Scott Walker’s Ham-Fisted Labor Day Antics Are Just…Embarassing

Scott Walker’s Ham-Fisted Labor Day Antics Are Just…Embarassing

The first week of September brings that wonderful four-day holiday; last weekend of the summer, as they say. While most of us look forward to the inevitable cook-outs (and forlornly witness the closing of our favorite pool), Wisconsin Governor and Presidential hopeful Scott Walker likely isn’t feeling it. As a champion union-buster, Walker has signed legislation making historically labor-friendly Wisconsin into a right-to-work state earlier this year after repealing the bargaining rights with his infamous anti-labor bill, Act 10. 

The Bill, which repeals the collective bargaining rights of fat cats such as Home Care aides (who literally wipe asses for a median wage of $10.28), child care workers ($9.38)  temporary workers, and the University of Wisconsin faculty (whose incomes had fallen behind that of their peers by 18% within one year of the bill’s passage). Well done, Walker. It’s hard-wiping – err, hard-working – Americans like these, and their infernal audacity to want fair pay, that are ruining America! This same bill also unequivocally gave $22 million to Wisconsin prisons – with whom Walker is rather friendly. You would think that, given Walker’s awkward (to put it mildly) relationship with the kind of overworked, underpaid people for whom the labor movement is so crucial, he would choose to shut up and keep a low profile on the day that was literally created to celebrate the Labor Movement.


Not content to just slash collective bargaining rights, pensions and healthcare for vulnerable workers and temporary employees, Walker wants to exploit his cake and eat it, too. For someone who has openly said his plan for Wisconsin’s labor movement is to “Divide and Conquer”, On the campaign trail he’s seemingly quite comfortable capitalizing on the blue-collar unity and accessibility of what Labor Day is all about. Tweeting a deluge of rather forced, not-openly-anti-Labor comments since last week, including such gems as


Because every American dreams of having a job where they can give people a sponge bath for $10.28 an hour with no hope of representation. I suppose there’s always the option to get a PH.D. so they can work for 18% less than average. Walker must think we have him all wrong. He just believes that no matter how long someone has toiled loyally, or how valuable that person’s work may be to their employer, their employer should be empowered to dictate pay based on “performance” (read: lowest amount he can possibly get away with) and if they’re not happy getting stiffed, replace them with someone from the ranks of the desperate and unemployed (Plenty of those… Thanks, Republican policies!) who is willing to do the job for half pay. That’s pro-worker!      


And who could ever forget his epic Labor Day Weekend ride across New Hampshire – on a Union-made Harley-Davidson motorcycle, the makers of which are fairly unhappy with that hypocrisy.

Maybe it’s unfair to mock Scott Walker for being a hypocrite. Perhaps he is just a red-blooded American like the rest of us, who only mutilates collective bargaining and profits from imprisoning the working class to free them from the big, bad, oppressive unions. I have to be fair. There’s good evidence from this week’s Tweets that Scott Walker has a really good grasp of what Labor Day is REALLY about: The Sales!



Lydia Alpural-Sullivan

Lydia is a freelance writer on culture, politics and the economy currently residing in Denver, CO. When not dipping into an ink-well full of piss and vinegar, she enjoys walking her dog, sculpting, archery and being a general malcontent. You can follow her on Twitter @LydiaAlpural.