3:52 PM Eastern - Thursday, January 6, 2011

Unionized public employees being used as scapegoats for financial crisis

A recent MSNBC report questions the growing attacks on public employee unions and exposes some common myths about them.

MSNBC's conclusion? Public workers are being scapegoated for the recession caused by Wall Street.

The most recent shining example of this is in New York, where the press is pointing the finger at sanitation workers for last week's snow-removal mess, even accusing union workers of being responsible for the death of a child whose ambulance ride to the hospital was delayed because of road conditions.

The root cause was Mayor Mike Bloomberg's chronic understaffing of the Sanitation Department--in the last two years alone, NYC has laid off 500 sanitation workers. Did we mention that the mayor's office outright refused requests by the fire department, urged by emergency service workers, to call a snow emergency?

GRITtv's Laura Flanders elaborates:

Propaganda machines begins with a simple narrative, repeat it endlessly, and then tie current events to the narrative to drive the point home. The blizzard narrative became that it's not tax cuts or layoffs that trigger state shortages and service crashes. It's the workers.

Public services fouled up? It must be public service workers' foul play.

In the new year, it's likely we're only going to see more members of Congress and other politicos are making targets out of their own states' employees to deflect attention away from the fact that their tax bases have been hollowed out by Wall-Street-driven layoffs and the crash of the housing market.

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Fight Off the Pitchforks and Torches

In light of the current wave of attacks on unionized public workers, here are some resources and articles you might find helpful to refer to when talking to your co-workers, friends and family about the issue.

[Note: Expect more resources from us on this issue in the near future]

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