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Wisconsin State Governor Scott Walker signs the ceremonial bill, after the Republican-controlled House and Senate eliminated almost all collective bargaining for most public workers at the state Capitol in Madison Wisconsin March 11 2011.
Did the donor's check clear? Great, then I will sign his bill into law.
It just never ends. The Wisconsin GOP does not give a crap about the average worker. If you are a rich guy trying to get out of paying child support or Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce looking to weaken labor law, you can pretty much purchase any legislation you want to from Wisconsin's Republican-controlled legislature.

Currently under Wisconsin law an employer must provide a day off to an employee every seven days. Well, that is evidently too much time off for state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), who is pushing a bill to change that. According to Grothman, the bill will bring Wisconsin in line with federal law and gives workers a way to make extra money and employers a way to boost production.

It is not uncommon for state law to make stronger demands than federal law—think of all the states with minimum wages above $7.25 an hour—and don't think for a minute that Grothman came up with this legislation by himself:

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state's largest business organization, brought the idea to them, the two Republicans, Grothman and Sen. Mark Born (R- Beaver Dam), said. The organization was doing a study on discrepancies between federal and state law and discovered federal law imposes no such limits on consecutive work days as long as minimum wage and overtime payment requirements are met, Born said.
So because federal law is weaker than state law, Republicans (or, actually, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce) feel the need to weaken existing state law.

If this law passes it will no doubt be abused. While it is supposed to be voluntary, I am sure you will see employers threatening low-wage workers to work 14 days in a row or lose their jobs or see their hours cut. There's just no doubt Walmart, McDonald's, or even some manufacturer would abuse this law.

Unfortunately those who need this protection the most cannot afford their own Republican state senator to kill it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 09:20 AM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Exactly (7+ / 0-)

    IF it is "Voluntary" then Why would a Law be Needed? Well simply put that would allow the Employer to get rid of those that Do not "Volunteer" enough. Also look for this to pop up in Union Negotiations, It will be thrown at Unions, They will in turn shoot it down, And then the Fingers will be pointed to further demonize Org. Labor. I don't know how they will Frame the language, It will work its way in. I'll bet on that one!!

  •  This "law" just makes it more legal to abuse (5+ / 0-)

    the workers that are already abused?

    In some circumstances... of course.. not all workers are abused.. but now the state is making it LEGAL to slap workers around even more?

    Why are these guys wasting our time?

    We have a truly green economy to build.

    They are destroying what our people worked so hard to accomplish.

    Sadly, NAFTA is emblematic of the evolution of the U.S. economy in recent decades and the entrenchment of anti-labor neo-liberal policies. Workers continue to get shafted as inequality grows, jobs are exported, unions face relentless attacks and economic regulations are weakened. How much the trade agreement is to blame for these trends is difficult to pinpoint. But without a doubt, it has been a contributing factor.
  •  When they are all dead (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ptanow, Palafox, Stude Dude, starduster

    At the rate the Wisconsin legislatures are going, they won't be satisfied until they can garrote workers, or put workers before firing squads for no particular reason.

  •  Grothman is arguing (8+ / 0-)

    that the bill gives workers the freedumb to "make more money." Not that workers have been clamoring for this right, mind you. Gannett Newspapers reports:

    ...Born and Grothman said they had heard from businesses with employees who want to work the additional time. But when asked for names Born said the only people he met with to discuss the bill were from WMC.
  •  Still so hard to understand ... (9+ / 0-)

    This once great union state, this once great democratic state, seems to have disappeared.

    Help me understand Wisconsin dems?   What happened?  Why are so many citizens of WI willing to give the state over to Walker, his buddies, the Kochs, and corporate greed???

    Wasn't Wi the where the labor movement started???

    “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.” Louis D. Brandeis

    by Jjc2006 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:57:28 PM PST

    •  I wonder about this as well.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Palafox, starduster

      It gets so very depressing to keep reading about all the harm that Walker and his merry madmen are exacting upon the average Wisconsin citizen. I can only imagine it's much harder if you live in Wisconsin to see what's happening to your fine state.

      I try to read everything the wonderful Wisconsin diarists post...hoping, just hoping that one day I will read that Walker is given the same level of scrutiny by the national press that Christie is finally getting.

