any kind of wage standard. Once we no longer have this its going to be a short and effective race to the bottom, there will be two classes of people the poor and the very rich and if your middle class there will be almost no chance your going to be on the very rich end of all this. The facts are that “right to work” states are nothing more than “right to work for less” states. It is a fact that poverty rates in “right to work” states is higher than in states with prevailing wage. And along with that comes things like higher crime rates, higher teen pregnancy rates and things of that nature. One last fact to keep in mind is that overall job costs are actually lower when employees are getting paid well, because people work much more productively and are taking pride in what they are doing. I hope the people that don’t believe any of this look up the facts of this issue, and look them up from somewhere that is unbiased and not just what sounds good for your cause.

  62. mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

    With all the Union rallies going on in Wisconsin we need to look at what the State Union Workers are doing to the tax payers in Minnesota and what they consider fair.
    Lets take a look at what mape.org Minnesota Association Of Professional Employees wrote in their website today Tuesday February 22, 2011
    Schools are closed. Workers, high school and college students, community members, religious groups and concerned citizens have dropped their daily lives to rally against Gov. Scott Walker’s Draconian attacks on middle-class jobs and his proposal to strip Wisconsin teachers, nurses, social workers and other public employees of their collective bargaining rights
    Let’s read what they are saying.
    We the Union are having our teachers call in sick and having Doctors give them fake sick notes. We are telling you this because even thought you the voters of Wisconsin elected a new Governor and Senators to clean up the waste, we think you the voters are wrong and we are going to do everything we can to take your votes and throw them in the trash. We don’t care about the financial mess that both parties got us into and we just want more money.
    The Unions in Wisconsin are right now paying nothing into their retirement and not a dime into their healthcare. How about the private workers? They are paying about 25% into their healthcare and retirement, which is not right. But still the unions want more of the tax dollars.
    Gov. Walker’s proposal would require government employees to contribute 5.8 percent of their wages to their pensions and 12.6 percent toward health care costs. Both figures are still quite generous; on average, private sector workers pay about twice that. Those add up to a combined pay cut of 7 to 11 percent. This is a small price to pay to bring the budget back in order.
    Government Unions make 32% higher income than their private counterpart, so with the cut that is being asked of the unions they still come out ahead.
    People are also learning that, nationwide, unionize government workers have 31 percent higher salaries than non-unionized government workers and receive 68 percent more in benefits. Even with an 11-percent benefit cut, the unionized portion of Wisconsin’s government workforce would still cost more for taxpayers to maintain than in other states.
    Last year KSTP did a story on the City of St Paul workers and the work they did. The work consisted of going on long breaks and milking the clock. The were unions milking the tax payers (your money) If this was done in the private sector these workers would have been fired on the spot.
    Last year in Minnesota we had a nurses strike that the union said was about the patients. How strange it was when the union got their money, not another word about the patients.
    When illegal immigrants were caught by ICE last fall in St. Paul the union was right there to fight for their rights. What they did was sell out on the American worker.
    When Detroit was having financial problems and went to the unions for concessions, the unions would not budge. Now Detroit has an 18% unemployment rate thanks to the unions.
    So this is what is coming to the Minnesota taxpayers, get ready to open your wallets to help pay all the healthcare costs for Government Unions while you struggle to pay for a Doctors visit for yourself or your child.
    The unions had their time and they did a great job in helping the workers of America. But the Unions have sold out to the dollar and the turned their back on the American workers. The Unions have turned from shaking your hand to giving you and the American public a shake down of our wallets.
    Again if you know of any tax waste please email us at mark@mntaxwaste.com

