If there's anything lucky about Jan Brewer's plan to dismantle unions in Arizona is that she and her friends are including fire and police (public safety unions) — and perhaps that's what it is going to take to fight this latest attack on labor and get other Arizonans to pay attention.
Her proposed "reforms" would make it illegal for government bodies to collectively bargain; make it illegal for government bodies to collectively bargain with employee groups; end the practice of automatic payroll deductions for union dues; and ban compensation of public employees for union work.
Friday AFSCME Local 449 held a rally downtown in front of the state building and you can go here for more updates and to send a message to state lawmakers that you support Arizona workers. The local also started a Facebook page for updates.
Who or what's behind these series of bills? Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at DemocraticDiva, shared that information in a post on an AFL-CIO blog post you can read in its entirety here. Snipet:
The Goldwater Institute is the Arizona affiliate of the State Policy Network, a national right-wing consortium created by Heritage Foundation members to bring “free market policy solutions” to state legislatures. The Goldwater Institute touts itself as libertarian and generates reams of policy papers, which invariably lead to the same conclusions: Taxes are bad and privatization is good. The Goldwater Institute’s public relations arm is hugely influential over Republican politicians in Arizona and the editors of the largest newspaper in the state, the notoriously anti-union Arizona Republic. Yet despite its considerable input into public policy in this state, the Goldwater Institute does not have to register as a lobbyist organization in Arizona due to its status as an “educational” association.