Friday, February 11, 2011

Wisconsin's union-busting gov. hearts the Chamber of Commerce

If you have any doubt where Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker is coming from with his massive job-killing budget proposal, consider this: He wants to eliminate the state's department of Commerce and replace it with a Chamber of Commerce. According to Statehouse News Online, Walker wants a "public private partnership" (ALWAYS beware when you hear those words) Walker wants a public-private partnership called the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.  Reports Statehouse News,
“Think about this corporation kind of like being the local chamber of commerce,” Walker said. ”We need to have an entity that’s about promoting Wisconsin, about promoting jobs, telling the world and everybody in the state that we’re open for business and what we can do to help make that possible.”
What the chamber of commerce really does is hire high-tech goons to run undercover operations to smear  unions. As far as job creation, well, not so much. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is basically dominated by multi-national corporations -- including non-U.S. companies -- that lobby to move more jobs overseas, destablizing working families by forcing down wages even as unemployment is close to 10 percent.

As Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein wrote last year, is the private businesses the Chamber purports to represent that eliminated 8 million jobs in 2008 and 2009 and have managed to add a scant 600,000 since then. If Chamber President Tom Donohue wants to round up those responsible for the lack of job growth in this country, all he has to do is call a meeting of his board of directors.
And this just in from the Land of Cheddar (thanks to the Associated Press)
Gov. Scott Walker says he won't negotiate with unionized state workers because Wisconsin is broke and he has nothing to offer them.
Walker on Friday spoke about his plan calling for the removal of almost all collective bargaining rights for most state and local workers. Only wages would be left as a negotiable item, but any raises higher than the consumer price index would have to be approved by voters.
Walker says he won't negotiate new contracts with the unions because the state faces a $3.6 billion budget shortfall and has nothing to offer.
He says his plan calling for increased pension and health care contributions from state workers is a modest one that workers should support to avoid massive layoffs.
We assume Walker will agree to take a salary cut as a way to share the sacrifice.