Blog Entry

Brewers' Counsell supports Wisconsin unions

Posted on: March 1, 2011 10:47 am
Posted by Matt Snyder

The situation with the Wisconsin union workers is the hot-button political issue at present, so it only makes sense Craig Counsell of the Brewers would weigh in -- he's been an official in the MLB Players Association for years and has played five seasons for Milwaukee.

The veteran has released the following statement:

"As a Major League baseball player for the Milwaukee Brewers who works in Wisconsin under a union contract and whose right to bargain collectively is guaranteed under federal law, I support the thousands of public sector employees who are threatened with the loss of that right under recently-proposed state legislation. These employees are real people with real families whose livelihoods, careers and futures are being jeopardized. I urge the government of Wisconsin not to take away this most basic of union and human rights."

Normally I'm not too keen on athletes injecting themselves into political matters, but -- no matter which side of the debate you agree with -- this makes some sense. Of course a high-ranking official in one of the most powerful unions in the nation, one that uses its collective bargaining power so effectively, is going to weigh in here.

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Category: MLB

Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2011 2:49 pm

Brewers' Counsell supports Wisconsin unions

Although not toally dis-agreeing with Counsell here, he needs to stop using his 'celebrity' status to influence officials. Most of here have better opinions, or at least another valid opinion, that takes a lot more effort to be heard. Obviously we all know that Counsell is supported by a Union and is greatly over-paid for what he does. Most of us do something that he would be hard pressed to do as well. I am not for or against unions but they do need to stop protecting the bad apples, who give a bad name to the majority.

Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: March 1, 2011 2:28 pm

Brewers' Counsell supports Wisconsin unions

@mje037... that is absolutely correct - "collective bargaining is a 'basic human right' in this country".  So what that does mean is that the other 84% (not 90%) of the country who is not taking advantage of this option are simply selling themselves short or maybe they simply don't feel it is necessary.  Capitalism is a marketplace (pricing, production and distribution of goods) determined mainly by competition in a free market.  In no way shape or form does that mean laborers can not unite and bargain accordingly.  Actually, its means the exact opposite.

I don't get it... why are there so many people outraged by unions but make little or not commentary regarding the BILLIONS of dollars in golden parachutes, bonues, dividend payouts, etc for executives, board members and premier shareholders even as the company is failing miserably???

The point should be that you are disgusted by either side that manipulates and/or pollutes the economy for their only personal gain and at the expense of others, in general - not just one or the other.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2011 2:13 pm

Brewers' Counsell supports Wisconsin unions

Excellent statement.  Bravo, C-man!

Since: Mar 1, 2011
Posted on: March 1, 2011 1:23 pm

Brewers' Counsell supports Wisconsin unions

Everybody has a right to express his or her opinion.  Unfortunately, Mr. Counsell is off the mark, as smart as I'm sure he is, as a fellow ND alum.  It's the union solidarity thing, I suspect.  One issue with public sector unions is the vast pollitical influence they have to shape their pay and benefits, which is a problem.  The focus has been on teachers, with good reason - they're the most influential group of public union employees who would be affected by Walker's proposals.  The biggest problem isn't the teachers who work hard and are effective.  It's the number of bad teachers, and the union that does everything it can to protect the bad teachers and stop any reforms which would help improve the education system that's clearly not doing right by our kids.

If this whole collective bargaining reform causes a dent in the teachers' union's influence, I'm all for it.  Watch "Waiting for Superman," directed by the same guy who directed An Inconvenient Truth.  The guy's a left-wing guy and he comes to the same conclusions.

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2011 1:14 pm

Brewers' Counsell supports Wisconsin unions

Well done Counsell.  After retirement I can see a political career on your horizon.  We could use a man with honor.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2011 1:13 pm

Brewers' Counsell supports Wisconsin unions

I'm always sadly amused with the people who rip someone they disagree with, usually using charecter assassination & name-calling telling them to "shut up'. I guess they really believe that only people who agree with them have the right to an opinion, to speak, or to write. I believe the military has some retirement after 20 years, let's attack them next, while the rich & power hungary laugh as we devour each other. Divide & conquer, let the middle class destroy themselves.

