Wisconsin Anti-Union Bill Passes Assembly

Assembly Democrats wave to protesters after Republicans cut off debate and rapidly voted to pass a budget repair bill in Madison, Wisconsin. (AP/M.P. King, Wisconsin State Journal)

Republicans have rammed their union-busting bill through the Wisconsin state Assembly. They still lack a quorum in the Senate.

AP (“Wisconsin Assembly passes bill taking away union rights“):

Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly took the first significant action on their plan to strip collective bargaining rights from most public workers, abruptly passing the measure early Friday morning before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening.

The vote ended three straight days of punishing debate in the Assembly. But the political standoff over the bill — and the monumental protests at the state Capitol against it — appear far from over.

The Assembly’s vote sent the bill on to the Senate, but minority Democrats in that house have fled to Illinois to prevent a vote. No one knows when they will return from hiding. Republicans who control the chamber sent state troopers out looking for them at their homes on Thursday, but they turned up nothing.

[…]

Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly took the first significant action on their plan to strip collective bargaining rights from most public workers, abruptly passing the measure early Friday morning before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening.

The vote ended three straight days of punishing debate in the Assembly. But the political standoff over the bill — and the monumental protests at the state Capitol against it — appear far from over.

The Assembly’s vote sent the bill on to the Senate, but minority Democrats in that house have fled to Illinois to prevent a vote. No one knows when they will return from hiding. Republicans who control the chamber sent state troopers out looking for them at their homes on Thursday, but they turned up nothing.

Neither side is exactly covering itself in glory here.

The Assembly Republicans used a shameful parliamentary trick that quorum rules were designed to prevent, while the Senate Democrats are abusing the quorum rules to prevent a vote.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Stan25 says:

    As far as I am concerned, unions should be abolished. They are the largest parasites that are in existence today. They suck the life out of businesses and are thoroughly corrupt. in fact, they are the piggy banks of organized crime and have been from day one.

  2. john personna says:

    So what happened to that highway funds thing?

    (The report that eliminating collective bargaining would trigger a withdrawal of federal funding. I thought that ended this story.)

  3. Dustin says:

    I watched it happen live, it was a crazy scene. The roll vote came as soon as one Democrat finished speaking and chaos erupted. The whole thing literally took seconds and then the Republicans took off.

    Earlier they had also improperly moved the bill into its non-amendable stage, with I believe, about 20 amendments still to consider.

    4 Republican ended up voting against the bill. I’m curious if they voted no because they have had a change of heart on the bill, or more out of protest about what the Republicans pulled last night.

  4. Dustin says:

    @john personna, that has gotten very little attention really and near as I’ve been able to tell, Walker’s stance is some combination of believing that he’s not violating the federal law and that the Obama administration won’t really follow through.

  5. Dustin says:
  6. legion says:

    You know, I hear a lot of people complaining about how cushy these gov’t employees have it – what with the job security, pension plans, health care, and all. But in our parents’ generation, corporations did all that and more – they paid notably better wages than the public sector even imagined. But over the years, the private sector has gone on a tear of labeling all non-executive employees as generic & expendable, cutting benefit after benefit, dropping bonuses and COLA raises, and generally eliminating the basic American concept of class mobility altogether.

    And in typical modern American, short-term-thinking fashion, rather than complain about how badly companies are treating people, we complain that the gov’t isn’t treating people badly enough.

    Why do you suppose that is?

  7. EddieInCA says:

    Decent Wages for the middle class? Unions are responsible.
    Fair Working Conditions? Unions are responsible.
    Workplace Safety Rules? Unions are responsible.

    Without unions, does anyone think that businesses won’t take advantage of workers?

  8. CCredentials says:

    I think each person should be judged on their merits. I have to market myself, work hard and prove my value just like most workers. It shouldn’t matter what club I belong to.

    It is really hard to fire a teacher for incompetence these days. So an incompetent teacher can go on producing sub-par students for years until they do something worthy of “misconduct”.

    I don’t think that is fair OR good for students.

    Also, too many unions don’t care about the students, or even the people they represent. As long as they can get more members paying dues- they will object to company efficiency improvements in favor of hiring more workers (union members).

    Thanks.

  9. Stan says:

    “And in typical modern American, short-term-thinking fashion, rather than complain about how badly companies are treating people, we complain that the gov’t isn’t treating people badly enough.

    Why do you suppose that is?”

    legion, look up Antonio Gramsci in Wikipedia. He was an Italian communist, rather non-orthodox in his views, who died at a comparatively young age after long imprisonment during the fascist era. Gramsci felt that the dominant class maintained its position by establishing cultural hegemony. In his view it controlled the organs of public opinion, and used its control to establish the conventional wisdom of the day. When you look at The Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation, The Heartland Institute, and Fox News, you’re looking at a vindication of Gramsci’s analysis.

    The left would do the same thing if they could, but of course they can’t. So when you watch the Sunday interview programs this weekend, I doubt you’re going to hear from union officials. You’ll hear instead that Wisconsin has to solve its deficit problem and the only way to do so is to cut Medicaid, sell off public assets on a no-bid basis, and bust the public unions. That’s the way it goes.

  10. Dustin says:

    Actually, for the second week in a row, no Sunday shows were scheduled to have any union officials on, and Walker is booked for Meet The Press.

    But the union supporters on twitter supposedly contacted Meet The Press enough to get a union official on Meet The Press as well.

  11. john personna says:

    Did corps really, commonly, put COLA on retiree _benefits_?

    I think not.

  12. […] Wisconsin Anti-Union Bill Passes Assembly (outsidethebeltway.com) […]

  13. […] Wisconsin Anti-Union Bill Passes Assembly (outsidethebeltway.com) […]

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  15. An Interested Party says:

    So an incompetent teacher can go on producing sub-par students for years until they do something worthy of “misconduct”.

    Prefacing this with the obvious truth that there are incompetent teachers out there (just as their incompetent people in every profession)…a child is only in school for about 6 hours or so a day…where is that child for the rest of the day? Of course teachers should bear some responsibility, but the notion that a teacher can take a child from a broken home or some other worse situation and magically transform him/her into a college-bound prodigy is a bit much…

    Also, too many unions don’t care about the students, or even the people they represent. As long as they can get more members paying dues- they will object to company efficiency improvements in favor of hiring more workers (union members).

    Such a broad statement could be directed at corporations…they don’t care about their workers, or even their customers. As long as they can squeeze out as much profit as possible-they will object to doing the right thing by their employees and their customers in favor of profits…

  16. […] for us. dude get your shit straight they had 60 hours of debate before they passed it. gtfo Wisconsin Anti-Union Bill Passes Assembly "The vote ended three straight days of punishing debate in the […]