Wisconsin Recall Election: The Ballot Box and the Unions Are Not Weapons of the Working Class Struggle

The bourgeois media on both the left and right are abuzz with the cacophony of analysis over the June 5th recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. They pose to “explain” why, in a state where only 16 months earlier over 200,000 public sector workers and students walked off of their jobs and out of their classrooms to occupy the state capitol and challenge the Governor’s proposed changes to state law that would have seriously restricted the collective bargaining process for public sector unions, Scott Walker has survived the recall effort and retained his position.  

In Madison and Elsewhere, Defense of the Unions Prepares the Workers’ Defeat

After weeks of protests that drew national and even international attention, the streets of Madison are again empty. Scott Walker’s state-budget repair bill has passed (pending a court appeal delay), and where cries of “general strike” once rang through crowds of thousands of demonstrators, the air is silent and workers are back at work. The union leaders scramble to push through all the Governor’s economic demands in exchange for the right to “collectively bargain” one last contract. Workers’ action has been reduced to the signing of petitions to recall state senators. While some groups are trying to resuscitate the movement, it has mostly been defeated. The question is: why?

Public Employee “Union Busting” in Wisconsin and Elsewhere: The Ideological Decay of the U.S. Bourgeoisie Deepens

The situation in Wisconsin has calmed considerably from the turmoil we described at the end of February. Although Republican/Tea Party Governor Scott Walker was able to use questionable parliamentarian maneuvers to ram his “union busting” bill through the state legislature, there has been no general strike as the unions promised and protests at the state Capitol building have steadily dwindled. Although the national union apparatus treated us to a “day of action” in major cities across the country, the focus of events in Wisconsin has shifted to the shady world of bourgeois legalism, as the unions—along with their Democratic and “progressive” allies—engage in a court room battle to prevent enforcement of the Republicans’ multi-faceted bill to attack public employee unions.

Wisconsin Public Employees: Defense of the Unions Leads to Defeat

Tens of thousands of public sector workers and students have taken to the streets and are occupying the state capitol in Wisconsin to protest proposed changes to collective bargaining agreements between the state government and its public employee unions. The state’s rookie governor, Tea Party backed Republican Scott Walker, has proposed a bill removing collective bargaining rights for the majority of the state's 175,000 public employees, effectively prohibiting them from negotiating pension and health care contributions, leaving only the right to bargain over salaries.

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