Having worked in Arizona and New York, the concept of a right-to-work state is nothing new to me. I am used to the idea that most employees have no contract and can be let go at any time on the spot. The way our employment system works is you do the job or if not we’ll find someone else to do it; or perhaps we’ll find someone younger or cheaper to do it. Thankfully I have never been faced directly with this situation, having had contracts in my previous two jobs. However, the concept of right-to-work or “at will” still makes me very uneasy because I know how many people are affected by it.
When I read that the state in which I was born would be joining the line of “at will” states, with Governor Walker is signing a bill, it frustrated me. I think of all those people who have been doing their jobs for years who now can be fired at a moments notice without benefits to get someone younger or cheaper in the door. I think is this the reality in which we want to live, where people are disposable and replaceable at the snap of fingers? Do we want a world in which people will be fired simply because they disagree with their boss or joined a union? Is this really capitalism at its finest or is this the exploitation of the working class?
When bus driver Jerry Papa said (as quoted in Newsday) “it’s going to take 25 to 40 years to correct problems Scott Walker’s done in 4.5 years” my sole disagreement is that I don’t believe these problems will ever be corrected. Unfortunately we are heading to an age where unions are being dismantled (as Walker began 4 years ago) where it will be every man for himself. I believe capitalism, like every system, should have its limits-for if it does not, we will continue to advance towards an era where workers are exploited and where jobs are outsourced just to make a few more bucks. Some might disagree, saying we live in a world of “survival of the fittest” but if that means that we throw devoted workers onto the street after 30 years on the job it is a world in which I want no part of. The eugenics movement also believed in “survival of the fittest” and we see where that got us. We’ll see if the rest of the country agrees or disagrees with me when Walker runs for President.