The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Supporting Wisconsin workers

Tens of thousands of Wisconsin workers rally in Madison.
Here's some information for those Plainfield Today readers who have asked what can be done to show support for and solidarity with Wisconsin public workers.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has launched an attack on the very core of working peoples' self-defense: collective bargaining. (Except for the statewide police and fire unions, which supported his election.) Despite the public workers unions' agreement to cede on EVERY FINANCIAL DEMAND made by the governor, Gov. Walker is adamant he wants the Legislature to pass legislation stripping the unions of the most basic union protection.

Tens of thousands of public workers have massed at the state Capitol building, including the inside hallways and rotunda.

Workers worldwide are declaring their support and unions throughout the United States are holding rallies in support at THEIR OWN STATE CAPITALS.

Hundreds of pizzas have been donated through nearby Ian's Pizza.
Pizza has even been sent to those in Madison by Egyptian workers and hundreds of other donors.

Here are some sources for news and support opportunities --

If you want to help, check out the above.

Also, note that Gov. Christie will be hosting a counter-rally --

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

It's definitely time to turn back the clocks. Why should we pay for Federal, State or Local public employees pensions and health benefits as well as their big fat paychecks. Times were different when these workers received lower salaries compare to the private secotr. But times have changed and now these are the people that have a least some degree of job security, high salaries and costly benefits.

When they realize their jobs will be in jeopardy, they will change their tune and be begging their co-workers to give up some benefits so that they can keep their job.

Some call it a union but I would call it every man/woman for themselves in the long run. "I could care less if you lose your job but I am not going to pay for a small percentage of my health benefits so that you can continue to support yourself and your family" is most likely the case in the minds of mose government employees today.

Anonymous said...

I'll be supporting the Wisconsin governor. As a taxpayer, I've had enough. It is long overdue that public workers' benefits reflect what the average taxpayer's benefits are and the contributions to it. These leeches need to get their hands out of my wallet.

Blackdog said...

Why should we support criminals? This is an illegal strike by public employees! They are getting fraudulent doctor's notes so that they can call out sick when they clearly are not!
The doctors issuing these notes should have their medical licenses revoked!
The teachers should be fired and new teachers should be hired!

Anonymous said...

The unfortunate part of Government workers seeking support is that those of us in the private sector have been dealing with increased medical payments, being laid off because the company has not met their quota for the year, pay freezes and uncertainty in the job market for years.

Hard to feel badly for people who are not paying into, or paying very little into the system while many of us pay anywhere between 20-30% or more.

As for government workers making less - well maybe - but I can tell you that I am not impressed with how hard some goverment workers work. 8 hours and they are exhausted, and forget about week ends.

One thing I find very amusing is that the population of NJ has decreased, which means less government services are needed. Businesses have left NJ which means supporting srevices for businesses by the government decreased - yet - we increased the size of our government. Need I say more?

Anonymous said...

Ditto to all the above! Enough is enough! Fire every damn one of them and let them re-apply for their jobs. It works in business, it can work for them too! Angry is an understatement! Where the hell do they think the money is coming from? I want one of those trees in my yard!

Anonymous said...

it's about time governor christy followed the wisconsin governor's lead.

Anonymous said...

A few comments:

1. Unions were created I believe to protect workers who were being exploited by predatory companies, to give them bargaining power to demand better work environments, a decent living wage, etc.

Public workers are not working for for-profit entities, trying to milk them for every penny. They are working for us. They should receive a fair wage for the work performed.

Right now wages are stagnant, the private sector is laying off and demanding more work of their employees, longer hours. Most private companies don't provide 100% paid health care and pension benefits. In the private sector if you don't get the job done, you're fired. If your employer isn't doing well (sales down), then there are layoffs. It's just the way it is. Business is not a charity.

And neither should government jobs be a charity.

Why should public workers expect more than the private sector? That is causing the resentment by taxpayers. Public workers need to realize that it is time for things to change.

