Ryan Braun and Collective Bargaining
By Mike Tate
Yesterday, sports fans in Wisconsin rejoiced after it was announced that National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun had won his challenge to a 50-day suspension for a positive drug test.
Braun's exoneration came at the start of spring training, as the Milwaukee Brewers begin their defense of their National League Central title, and hope to advance to loftier perches come October.
There was a rush to judgement after the suspension was first announced, and Braun has said that this is just the beginning of him rehabilitating his good name.
Whatever the case, none of this would have been possible without collective bargaining protections won not through the goodness of the baseball owners' hearts, but because men that came before Braun stood in solidarity for something bigger than themselves.
And this is what Scott Walker can never understand.
Earlier this month, speaking to a cheering, sniveling crowd in Washington, D.C., of corporate extremists who want nothing more than to strip every worker of every right, Scott Walker proclaimed that collective bargaining is no right, but is merely an "entitlement" granted from up on high and at whim.
As Braun's victory displays in dramatic fashion, collective bargaining is not merely about wages and benefits, it is the foundation for basic dignity in a workplace, and it radiates outward to all workplaces, whether it be a major league dugout or a welding shop, whether it's a police precinct or a classroom.
Walker and his anti-union defenders who scorn collective bargaining must think that a millionaire ballplayer is not a sympathetic figure to people who work for a living. But that's just not the case. Wisconsin understands that standing together makes us stronger.