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Are you ok with taking jobs from law abiding citizens and letting prisoners do the job for free?

 

Union Workers Replaced With Prison Labor Under Scott Walker’s Collective Bargaining Law

While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) law dismantling collective bargaining rights has harmed teachers, nurses, and other civil servants, it’s helping a different group in Wisconsinites — inmates. Prisoners are now taking up jobs that used to be held by unionized workers in some parts of the state.

As the Madison Capital Times reports, “Besides losing their right to negotiate over the percentage of their paycheck that will go toward health care and retirement, unions also lost the ability to claim work as a ‘union-only’ job, opening the door for private workers and evidently even inmates to step in and take their place.” Inmates are not paid for their work, but may receive time off of their sentences.

The law went into effect last week, and Racine County is already using inmates to do landscaping, painting, and another basic maintenance around the county that was previously done by county workers. The union had successfully sued to stop the country from using prison labor for these jobs last year, but with Walker’s new law, they have no recourse. Watch a reportfrom Fox6 in Green Bay:

 

 

The Washington Examiner called Racine’s move “another success story” and “all great news for Wisconsin taxpayers. Hopefully, we’ll see more of it.” So far, it appears no other jurisdictionhas followed Racine’s example — for now. It may just be a matter of time to allow existing union contracts to expire. The spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office of Dane County, which includes Madison, said, “Nobody in our jail will be benefiting…at this time” from the new law, but the left the door open for future changes.

While giving prisoners more work and activity options is generally positive, using free inmate labor to replace public sector workers is a disturbing trend.

Answer Question
 
sweet-a-kins

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 1:26 PM on Jul. 7, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (65)
  • It's better than the jobs not getting done at all.
    scout_mom

    Answer by scout_mom at 1:26 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • We do pay the prisoners.They live on our money already.
    evelynwest

    Answer by evelynwest at 1:27 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • While giving prisoners more work and activity options is generally positive, using free inmate labor to replace public sector workers is a disturbing trend.


    With unemployment ALREADY high.,...

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 1:28 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • We do pay the prisoners.They live on our money already.


    Answer by evelynwest a minute ago


    Owners paid thier slaves in the same way. What a horribe standard to use an example.

    UpSheRises

    Answer by UpSheRises at 1:30 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • It's better than the jobs not getting done at all.


    Answer by scout_mom 3 minutes ago


    Except they were getting done, just not by prisoners. 

    UpSheRises

    Answer by UpSheRises at 1:32 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • Perhaps if the people at the administrative and union level weren't sucking up such a huge percentage of the money in play, they'd have had some left over to pay normal employees and not have to resort to this in the first place.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:33 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • Wow, that won't help unemployment rates at all.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:34 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • I am more than ok with union's losing the right to claim jobs "union only." I hardly see where "freedom of choice" comes into play when an organization is forced to only accept union shop bids. But that's just me.

    I'm also ok with low-risk inmates performing menial tasks. In my are the van with the bright orange suited convicts picking up trash on the side of the road is a fairly common sight...and I'm not in WI. Then again, thinking back to chain gangs and the proverbial "license plate" production...I'm not sure this free-prisoner labor thing is all that new.

    I do like how slanted and assuming your left-wing publication a writes it's articles. Got to love an 'article' with a little editorial sprinkled in.


    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:37 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  •  

    Perhaps if the people at the administrative and union level weren't sucking up such a huge percentage of the money in play, they'd have had some left over to pay normal employees and not have to resort to this in the first place.

    Yea, how dare they demand a livable wage...O and there was enough....WI didnt have that issue...

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 1:38 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • Perhaps if the people at the administrative and union level weren't sucking up such a huge percentage of the money in play, they'd have had some left over to pay normal employees and not have to resort to this in the first place.


    Answer by NotPanicking a minute ago


    If by normal you mean low wage. They didn't have to resort to this, they choose to do this. Personally, i'd rather pay a skilled laborer to do a good, professional job than have some dude with nothing else to do do the job for free. Different strokes i guess.

    UpSheRises

    Answer by UpSheRises at 1:38 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

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