Rep. Jim McGovern David Schapira Arizona Union Rights Stripped
Thursday, 02 February 2012 00:00

Arizona Union Rights Stripped

Written by  The Ed Show

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer pushes the country's most anti-union agenda yet. David Shapira, Democratic leader of the Arizona state senate, slams his Republican colleagues. Welcome back to "The Ed Show." Jan Brewer and the Arizona Republicans are on a tear. they are on the offensive. they are on a mission to completely destroy public employee unions. have you heard the story before?

One week after governor brewer went on a media tour attacking President Obama , she is attacking teachers, cops, firefighters in her own state. republicans are fast tracking and i mean fast tracking, several pieces of legislation aimed at just flat out stomping out public employee unions. the bills will do this. outlaw all collective bargaining for public employees including public safety workers. they will outlaw automatic payroll deductions for union dues . hold it right there. you mean to tell me they will tell people what they can do and not do with the money they've earned? yes. they will outlaw the compensation of public employees for any kind of union work whatsoever. Arizona is already a so-called right to work state, which means unions already have a severely diminished role. of of course the state government doesn't engage in collective bargaining to begin with. so, the new legislation will affect sectors of the government where unions still have i guess you could say a seat at the table and a voice. like local governments. like schools. public education has taken a hit. you know what they've done down there, cut more than $2 billion out of the budget since 2009 .

Over the last four years, funding for state universities has been cut by 50%. yeah, that's right, arizona , arizona state , northern arizona . they are dealing with half the money they used to deal with. this is another case of the republican agenda being carried out by a radical governor and radical leaders. arizona republicans are trying to put the final nail in the coffin of unions. my question, did they campaign on this? the answer is no. democrats are virtually in this situation sad to report to you tonight, powerless to stop it. they have the smallest democratic caucus in arizona state history. this isn't what they campaigned on, but this is the popular thing. for radical governors and radical ledge i have bodies to go after the middle class because now that citizens united has passed, heck, they can do anything they want. they'll get the money to keep them in office to cut all these state budgets, cut the elderly, cut the public service , cut the law enforcement , cut the firefighters, go to public education , go to higher education and let the people dangle in the wind. let's turn to arizona state minority leader david shapira , appreciate your time. you're kind of a young guy, how old are you? you're in a position of leadership, congratulations. tell me how old you are.

Thank you, i'm 31 years old and 16 days away from being 32.

Dog gone it folks, we got us an a general ygenuine 30 some-year-old that cares about people.

I understand you have a petition you want the people to respond, tell us what is happening.

We launched a petition just now we're announcing it now on your show, you can sign up to join in solidary with the workers of arizona . it's already a right to work state. it's a state where workers already have a choice as to whether or not they want to join a union and management, school districts and cities, have the right to choose whether or not they want to allow public employees to have a seat at the table. if this legislation passes, school districts and cities will no longer even have a right to allow the workers to come to the table because this will completely eliminate collective bargaining . you were talking about Wisconsin and Indiana, this legislation is a far cry from those two states and in fact would make us the most anti-union state in the country.

Why is this happening? is this what the people want? did the people of arizona want this to happen?

You know, in arizona every legislator has to run for office every two years, house and senate. i tell you having been on the campaign trial quite a bit over the last six years, i have not heard from a single voter in my district that they want this. that they want workers in our cities and in our school districts to no longer be able to have a seat at the tan he'll. what is interesting, ed, what is great about having a seat at the table for law enforcement and firefighters and teachers, is that they are the ones on the ground. we have our public safety professionals, education professionals who are actually there on our streets, in our classrooms, they know what is going on there and allowing them to have a seat at the table allows us as elected officials as heede leaders, allows us to know what is going on on the ground and make wise decisions. if this law passes we won't have them at the tab toll have the kfrg. table to have the conversation.

You're calling for or you need a wisconsin -style backlash. what do you want people to do? i know you got the petition tonight, do they need to get outside the capital is that what you're talking about?

The reason we're launching the petition is we want people to sign up so we can communicate with them, let them know what is going on, let them know when the bills are coming up for a vote at the state senate and likely later on in the state house so workers and those who support them can come to the capital and fight these pieces of legislation. really, what people need to know about this, not just about our public service employees, and not labor unions . what is about our community. the safety of our communities, the education our kids get. we are making our streets less safe, we are making our schools not as effective if we disallow the people who understand what is going on to have a seat at the table and let us know what needs to be changed in those segments of society.

I hope i didn't embarrass you when i asked that question how old you are. i have two stepsons and a son, in jaur neighborhood, in your age group , 30-something, i tell them fell as, you have to pay attention. it's so refreshing to see someone of your age and demographic jumping right in public service , and blowing the horn for Americans. who would be -- who would be against safe neighborhoods, that is what we're talking about. who would be against teachers in the workforce trying to do their very best? and their wages and everything else will be attacked, voices, it's unbelievable what is happening. this wave that is taking place across the country. it takes people in your on backyard such as yourself to stand up, and say something about it. Arizona state senator Dave Shapira, thank you for joining us. we'll follow this story once again, Arizona is Wisconsin on steroids. how else do we view it, a story to follow. just like Indiana, just like Ohio, where workers won in Ohio, we have to get it done in the other states to protect the middle class in this country.


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