[Marxism] Fwd: Police Officers: "We Didn't Vote Republican To Get Stabbed In The Back" - Iowa Starting Line

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Feb 14 06:37:55 MST 2017

In the highly contentious battle to extinguish public worker rights, 
Iowa Republicans have attempted a divide-and-conquer approach to pit 
unions against each other. Their legislation splits public workers into 
two groups, one that’s “public safety workers,” and one that isn’t. The 
idea was to strip away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most 
public employees, but keep most of it for police and firefighters, who 
are politically more difficult to go after.

It didn’t work.

Hundreds of helmeted firefighters have flooded the Statehouse in the 
last week and police officers and sheriffs have lined up at committee 
hearings to speak against it. They don’t trust that this carve-out for 
their jobs will last long, nor do many of them feel it’s appropriate to 
deny the bargaining rights they have to fellow workers who have also had 
them for over 40 years.

And several police officers and firefighters warned that Republicans’ 
plan to create a special “public safety” class for negotiations wouldn’t 
work in many cases. John Thomas, a police officer from Mitchellville, 
explained last week that some sheriff’s deputies wouldn’t get classified 
as “public safety” workers because there’s more jailers and clerks in 
the bargaining unit. The Republican bill only classifies workers as 
“public safety” employees if a majority of workers in a bargaining unit 
is made up of police or firefighters.

That has many police officer, who voted for Republicans in large numbers 
this year, particularly upset.

“It’s collective begging, that’s what it is,” Thomas labeled the bill at 
a subcommittee hearing. “Half of law enforcement folks I work with are 
Republicans. And we voted for Republicans because of conservative 
values. But we didn’t vote for Republicans to get stabbed in the back 
while we’re trying to dodge cars and bullets.”


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