Wis. GOP bypasses Dems, cuts collective bargainingProtestors in the capitol building screamed "You are cowards" as the Senators cast their vote. How ironic considering that 14 Democrat members of the Senate fled the state rather than participate in the democratic process. But then, we don't expect those blinded by union ideology to understand the irony.
By SCOTT BAUER
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Senate succeeded in voting Wednesday to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, after Republicans discovered a way to bypass the chamber's missing Democrats and approve an explosive proposal that has rocked the state and unions nationwide.
The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spends money. But Republicans on Wednesday took all the spending measures out of the legislation and a special committee of lawmakers from both the Senate and Assembly approved the revised bill a short time later.
The unexpected yet surprisingly simple procedural move ended a stalemate that had threatened to drag on indefinitely. Until Wednesday's stunning vote, it appeared the standoff would persist until Democrats returned to Madison from their self-imposed exile.
Separating out the limitation on collective bargaining was something that Wisconsin GOP Senators were loathe to do. They worried it would create bad blood with the Democrats. But the Dems went nuclear anyway and since they launched a hate campaign replete with death threats there didn't seem to be any point in worrying about bad blood.
Sen. DeMint (R-SC) and 8 GOP Senators Introduce Union Choice Bill
While Obama is pulling out all the stops to try and recall and defeat Wisconsin GOP senators, GOP members of the US Senate are taking action to end union tyranny nationwide:
Republicans introduce bill to give workers a choice on joining unions
By Vicki Needham
The HillMarch 8, 2011
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), introduced the National Right to Work Act to "reduce workplace discrimination by protecting the free choice of individuals to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from such activities," according to a statement.
Seven other Republicans signed onto the effort: Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.), James Risch (Idaho), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and David Vitter (La.).
"Facing a steady decline in membership, unions have turned to strong-arm political tactics to make forced unionization the default position of every American worker, even if they don’t want it," Hatch said. "This is simply unacceptable. At the very least, it should be the policy of the U.S. government to ensure that no employee will be forced to join a union in order to get or keep their job.
"Republicans cited a recent poll they said shows that 80 percent of union members support having their policy and that "Right to Work" states outperform "forced-union" states in factors that affect worker well being.