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2011 12:27 pm

Brewers' Counsell supports Wisconsin unions

Yes but he plays in the state of Wisconsin and as such pays taxes there, is a citizen just like you, a voter who has just as much right as you and I to have his voice heard.
Whether he's an athlete, makes a ton of money why does his opinion matter less? Why should he not eb able to exercise his first ammendment rights much like you did here?
Also if you don't care about his opinion WHY did you take the time to not only READ this article but to respond to it?
I mean really if you just would rather that he "shut up and play baseball" then don't listen to his opnion oh and while YOU"RE at it why don't YOU do whatever it is you do for a living and shut up! Just because you do what you do for an occupation and make whatever it is you make doesn't mean i need ot hear YOUR opinon either!
Not fun sounnding is it? You're angry saying "how dare he tell em to shut up" yeah well it doesn't feel good when someone rips you like that and feel free to rip me back, i can take it but remember that no matter hwta our occupation or income we all as Americans have the right to express our opinions and nobody's is more valuable than anothers.
Oh BTW take a minute to look up how much the average state worker in Wisconsin makes and the "lavishly generous" benefits package that ahs bestowed upon them and you'll see their wages and benefits aren't out of line with other sectors.
The Republicans are trying to pit us against one another where we think someone else is receiving unfair compensation, not working for it and why shoulkd they get that if we all can't get that?
Oh yeah well when I do as poorly a job as the wall streeters who ran our economy into the ground did why don't I still get a million dollar bonus? how come I don't get my mistakes just brushed aside and given a clean slate? see, doesn't make much sense does it?
Oh yeah and as for the 9% you're waiting for Thank your state legislators for that, they fought to push the implementation of the healthcare law out so you wouldn't see how great it was right away so they had time to try and kill it so you would never see how great it is because if you do see it and experience it you'll expect it to stay and Republicans don't want that, they want the insurance companies to keep denying claims, making tons of profits which then turn into campaign contributions for them and lines their pockets that is what they want so thank your legislators for doing that.

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2011 12:20 pm

reply to IROCK1983 of New Jersey

What is the earliest age at which I can retire?

All employees other than those in the protective category (police, firefighters, etc.) can retire and receive a retirement benefit at age 55; participants who have protective category service (other than purchased service) can retire at age 50.

Directly copy/pasted from the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds website

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2011 12:17 pm

Brewers' Counsell supports Wisconsin unions

THANK YOU Craig Counsell!
I agree with other commentors here that the NFLPA & Packers, the NBAPA & the Bucks should most definitely back the Wisconcin workers.
The problem is that the union in Wisconsin already gave in to all the financial demands the Governor asked for, he now wants to take away their right to bargain as a group sometime down the line, he's trying to bust the union, it has NOTHING to do with the budget!
He gave away 140 million dollars in tax breaks to businesses that weren't paid for or accounter for as his first act in office, where was the concern for the budget then?
This whole thing about "The state is broke" well that's just a bunch of bull because until he gave away those tax breaks and did so mind you to try and lure businesses from Illinois to come to Wisconcin and to give back to those who bank rolled his campaign, the state had a balanced budget this is just a ploy to bust the unions which Repuiblicans have been trying to do for years.

ANY union worker would support the union workers in Wisconsin, and they should because as a union worker you need to support those in other union jobs and not have the "not my problem so I don't care attitude" because today it is their jobs and rights their fighting for, tomorrow it could be yours!

Since: Nov 5, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2011 12:17 pm

Brewers' Counsell supports Wisconsin unions

I don't know where the retire at 50 thing comes into play?  I'm a state worker from NJ and my retirement age is 62, vastly different from 50.

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