      "I'd like to find your inner child and kick it's little ass." -Don Henley.

      by Olkate on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:23:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Progressivism + Republicanism. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, Dodgerdog1

      As Nate Silver explained in his presidential geography blog two years ago, WI is a state where both progressivism and Republicanism have flourished. That leads to a small and decisive bloc of Obama-Walker voters who support both politicians, seeing that they have carried out what they view as bold reforms while facing down massive protests from the other side.
      Wisconsin's schizophrenia showcasts itself given that in the same year, the state voted to elected a Tea Party backed governor and Tammy Baldwin, a populist liberal not unlike Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. As it stands now, almost every voter in the state has made up their mind about Walker one way or the other, and there are very few undecideds left. Therefore, DK elections rates this year's election as Likely R and most pundits believe he will win with 51-52% of the vote.

      •  But how did (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Walker's form of republican extreme rise in the midst of a state that was strong on labor?  He and his cronies have literally destroyed labor in WI.  Where are the union families??

        “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.” Louis D. Brandeis

        by Jjc2006 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 04:46:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Public sector vs. private sector unions. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Walker's Act 10 was directed at public-sector unions only (which according to him were responsible for blowing up the state's unions). Walker did not push for right-to-work or anything else that could enrage private-sector union members. Many private-sector union employeeds were infuriated that government workers often paid next to nothing towards their health care and retirement, and they viewed Walker's reforms as leveling the playing field. That's at least what exit polls showed when individuals were asked whether they belonged to a union, and if so, to a private or public-sector one.

      •  My theory (0+ / 0-)

        Totally unsupported by any research, but I have a theory that we Badgers have enjoyed the best of government and environment for so long that we have come to accept them as 'normal,' rather than as the result of progressive and science-based thinking and decades-long battles.

        We seem to be unaware that the forces that we defeated all those years ago didn't go away.  They're back now, subverting our government, extracting wealth and laying waste to our environment.  Same folks, different names, better tactics.

        As a state, we have collectively forgotten the cost we paid to win our once-deserved reputation for cleanliness.  Very few of us still alive were engaged even as late as the '60's and '70's.  We old farts have watched with dismay as our gains were dismantled over the past decade, even before the state became a subsidiary of Koch Industries.  

        Instead of reflecting on the awful conditions that engendered the battles that won us clean government and worker and environmental protections, WI voters let ourselves be beguiled by the siren call of our totally subverted media and sound-byte politics.....and intellectual laziness - I don't buy the argument that nobody has time to be an engaged citizen these days.

        So these days, it's beer and cheese rather than bread and circuses, but the empire is still crumbling. Go, Pack!  

    •  The working class is scared (0+ / 0-)

      AND they don't see anything of value from liberals either.  It's really that simple.

      Revolutions are started by the elite and the working class follows.  Until the elite liberals in this country are willing to risk what they have nothing will happen.

      The founders of this country signed a document that placed a price on their heads.  That's not happening today.

  •  I worked 7 days a week in WI for years. (6+ / 0-)

    No law is needed to allow workers overtime if they want it and employers agree to it.  

    Grothmann is being disingenuous and is trying to make an end run around labor laws to allow the abuse of workers and nothing more.

  •  "Discrepencies" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ptanow, WisVoter, Norm in Chicago, psnyder

    I was unaware that we lived in a fully federally controlled country, where the state governments are only elected to enforce federal law, but not to actually make any of their own.

    What a poll tested piece of crap word.  Seriously... these guys are shady as all hell.

  •  Chickens, roost (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is what you get, Wisconsin.  You elected this guy and here are the consequences.

    I'm not sure why it's so hard to convince Wisconsin voters that this guy is toxic.  There's more to blame here than just all the outside money, which is considerable.  At some point, you made your bed and you get what you deserve, as a state.

    I feel really sorry for anyone who has to work for wages in the state of Wisconsin.

    •  No. Not again (7+ / 0-)

      I live in Wisconsin.

      Every diary, it seems, there is always at least one comment of this nature. I find it offensive. There are many of us who are constantly trying to 'reason' with people who constantly spew all of the right wing talking points the lazy bought and paid for media vomit.

      I am one of the many dedicated people who stood out in the cold, hostile environment gathering recall signatures. I, along with many others  (see Overpass Light Brigade, Solidarity Singers, on and on..) continue to stand up against what Walker and his kochfunded junta and his 'Divide and Conquer' strategy has wrought upon our state.

      I have nothing but admiration and respect for those who participate so diligently. Lack of transportation, and  a fixed income prevent me from doing much more.

      There are many other states who are in the same position, Texas, NC, Florida, Michigan..on and on. These kinds of smug  'you get what you voted for' comments are seen in those diaries as well. Please stop with this.