  63. mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

    With all the Union rallies going on in Wisconsin we need to look at what the State Union Workers are doing to the tax payers in Minnesota and what they consider fair.
    Lets take a look at what mape.org Minnesota Association Of Professional Employees wrote in their website today Tuesday February 22, 2011
    Schools are closed. Workers, high school and college students, community members, religious groups and concerned citizens have dropped their daily lives to rally against Gov. Scott Walker’s Draconian attacks on middle-class jobs and his proposal to strip Wisconsin teachers, nurses, social workers and other public employees of their collective bargaining rights
    Let’s read what they are saying.
    We the Union are having our teachers call in sick and having Doctors give them fake sick notes. We are telling you this because even thought you the voters of Wisconsin elected a new Governor and Senators to clean up the waste, we think you the voters are wrong and we are going to do everything we can to take your votes and throw them in the trash. We don’t care about the financial mess that both parties got us into and we just want more money.
    The Unions in Wisconsin are right now paying nothing into their retirement and not a dime into their healthcare. How about the private workers? They are paying about 25% into their healthcare and retirement, which is not right. But still the unions want more of the tax dollars.
    Gov. Walker’s proposal would require government employees to contribute 5.8 percent of their wages to their pensions and 12.6 percent toward health care costs. Both figures are still quite generous; on average, private sector workers pay about twice that. Those add up to a combined pay cut of 7 to 11 percent. This is a small price to pay to bring the budget back in order.
    Government Unions make 32% higher income than their private counterpart, so with the cut that is being asked of the unions they still come out ahead.
    People are also learning that, nationwide, unionize government workers have 31 percent higher salaries than non-unionized government workers and receive 68 percent more in benefits. Even with an 11-percent benefit cut, the unionized portion of Wisconsin’s government workforce would still cost more for taxpayers to maintain than in other states.
    Last year KSTP did a story on the City of St Paul workers and the work they did. The work consisted of going on long breaks and milking the clock. The were unions milking the tax payers (your money) If this was done in the private sector these workers would have been fired on the spot.
    Last year in Minnesota we had a nurses strike that the union said was about the patients. How strange it was when the union got their money, not another word about the patients.
    When illegal immigrants were caught by ICE last fall in St. Paul the union was right there to fight for their rights. What they did was sell out on the American worker.
    When Detroit was having financial problems and went to the unions for concessions, the unions would not budge. Now Detroit has an 18% unemployment rate thanks to the unions.
    So this is what is coming to the Minnesota taxpayers, get ready to open your wallets to help pay all the healthcare costs for Government Unions while you struggle to pay for a Doctors visit for yourself or your child.
    The unions had their time and they did a great job in helping the workers of America. But the Unions have sold out to the dollar and the turned their back on the American workers. The Unions have turned from shaking your hand to giving you and the American public a shake down of our wallets.

    1. GM says:

      I don’t want to counter all of your comments, too boring. I’d just like to know why you’d like to see the average american worker be relegated to $12/hr job with no benefits? Also, you like to blame union workers when they have no say in the management of a company or government entity. The auto industry in the US failed stricly because the mis-managment of the company from top-to-bottom. If you’re serious about going after waste you should look at management. Management is……………..always too big, will always protect itself, ever hear of a six-sigma project to lean-out management-will never happen, enriches itself to obscene proportions, etc., etc., etc.

  64. captpower says:

    Matt is delusional. Hope he gets some good meds from his great private insurance med. coverage.

  65. David says:

    Mark from taxwaste – you’ve swallowed the koolaid.

    Georgia has no bargaining rights and their Republicans are introducing a bill to eliminate limitations on workers under the age of 16. They want to remove child labor laws!

    Follow the money on this in Wisconsin and the Koch Bros donations and just what kind of workers rights they want to eliminate. Walker is just a Koch family puppet and won’t back down because he is more afraid of what the Koch Bros could do to him than the public outcry in the state.

    I’m also waiting for the first WI Republican legislator to miss two meetings and see if his paycheck deposits are taken away. Walker is just a scared puppet dictator that is very likely to fall prey to the growing RECALL petitions. Since I believe he can’t be recalled until he has served 1 year, he’s safe for about 9 months. But other Rep’s at the capitol may find their time to be much shorter as the RECALL petitions grow.

