The growing push to restrict the collective bargaining rights of government employees has reached the far-flung state of Alaska.
There, a Republican state lawmaker has introduced legislation that would strip many public employees of the right to collectively bargain for hours, benefits and working conditions. State employees could still collectively bargain for wages under the legislation.
The bills sponsor, Rep. Carl Gatto:
Gatto has told various news outlets that his bill mimics legislation that was passed by the Wisconsin Legislature earlier this month, signed into law and is now the subject of a lawsuit in that state. Gatto has said, like the Wisconsin measure, his proposal aims to curb state costs.
Also, opponents said, Alaska lawmakers have been focused on controversial legislation to roll back the state's oil and gas tax on profits earned by petroleum companies in the state.
Like so many other states, some in the Alaskan legislature have decided that the way to deal with budget deficits is to cut revenue. After all, isn't that what all of us do, as we figure out our own budgets? If we don't have enough money to pay our bills, we decide to quit our part time job, right?
A tax cut for Big Oil: the most profitable corporations on the planet - to be offset by attempting to balance the budget on the backs of state employees, by taking away their right to collective bargaining.
No wonder Rep. Gatto "can't be reached for comment." How could he possibly justify this?
cross-posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org