      I guarantee you whatever utopian state you live in, you will be fighting the same battles we are. And soon. If it is not stopped.

      This probably will get me in trouble with some of TPTB on this site, but put yourselves in our shoes before making these kinds of comments.

      •  Ok, but elections have consequences. (0+ / 0-)

        During the Obamacare/shutdown debate, a commonly repeated meme said that elections have consequences, and that if you lose an election, you have to live with the results of it, and you cannot decide to act as if it never happened. I view the recalls, both in Wisconsin and in Colorado, to be misguided. Elections are held every 2-4 years, and if you don't like what the current crop of politicians are doing, you can organize for the next election, hold protests to influence the current government, but you do not change the rules mid-game.
        Until the 1970s/1980s, Senate filibusters were rare, until at some point they were used much more often, and it became a norm that 60 votes are needed for every bill, and even every amendment. If the same occurred with legislative recalls, it could become a new norm that in addition to presidential and midterm election seasons, there is also a third one, the recall season, which takes place all the time. It would be impossible for any legislature to make politically controversial decisions, because the next month the opposition would try to take over. As bad as it is now when we say the campaigning too long, that would mean an campaigning season 24/7. And that would in the long-run mean that today's Congress would be seen as an oasis of "getting things done" in a generation.

        •  recalls are rare bananapunch. the recalls (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bananapouch1, WisVoter, Puddytat, Ahianne

          Walker spawned as a result of Act 10 were unprecedented in state history, there had only been a handful of attempts at recalls in state history,and NEVER against a sitting governor. We had never used the statute before, which was put in at a time- the Progressive Era-when it was believed the public should have the ability to recall its reps for any reason . there had only been two other recalls of governors in US history, Gray Davis in 2003 and the other South Dakota-was in 1923. not every state has full recall provisions like WI does, only 20 states have any measure of recall, and about 12 have the full ability to recall,  so the fear that recalls will become common place is simply not true. Given that impeaching Walker for lying about stripping away CB rights was simply not possible- since the Assembly is 60-39 R- recall was the only option for removing him.

          •  True, recalls are rare. (0+ / 0-)

            But wasn't the progressive-era statue put in place to remove corrupt politicians, and not just those who were pursuing different policies from the advocates of the recall? Also in Colorado a state senator resigned recently to avoid facing a recall, which does show some issues with this method.

            •  The recalls were put in place for any reason, not (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              peptabysmal, Puddytat

              just corruption, which is hard to prove.  several state limit recalls to corruption, which walkrer is trying to do here, which would make it very hard to attempt another recall in the state. fortunately, changing the WI constitution is hard, you have to pass a vote twice in both the Assembly and Senate by majority vote over consecutive ywears, then it goes to the voters.

        •  When voters are willfully misinformed, or (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Puddytat, Ahianne, WisVoter

          uninformed by a complicit media fed by a continuous cash cow,   (republican party) that is a problem.

          This will continue as long as the general public is too busy/worn out trying to make ends meet they rely on what passes for 'trusted traditional media sources' for their news. The average voter is too misled to figure out what is really happening and why. It is done for  a reason, because it works. They are propagandized. Those memes are bought.

          I hear it all the time, 'That wasn't in the paper,' or 'Thats not what they said on the news'. Its a goddam shame I have to rely on Puddytat and all of the others who faithfully blog here for the facts.

  •  Tipped, recced and republished to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peptabysmal, Ahianne

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:34:42 PM PST

  •  Shameless fucking bastards. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peptabysmal, Palafox

    Wouldn't piss on 'em if they were on fire.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:23:19 PM PST

  •   whatever is happening in Wi i sure as heck did (6+ / 0-)

    not vote for it. I've voted against Walker twice, and i'm going to make it a third time in November. hopefully 50.1% of my state votes with me, so we can start to clean up Walkers mess. theres a lot to clean up, and frankly several in republican leadership need to be behind bars for breaking state rules.

  •  Will the last reasonable Wisconsin legislator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peptabysmal, Stude Dude

    please flush on the way out? In fact, flush twice.

    "Life is short, but long enough to get what's coming to you." --John Alton

    by Palafox on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:30:38 PM PST

  •  Why don't the rich fuckers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, starduster

    just say they want to work us to death?
    They think it, they act on it...
    They will reap the benefits of slavery unless there is a revolt.

