McCamish explained that "Right to Work" laws originated in the Deep South as a reaction of the agricultural elite to unionists who came to help workers - who were primarily African Americans - organize and push for better work conditions and better pay. The agricultural elite wanted to preserve their plantation economy and have been fighting to suppress workers' voices and minimize (if not eliminate) workers' rights ever since.
The anti-worker fight eventually led to the Taft-Hartley Act, which opened the door for Right to Work, which the Southern states jumped at and passed as quickly as they could. Now the Big Business factions are looking to spread their maleficence around the country, especially in the Midwest.
Their efforts are evident throughout the Midwest in both subtle and not so subtle cases, ranging from Scott Walker's Act 10 and Michigan's ramming through Right to Work legislation in a lame duck session to the race baiting language used by squawk radio and propaganda groups.
Two examples of the latter came up this week.
In the first example, Sikma attacks Sheila Cochran, the Secretary/Treasurer of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council. His complaint is that Cochran, an African American woman, makes more than the median average for Wisconsin households:
The annual Milwaukee Laborfest Labor Day event is organized by the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, an AFL-CIO affiliated non-profit that assists labor unions with educational and organizing activities. While the event is designed to celebrate union workers, the leader of the group hosting the event, Sheila Cochran, makes more than the median income for Wisconsin working families.Obviously, Sikma is offended that a black woman is making a living wage. Oddly, Sikma doesn't mention that Dianne Hendricks, a white woman who favors squashing workers' rights, was worth nearly $3 billion in 2012, yet didn't pay one cent in taxes.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median income for Wisconsin households between 2008 and 2012 was $52,627, just slightly below the national median household income.
Records filed with the IRS by the Milwaukee Area Labor Council reveal that Cochran’s 2012 salary from the group was $76,799. Despite being higher than the median household income of the state, that figure is actually lower than what her salary has been previously. In 2009 Cochran made $80,804 and in 2011 she made $78,182.
In his next example, he lashes out at a union leader that put his personal freedom at risk by joining scores of people demonstrating in support of a living wage and the right to unionize. The union leader's crime apparently was trying to raise up everyone while making more than a minimum wage himself:
Bob Peterson is the president of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association – MTEA – the union for teachers in Milwaukee Public Schools, the state’s largest school district. On Thursday, Peterson joined Wisconsin Jobs Now, 15 Now and representatives from several labor unions including the SEIU and AFSCME to protest in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
According to a database assembled by media outlets, Peterson’s total compensation from Milwaukee Public Schools during the 2012-2013 school year – the most recent year for which data is available – was $121,616. His formal job title is “Short Term Substitute Teacher” and his job category is “Short-Term Substitute/Extra Curricular Activities.”
In the middle of the school day, Peterson was spotted walking in circles on a sidewalk outside of a McDonalds shortly after several protesters, including U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D) were arrested for disorderly conduct. Asked if he works a minimum wage job, Peterson confirmed that his job pays him more than the minimum wage.
Now, these are just two obvious examples of the mentality that the special interests and their minions have. But if the gentle reader pays attention, I assure you that you will be shocked at just how pervasive this racism is, either on squawk radio and other forms of corporate media to statements made by the likes of Scott Walker and Chris Abele.
The good news is that we can and we will overcome their maleficence through educating, organizing and - most important of them all - voting.