Benefit entitlements here in Plainfield are our biggest expense. When is our government going to tackle that elephant in the room? Why not demand that our employees pay into their pensions and health benefits?

Also, people should not be mandated to join unions to take jobs, pay into unions, nor forced to support the union's political party line.

2. The time of free-handed government entitlements I believe is going to dwindle. We can't afford it any more. I suspect the next major overhaul will the social security. People will really scream, but it's a bankrupt fund too. I always believed even though I've paid into it my entire life, I'd never see a penny -- or a pittance.

4. The Federal government needs to resolve the illegal immigrant issue. I'm solidly in the middle -- I understand people come here for opportunities, money to feed their families; but if they are going to receive services, they need to pay into the system.

We can't continue sustain so many people living on the public dime. People must realize they need to earn their own way, be responsible to fund their own retirements, and manage their own health.

I don't care what your disability, everyone is capable of some kind of work, of some way to contribute and earn a living. We all, I believe, should do the best with what we are given -- our talents and abilities. I don't believe anyone should get a free ride in life. Pride and joy come from accomplishment, not from handouts.

3. We all are where we are because we turned a blind eye for decades at what the politicians were doing -- deferring payments, looting funds, playing financial games ... absolutely no strategic or long-term planning at all.

We all will be paying the collective piper for ignoring the poor decisions made at all governmental levels have been doing -- in all parties.

I'm just as guilty as anyone -- politics was for someone else to deal with -- I was too busy with my life and my career.

Change is coming, whether people like it or not. Humans resist change, but if we all make the right long-range choices now, spend our efforts together solving our problems instead of wasting time on blame -- we'll come out stronger and in a better position as a country, offering better futures for today's children.

Olive Lynch

Anonymous said...

The politicians steal the pension money and guess who they want to pay it back the government workers. If you vote for anyone who has been in office in the past you get what you deserve.

In order to reduce taxes one has to get rid of the local government. I recently posted this on the Plainfield Citizens budget advisory blog and the moderator deleted it. So much for open suggestions.

I can hear the excuses that they want local control yet it works in many other states. Do we need 21 of everything in Union County. I think not. Until this is done Christie is smoke and mirrors.

And trust me local public employees in plainfield have no high salaries and no perks such as their private sector employees get. So why are they lumped together with everyone else. We paid our pension payments.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the above comments - the issue is not benefits or pay - these unions have already conceded on those issues to the point where it's not a factor for the Wisconsin budget (which by the way was in good shape until the governor's tax cuts for the rich were enacted - you can look this up anywhere on the web, if you wish to be more informed before your next round of comments). The only issue is the elimination of collective bargaining. Those placing all our current budget problems at the feet of state workers and teachers don't understand that the root of the current financial crisis was years of deregulation which allowed the greedy to cash in on the short term and leave all of us holding the bag (again - easily researched online). It makes me very sad that so many people are unable to look beyond simple headlines that reduce complex, nuanced issues to sound bites. We can do much better.

YEP I SAID IT!!! said...

If you think Tunisia started a domino effect . . . watch out New Jersey -Christie is gonna get us good!

Just watch!
POWER to the PEOPLE!!!

PS: Gotta a strong feeling the first three comments are by the same.

Badger said...

The union members have agreed to the financial cuts (paying more for their own pension and health insurance) that are specified in the budget bill, but that's not the governor's goal: he clearly wants to go beyond that and bust the union. That's why so many people are LAWFULLY protesting. Nothing illegal about it.

The thing that bothers me most is that the governor is being dictatorial, directing that his proposal be passed with very little discussion in the legislature, and with absolutely no negotiation or revision. Even some Republicans think he's gone too far, but are hestitant to speak out.

Other elements of the proposed bill are policy matters or positions on issues not related to the union, but those elements are being ignored or overlooked. However, when the Gov strong arms his union-busting bill through the legislature, those will be passed too.