RE “Wisconsin governor survives hotly contested recall vote: Republican had angered unions after taking office” (Page A2, June 6): The victory of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in the last week’s recall election is another nail in the coffin of American labor unions, and by extension, the middle class.
The dream of a comfortable life for most Americans slowly approached reality only because workers — coal miners, steel workers, autoworkers, and others — formed labor unions to fight for a fair deal. In 1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt affirmed their actions: “I believe now, as I have all my life, of the right of workers to join unions and protect their unions.”
Today the Republican propaganda machine demonizes collective bargaining. Industry races to dismantle pension plans, cut wages, lengthen hours, cut back vacations and health benefits — the list goes on. Many workers in private industry already have been thrown under the bus. Walker has taken a big step in completing the job on municipal and state employees.
The engine that fueled the rise of the middle class is being demolished by those who would eradicate labor unions and return big business and the rich to the unfettered so-called Gilded Age of the late 1800s.