Saturday, January 15, 2011

AFSCME Propaganda and Strategy

Bet you didn't think Scott Walker's modeling his union strategy on that of Hitler, or Mussolini. And you never imagined that there is a Wisconsin State Inspectors' Union, either.

Let's start with the propaganda:

Since the Reagan era, Republicans and corporate Democrats have pushed the big lie that tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, and busting unions would bring jobs and prosperity. Instead we got the Great Recession. And now the people of Wisconsin have voted to cure the disease with more disease and turn our state into an economic dictatorship.

Harsh words? You bet. Reality is worse. One of the first things dictators do is go after organized labor:

- When Hitler outlawed “trade unions, collective bargaining and the right to strike, the German worker in the Third Reich became an industrial serf, bound to his master, the employer, much as medieval peasants had been bound to the lord of the manor,” writes William Shirer in his classic, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. This was done “democratically” when Germany’s parliament passed the 1934 Charter of Labor that “put the worker in his place and raised the employer to his old position of absolute master.”

- Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini abolished free trade unions.

Umnnhhh, yah, OK.

We note that there's a big difference between trade unions and public-employee unions--but perhaps that's something AFSCME would like to keep under wraps.

Just what do these union folks do, anyway?

...has [Walker] figured out what will happen if we don't have them in place doing their jobs? What about the public's safety? Has he talked to any of the fire departments in the state who depend on Commerce employees for training and certification? Has he talked to any of the builders and developers in Wisconsin who depend on Commerce employees to write building codes and inspect building sites in the state? Perhaps he believes building codes should be eliminated since he is eliminating those who write and enforce them. Sewage treatment and the protection of our groundwater...who needs it? Elevator inspection? You are better off taking the steps. Boiler inspections, energy inspections, commercial building inspection, private dwelling inspections, amusement ride inspections, sampling and testing of petroleum products and tank systems,occupational certifications and licenses, fire safety inspections, the Wisconsin Fund for Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems are all forgotten (or eliminated).

It's the end of civilization!

More pertinent: there are a lot of local gummints which inspect elevators, inspect building sites, private homes and commercial buildings. Many of those locals actually have Internet connections! They, too, can view and copy/paste the national-standard fire and building codes, boiler codes, elevator codes....

And, of course, Walker does not propose to eliminate, wholesale, all the functions described above; the necessary ones will move to another State bureaucracy.

By the way, the Union has a strategy for dealing with The Walker Problem.

One of our rights under the contract is the right to file a grievance on work time and to have a steward present during any disciplinary or investigatory meeting with management if you believe disciplinary action may result from the meeting.

Tell your supervisor that you want to meet with your steward "about a possible grievance." Stewards are trained in the contract, and will be able to give your problem the attention it needs. Your supervisor doesn’t have the right to ask you why, and must set up a private meeting in a timely manner on work time (In paid status). Ideally, and whenever possible, these meetings should be scheduled for the next day after the request is made when both employees are scheduled to work. However, it is understood that this is not always possible due to real operational needs. If your supervisor tells you to set up the meeting yourself, says no steward is available, call the President, Dave Schultz...

....during which time, elevators will fail, drinking water will be poison, boilers will explode, codes and standards will cease to exist, and (most important) the aggrieved employee will be paid with taxpayer dollars.

Crises can be put off until after the grievance hearing, right?

1 comment:

Deekaman said...

In my shop, if work is made available and refused, management can do the work or contract out the work (in many cases, we can contract out the work anyway). If they go to meet with their steward after being assigned work, it can be argued they have refused work and management can do it.

AFSCME has spent so much time using the taxpayer as their "bitch", they've forgotten someone else can do their work. They are just not that important.