Dispatches (XX): "Divide and Conquer"
A filmmaker released a video Thursday that shows Gov. Scott Walker saying he would use "divide and conquer" as a strategy against unions.
In the video shot on Jan. 18, 2011 - shortly before Walker's controversial budget-repair bill was introduced and spawned mass protests - Hendricks asked the governor whether he could make Wisconsin a "completely red state, and work on these unions, and become a right-to-work" state. The Republican donor was referring to right-to-work laws, which prohibit private-sector unions from compelling workers to pay union dues if the workers choose not to belong to the union.
Walker replied that his "first step" would be "to divide and conquer" through his budget-adjustment bill, which curtailed most collective bargaining for most public employee unions.
"So for us," the governor continues, "the base we get for that is the fact that we've got - budgetarily we can't afford not to. If we have collective bargaining agreements in place, there's no way not only the state but local governments can balance things out. ... That opens the door once we do that. That's your bigger problem right there."
Walker co-sponsored right-to-work legislation in 1993 as a freshman in the state Assembly, but as governor has consistently downplayed seeking any restrictions on private unions in public statements. [emphasis added -- MDC]
And so we now have further documentation: "[rescinding collective bargaining] doesn't save any [money]".