Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pennsylvania starting to look like Wisconsin

Statehouse rally against paycheck deception
in Pennsylvania last month.
Dee Ives says Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's attacks on workers are a lot like job-killer Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's attacks on workers three years ago. 

She is a nurse in a VA hospital in Wisconsin, a U.S. Air Force veteran, an SEIU member and a former Reagan Republican.

Ives has been watching the turmoil in Pennsylvania over Corbett's 'paycheck deception' proposal, which would prevent employers from honoring employees' voluntary request to withhold union dues. It's viewed as a big step toward right-to-work-for-less. Writes Ives in The Patriot-News:
...it feels like a sequel for what we went through in Wisconsin. 
It’s largely the same cast of characters. You’ve got the far right-wing governor like Scott Walker. The outside corporate interests like the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity are exactly the same. You also have a handful of legislators who will determine the fate of working people in the state. All that’s missing are the cheese wedge hats!... 
... the Koch brothers and other corporate interests ... want to get unions out of the way so that they finally abolish the minimum wage, get rid of Social Security and Medicare and privatize public education. Their only concern is maximizing their profits and they will get rid of anyone, or anything, standing in their way.  
Here's what happened when Ives' local negotiated its first contract after Walker's anti-worker bill passed:
Because unions are now barred from negotiating working conditions, we have no power to negotiate safe staffing levels to protect our patients. That means that the hospital can work us as many shifts as they want with zero regard for the quality of care we’re able to provide. 
New staff training got slashed from six weeks to two weeks and there’s nothing we could do about it. This is the first time in 16 years of taking care of our nation’s heroes that I have felt powerless to advocate for their safety through our contract.  
Let's hope the Pennsylvania Legislature has the good sense to stand up to the Koch brothers, ALEC and the panoply of billionaire sociopaths lined up against Pennsylvania workers.