Unions preparing general strike in Wisconsin?
posted at 3:35 pm on February 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
Remember that public-sector strikes are illegal in Wisconsin; it’s why a few doctors have been holding open-air clinics in Madison to give out notes excusing protestors from work. Unions in Madison now propose to drop the pretense and declare wildcat strikes if the legislature passes the budget-repair bill that will limit collective bargaining and transform the public sector workplace into open shops:
If Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans pass a budget repair bill that restricts union rights, labor groups in Madison said they would endorse the entire of a general strike of unions around the state.
The South Central Federation of Labor endorsed the idea of a strike at its meeting Monday night, but they didn’t “call” for a strike, since members said they don’t have the power to do so.
There are a couple of caveats to this movement, however. First, the unions want assurances from locals outside of Madison that they will follow suit. If other locals have the same kind of suicidal enthusiasm, then the strike will move forward. If not, then this is just talk.
And by suicidal, I mean an end to unions and the jobs that get left unattended. After this confrontation, Walker will no doubt want to soothe ruffled feathers, but he’s not about to have unions hold the legislative process and his agenda hostage. The outcome of an illegal strike is likely to be mass firings, combined with immediate decertification of the unions themselves, at least after a short period of time to reconsider. Walker will eventually have to follow Ronald Reagan’s example with PATCO to establish firmly that the people of Wisconsin, through their elected representatives, run the state of Wisconsin — and not union bosses or Barack Obama’s political organization.
The unions proposing this idea concede that they will need time to “educate the public” about the reason for their illegal actions, but this part in particular is educational enough, emphasis mine:
Aniel said the group would make sure all emergency services would continue throughout the state.”What we have to do is to make sure all essential services to people are provided,” said Aniel. “Then we’ll determine what other entities deserve those services.”
The unions will decide what services deserve to be provided to the people of Wisconsin, whose tax dollars go to funding the services. Not the people, not their elected representatives, but union bosses with no accountability.
This is why public-sector strikes are illegal, and also why this fight is so important in determining who controls public policy.
Update: Steven Crowder offers us a look at “union superpower”: