Think Progress
February 14, 2011

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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Last month, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said that if employees strike, “they should be fired,” and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) wrote in an op-ed that the moral case for unions “does not apply to public employment.” Now, facing a $137 million budget deficit, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has proposed a “budget repair bill” that would severely limit collective bargaining, eliminate the right of unions to negotiate pensions, retirement and benefits.

Walker is facing fierce criticism for this all-out assault against state workers, especially after he insisted that the “National Guard” will be used against a walkout:

When asked by a reporter what will happen if workers resist, Gov. Walker replied that he would call out the National Guard. He said that the National Guard is “prepared…for whatever the governor, their commander-in-chief, might call for. … I am fully prepared for whatever may happen.”

Traditionally, the National Guard is called to assist Americans in times of crisis; so Walker’s attempt to use the National Guard as a tool to suppress dissent is particularly deplorable. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, more than 50,000 Guard members were called to help, and following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, more than 50,000 Guards were deployed. Veterans have strongly objected to Walker’s recent intent to use the National Guard as a vessel to intimidate state workers. VoteVet released a statement today that says Walker shouldn’t use the National Guard as an “intimidation force“.

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