Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged Racine

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Union Workers Replaced With Prison Labor Under Scott Walker’s Collective Bargaining Law

While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) law dismantling collective bargaining rights has harmed teachers, nurses, and other civil servants, it’s helping a different group in Wisconsinites — inmates. Prisoners are now taking up jobs that used to be held by unionized workers in some parts of the state.

As the Madison Capital Times reports, “Besides losing their right to negotiate over the percentage of their paycheck that will go toward health care and retirement, unions also lost the ability to claim work as a ‘union-only’ job, opening the door for private workers and evidently even inmates to step in and take their place.” Inmates are not paid for their work, but may receive time off of their sentences.

The law went into effect last week, and Racine County is already using inmates to do landscaping, painting, and another basic maintenance around the county that was previously done by county workers. The union had successfully sued to stop the country from using prison labor for these jobs last year, but with Walker’s new law, they have no recourse.

Wow. They’re totally cool with giving prisoners a day pass to do union jobs to save a few bucks. Isn’t this a close cousin to indentured servitude? Aren’t there extra costs for guards or police officers to watch the inmates to be sure they don’t wander off?

This is all in the name of “cost-cutting.” Interesting to see what happens to privatized services. Will they contract inmates instead of paying a work force? This is what happens when the rights of workers are stripped. They’re replaced by a workforce that’s little more than indentured servants. 

Disgusted? I am. 

Filed under Wisconsin Scott Walker prison prisoners politics republican republicans organized labor collective collective bargaining fuckery union Union busting Racine Racine county