  •  I thought these companies wanted to make their (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, Stude Dude, Sark Svemes

    employees work less so they could skip out on providing healthcare?

    Signature (this will be attached to your comments)

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:38:18 PM PST

  •  Don't you get it? It's all about states rights n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:48:10 PM PST

  •  While not dealing with laws per se.............. (0+ / 0-)

    but having the same effect; my state has an absolute prohibition against any administrative regulation being more stringent than the corresponding federal regulation.  In typical industry overkill, it applies across the board but was originated for the benefit of the coal industry.

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

    by cazcee on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:55:15 PM PST

  •  Just another example (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

        Of the heathen, Godless nature of Republicans.  The Bible commands that everyone must rest on the seventh day in honor of the Lord.  Once again, the Republicans distort the separation of Church and State in order to discriminate against Christians and persecute people of faith.  

         It will be interesting to see if the religious right voices any objections to this Republican attempt to undermine the sanctity of the Sabbath.  Aren't the Republicans the ones who are SUPPOSED to be in favor of  government policies that enforce Christian religious morality?  Aren't Republicans supposed to be the ones who think that it's OK to forget the 4th Amendment, but we must NEVER forget the 4th COMMANDMENT?  

         Or maybe since the Pope has started talking like a liberal, they decided to say, "Ah, screw it.  Everybody knows the purpose of religion isn't to protect employees...the purpose of religion is to protect employers from having to provide health insurance that covers contraceptives!  Considering the fact that folks can't even agree on the numbering, with Catholics and Lutherans calling it the 3rd Commandment, and considering the fact that letting workers have a day off once a week is bad for business, couldn't we just say that the 4th Commandment was more of a '4th Suggestion'? Sabbath Shmabbath!"

  •  How about going back to child labor? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    Paul LePage recently proposed eliminating child labor laws, given that all 12-year olds need work experience. And Jack Kingston said that he wants poor children to work in order to get subsidized lunches at school.

  •  Even republican voters understand (3+ / 0-)

    that the republican party does not care about them, yet they voters continue to elect people who harm them.


  •  You reap what you sow..... (0+ / 0-)

    Stupid cheeseheads. They elected this gelatinous chunk of doody with legs and could have recalled him but didn't. It's hard to have a lot of sympathy for them. Remember.... you just can't fix stupid.

    •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peptabysmal, Ahianne

      This is constructive how? I and just a little shy of half the state did not vote for Walker. I marched on the Capitol in miserable weather, I slept on the marble floors of my state capitol just about three weeks removed from having a disc removed from my neck. I have documented and photographed acts of courage in my home state and I have called out everything the GOP has done in this state.

      ...and then you, a person who obviously lives in some utopian state, comes along and tells me that this is my fault? Really? You are not helping, you are not part of the solution. You are part of the problem.

      I am sick and tired of being attacked in my own posts about my state. I do not like what has happened here and I am tired of explaining it. Please take your insults to my state elsewhere.

      When this happens in your state, I will not sit there taking potshots at you and your fellow citizens, I will stand with you in solidarity.

      "Republicans only care about the rich" - My late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

      by Mark E Andersen on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 07:49:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree...trashing WI progressives (0+ / 0-)

        is unfair, unproductive and unnecessary.  

        But I do want to understand.  Knowing the history of WI and labor, I was stunned when Walker was not recalled and when it was reported that many union households actually voted for Walker.   And that was not FOX reporting, that was Ed Schultz.

        I felt so angry/sad/frustrated for WI progressives.   But I fear WI is a microcosm is the country.  For example I have a few democratic friends, teachers no less, who like Christie (well they did before Bridgegate) and no matter what facts I presented they would not give up on the "he is a straight shooter" meme, and bought into the "tells it like it is" meme of the press.  So I get how the press can spin enough to impact even dems.  

        But after all Walker has done to teachers and firefighters, to labor in general, I really thought there would be an awakening in WI.  I want to understand.  How can 50% of the state still be duped by this guy?

        “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.” Louis D. Brandeis

        by Jjc2006 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 04:59:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Money (0+ / 0-)

          It comes down to millions of dollars being dumped into the state. Those dollars paid for an advertising campaign during the recall that twisted what a recall is for. We were outspent - plain and simple. Not just by Walker but by outside groups that really had no skin in the game. Couple that with a weak democratic candidate and you get a Walker win.

          "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

          by Mark E Andersen on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 05:37:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for explaining.... (0+ / 0-)

            and that, of course, was the answer I so feared.  