    The Fire Fighter, city worker, teacher unions, etc had already agreed to covering increases to pensions and health care (remember, all of these were given to them in past years for forfeiting immediate wage increases – the chickens always come home to roost) “before” Walker and his cronies dropped the nuclear option on them.

    Walker has painted himself into a corner with his under the table campaign agreements to his donors. Interestingly, he has probably done more to re-ignite interest in labor unions more than any ad campaign the AFL-CIO and others could have ever paid for.

  66. Jason says:

    Go Walker, DO NOT GIVE IN ! The country needs this as much as your state. THANK YOU!

  67. Lance says:

    Listen you jugheads, this is about taking collective bargaining away from unfunded liabilities like healthcare not wage bargaining. You cannot promise a lifetime of healthcare to a person when the cost rises out of proportion to the inflation rate. Healthcare cost have gone through the roof giving union workers and retirees gigantic raises in pay. There is no way a state can budget for that kind of increase,

  68. Another Bob says:

    Nevada is a “right to work” state.

    Sounds good.

    It means they can fire you for no cause anytime with no warning.

  69. Mike says:

    From KTTC.com
    ROCHESTER (KTTC) — A fresh purge of full-time employees is underway at global computer giant IBM, and the so-called “resource action” is touching the massive complex in Rochester.

    Other IBM units where there are reports of firings include Research Triangle Park, Raleigh, Lexington, Poughkeepsie, and San Ramon.

    IBM makes no apologies for the rounds of terminations, instead, insisting this is all part of its global business model.

    IBM now operates in 170 countries, and one frustration of people who have lost their job here in Rochester has been that the same job, “their job,” seems to open up somewhere on the other side of the world, like China or India.

    This particular “resource action” may be massive — one person is reporting on a public Internet board that across North America six thousand IBMers are losing their jobs in this round of cuts.

    Those affected are required to agree to what amounts to a “gag order” and promise not to talk publicly about being let go, if they want their severance package. But dozens of reports and comments are now being posted on a Communication Workers of America web site, which suggests that IBM would be a good place for a union and union job protections.

    “I work in Global Business Services AMS on the IBM account and was cut today after 24 years,” writes one person. “Can’t say I didn’t expect it, just didn’t know when it would happen. Looks like there were about 300 in my group cut.”

    “Realized I did not have the best review but I have been killing myself working round the clock and this is what I get,” posted another frustrated ex-IBMer. “How can they RA someone and NOT know what the severance amount is going exactly or the exact medical benefits. This is nuts that they go into the conversation and not have this information at their finger tips.”

    Some fired IBMers indicated they are angry about the company’s just-released financial report, just published on Tuesday. IBM reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it produced record income of $14.8 billion last year, up 10 percent from 2009. IBM reported that its gross profit margin was 46.1 percent, the seventh consecutive year of increase.

    Part of Big Blue’s stated strategy for success involves investing in “growth markets” — which more or less explains why jobs are popping up in far parts of IBM’S “Smarter Planet.” Here’s how the company itself describes the plan in its latest Annual Report:

    “The company has benefited from its investments over the past several years in growth markets. The focus now is on geographic expansion of IBM’s presence; on specific industry verticals of the highest impact and opportunity; on countries’ build-out of infrastructure aligned with their national agendas; and on creating markets and new business models to serve the different requirements that exist in these emerging countries.”

    “In order to support this growth, IBM is continuing to invest significantly in these markets to expand capacity and develop talent. At the same time, IBM is expanding and benefiting from large teams of talent with global missions of delivery. The company continues to deepen its research and development (R&D) teams to design for the unique challenges and rapid growth facing these markets.”

    The company says in its public filing that it is organized into five major divisions–Global Technology Services, Global Business Services, Software, Systems and Technology and Global Financing. These cuts seem to be primarily occurring inside Global Business Services.

    Make you own conclusions from this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From WCCO | CBS Minnesota

Goin' To The Lake
The Leaderboard

Listen Live