It wasn't long ago that a criticism directed at trade unions was they were only in it to service their members in exchange for dues. The happenings in Wisconsin blew all that to shreds.
Do you remember Ronald Reagan and the air traffic controllers' strike of 1981? That was the year Reagan destroyedthe Professional Air Traffic Controllers' Organization.
America called and they came. And it was immediate. Wave after wave of concerned citizens evolved into a tsunami of humanity that descended upon Madison, Wisconsin. As workers, students and everyday citizens with no political bent understood the Republicans' intent, they responded en masse.
The rights of public workers and the services they provide is a part of the bigger fight for all workers to organize and win decent wages, working conditions, benefits and strong communities.
Not missed by anyone in this majority African American city is the racist inference that Detroit's residents are the root of the problem.
Today 36% of public workers are union members which corresponds very closely to 37% of the total U.S. workforce unionized from the 1960s to 1980s.
Wisconsin, joined by other states, is ground zero of an irreconcilable conflict over the role of government.
As a massive winter storm pounds much of the country, the tea party/Republicans are pushing a disastrous narrative: strangle vital public services, like snowplowing, then blame public workers and their unions.
As we celebrate the life and historic contributions of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, public workers are under fierce attack across the country.
Taking advantage of the economic crisis, the Republicans and Wall Street have placed public workers in the bull's-eye of their attack.