            Progressives, populists, liberals and most who believe in a representative government, that is, OF, BY and FOR the people, tend to not be rich.  We cannot compete in the money game.  We cannot compete with corporate media.

            Getting people to understand they are being lied to, or at the very least NOT being told the whole truth by the likes of NBC, ABC, CBS even if they know FOX is full of lies, is not easy.  Just look at NJ and how many dems voted for Christie.  It blows my mind.  I do think that, at least for NJ, this revelation of Bridgegate could be a game changer. At least I hope so.

            But I remember last year watching Walker get duped with the fake Koch bros call. I was so sure that would wake up many.  I guess I was wrong.  It is all just so scary for the future.   For me, an OLDER liberal at 68, it is a build up of frustrations.  Much of my generation saw the lies of the media who pandered to Nixon, and especially to Reagan.  We learned the hard way about the lies used to demonize those who protested war, who protested segregation...BUT eventually the truth slipped through the airwaves with the likes of Walter Cronkite, Edward R Murrow.  I was too young to remember Joe McCarthy but I know the truth about him and his cronies eventually seeped into the consciousness.  

            So maybe I am frustrated, even frightened, because this is all so deja vu, yet in some ways worse.  There seems to be more corporate power than ever.  Yet, on the other hand, there is more opportunity than before to find alternative media, to find the truth.  But for whatever reason, the likes of Walker and Christie, R. Scott, and so many more are able to dupe too many in my generation.  I will continue to try to keep my peers aware of how they are being pawns for the worst of the worst, but sometimes I feel like I am spinning my wheels.

            “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.” Louis D. Brandeis

            by Jjc2006 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 05:56:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I didn't sow it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark E Andersen, Ahianne

      and refuse to accept the idea that I need to 'Reap It'. Neither did/do the many progressive activists who are working their asses off to educate people so they may make a fully informed decision in the voting booth, instead of the garbage they are being continuously force-fed by a corrupt media and disingenuous (at best) 'elected officials'.

      We aren't looking for pity, or sympathy. Just empathy, and some understanding as to what happened-and why. A lot of states are in the same I posted previously, 'coming to a state near you' if we all don't continue to stand up against this. Those posts implying we somehow 'deserve this' do not promote the solidarity we all need to push back.

    •  Nasty, unwarranted comment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark E Andersen, peptabysmal, Ahianne

      And I came very close to hide rating this crap, but in the end I think it is better to leave UncleChris' hateful, spiteful words to fester -- because I think that they say more about him than they do the people of Wisconsin.

      Maybe after hearing years and years of comments about what morons we are in Texas and how the US would be better off if we left, perhaps I should be glad that another state and it's people are being attacked for a change.  But I can't, because it is just as unfair when aimed at Wisconsin as when it is aimed at Texas.

      Because what is the difference between a "red" state whose people apparently deserve every bad thing and a "blue" state that is the pinnacle of perfection?  Sometimes, it is just a couple percent of the vote, and rarely much more than ten percent.  Even a deep red state like Texas reliably gives 40% of the vote to Democratic candidates, despite the fact that those candidates are ignored by the national party, and run grossly underfunded campaigns as a result.

      Wisconsin at least is competitive, with both parties running well funded campaigns.  And in the last governor's election, a narrow majority of voters made a bad choice.  It happens...and consider that Massachusetts gave us Mitt.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:32:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No protection Wisconsin (0+ / 0-)

    Why are those on the right always have the same hair cuts,parted,covering huge bald spots,dead,soulless eyes.  Why can't we take away some of their rights,like breathing.  The Kochtapus has long tentacles.  
    When I was a child,my Grandmother always said the Republicans are only for the rich,they will rob you blind.  

  •  Lessons learned (0+ / 0-)

    The only War is Class War; The Limits of the Gezi Uprising! Without occupying the sites of production, there can be no long-term arrest of capitalism. The General Strike is still, and always has been; The Workers strongest Weapon!

  •  So, it can be said of Wisconsin (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans that the abused become the abusers. Public office is not confused with public service in such twisted minds, but with seeking an outlet for their rage and finding an easy target in the vulnerable populations of the state.

  •  Lower than low. (0+ / 0-)

    Scott Walker and Glenn Grothman both have to look up, to see whale shit.

  •  Why stop there? (0+ / 0-)

    If a worker is allowed to work 7 days in a row,why not 14 or 21 or 28 or whatever untill he/she is squeezed dry?

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