Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."

UNIONS AND DEMOCRATS IN THE STREETS: A Lose-Lose Proposition

Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill Protest

It’s obvious why public-sector union members and leaders have taken to the streets in Wisconsin. They want to block legislation that is a real and present danger to their benefits, collective-bargaining privileges, and union power. It’s also obvious why these protests will fail. Voters understand that can’t keep spending money it doesn’t have, and they don’t see why their tax dollars should fund salaries and benefits for public-sector union employees they don’t have. Not only will these classic union protest tactics fail, but they will further weaken the Democratic Party, with which the unions are so closely aligned, and they will change the landscape for the 2012 presidential election. That’s why President Obama is so concerned.  (More)

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Filed under: Politics

5 Responses

  1. Charles Raymond says:

    NY State United Teachers and Civil Service Employees Association and Public Employees Federation, the big three public employee unions in New York, are gearing up for a fight over the NY budget for the coming year, due on April 1st.

    A recent Capital District Business Review article of salaries of union leadership showed that 19 of the top 25, making over 100k up to nearly 200k, were in NYSUT, while the head of CSEA was #3 on the list.

  2. Bob Hoelle says:

    Ed,
    With all due respect, we disagree on this one. SB5 here in Ohio is designed to do more than just prevent collective bargaining. State employees are paying only 9% of their healthcare compared to an average of 23% for the average worker in Ohio. An increase there would be reasonable. But to attack established pension agreements and seniority in regards to layoffs would surely lead to unfair labor practices. Everyone is worried about the few union leaders at the top making a big salary, but that happens in all fields. Politicians and corporation leaders enjoy Hugh salaries,benefits, and even kickbacks for what they do.
    I work for a large fortune 500 company that repeatedly makes record profits and I am glad they do. I have been a union employee (IAM)for over 40 yrs and take some pride in the company’s success, and the quality product we produce. I also feel that union wages are somewhat of a yardstick used by non union employers to evaluate the worth of their employee’s in regards to wages and benefits.
    I feel the republican success in the midterms was due the knee jerk decisions and actions by Obama after the 08 elections in regards to the bailouts, continued spending, forced government healthcare, and generally trying to do too much too fast in a celebratory “in your face” manor. Some republican representatives are trying to become clones of Ronald Reagan’s handling of the air traffic controllers. Boehner has recently used the “Read my lips” quote of George HW Bush. They need to slow down, this mess didn’t occur overnight, and it won’t be fixed overnight.

    • EWRoss says:

      Bob, thanks for you excellent comment. It’s not labor leaders salaries that rankles people who aren’t Democrats, its the hundreds of millions of dollars the unions extract from their members against their will and give to the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates. Then these Democrats when they are in office buy the votes of the unions and their members with ever more generous benefits. Private industry unions are one thing, but public service sectors unions are something else altogether. There’s a strong argument that they shouldn’t exist. The elected representatives of every state are their representatives.

      Reasonable people can differ on these issues, and when times are good, most people don’t pay that much attention. Now however, the states are going broke and the unfunded liabilities they are saddled with are enormous. Salary and benefit give backs one year aren’t enough. As Governor Walker has said, local governments need the tools to prevent mounting unfunded liabilities in the future.

      Take care good buddy.

  3. Bob Hoelle says:

    Thanks for the response Ed,
    My screen name in the past has been “Slightly Right”, because I guess that would best describe my political position. I think the republicans are shooting themselves in the foot on this one. The collective bargaining process needs to be used now more than ever. I’m convinced that the unions are aware of the budget problems now more than ever. Unions in general have taken concessions for twenty five years, more so in the private sector. I think the drastic approach being used is unnecessary and is putting the new found republican majorities at political risk of holding the majority. I guess its politics, but very little, if any of these rapid plans to make major proposals and changes were brought up in the governors debates in Ohio. I watched them. Governor Kasich’s big promises was improving education, job creation, and eliminating a high speed rail system. Nothing was said about overnight changes in the collective bargaining system. It is certainly not the fault of fire fighters, cops, and garbage collectors that we are in a recession. As a matter of fact, they are a small slice of the debt pie. Even some republicans warn against the loss of jobs and all that goes with them with a drastic quick fix. The proposal here in Ohio is over 400 pages long. It somewhat reminds me of an 1100 page healthcare package that was rammed down our throats two years ago. They need to SLOW DOWN!

    Hey, we agree about 95% of the time. That ain’t bad.

    Your good friend,
    Bob

  4. EWRoss says:

    It would be nice if at least one person interviewing a Democratic Senator in Hiding from Wisconsin would challenge them when they claim that Governor Walker wants to take away “workers rights.” They aren’t rights they are privileges granted them by the legislature on behalf of the voters and they can be revoked.

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