Friday, March 11, 2011

Politics: Collective Bargaining

I've resisted writing about this civil flare up, mainly because I believe there isn't any good solution in sight. A few weeks ago I read that a select few Wisconsin legislators had packed their bags and headed for Illinois so as to forestall passing legislation in Wisconsin that will sharply curtail collective bargaining. I'd expect behavior like that from a group of eight year old unsupervised boys who, when they realize they can't win a game of sand lot baseball, pack up and go home. I'd think State senators would have outgrown such behavior, but in a new low for the Moonbats I'm proven wrong. Oh well, it isn't the first time and not likely to be the last.

Wisconsin legislators removed all references to allocation of funds from the legislation and passed it without a quorum, which is perfectly legal. Now they're getting credible death threats. I got this from Instapundit, who referenced Don Surber in an article Obama silent as liberals make death threats where he notes that The Anointed One is keeping mum about the Moonbats who have clearly gone around the bend and are headed upriver to Crazy Town. Charlie Sykes at DEATH THREATS By Charlie Sykes lists the email in question as well - here's a brief excerpt:
Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks.
Now, I'm fairly certain that a law or two has been broken here, but I'm equally certain that the recipients of this cowardly missive have the good sense to arm themselves and practice some basic security. Here's a list of the recipients:
Sen. Kapanke, Sen. Darling, Sen. Cowles, Sen. Ellis, Sen. Fitzgerald, Sen. Galloway, Sen. Grothman, Sen. Harsdorf, Sen. Hopper, Sen. Kedzie, Sen. Lasee, Sen. Lazich, Sen. Leibham, Sen. Moulton, Sen. Olsen
The Anointed One's immediate reaction to this behavior should have been to denounce it in the strongest of terms. Himself has not seen to do so. Little wonder, as He is safe and secure in his new digs on Pennsylvania Avenue. Enjoy it while you can, Pookie.You have to worry about re-election, and that isn't looking like the slam dunk you wish it was.

Moving right back to collective bargaining...

The genii has been out of the bottle for a long time now, and he isn't going to go back in just because a law or two gets passed. Case in point, just look at how well the drug laws are working. Now consider that the police are also union members. How much enthusiastic enforcement of anti-union law does anyone think will actually take place? Anyone who stops to think about things for a minute or two, that is. Besides, collective bargaining isn't the problem. Political support is the problem.

In the public sector, consider the person or persons that sit on the opposite side of the negotiating table from the labor union and think about just how and why those people occupy those particular seats. They've won a popularity contest - no more, no less. None of those people had to pass any type of qualification exam to hold their office, nor must they have a degree. All they needed to do was gain the majority of votes from the people who voted in the last election - check the voter turnout rate in Ohio as you think about this. Now, were it not for the political contributions and campaigning by the labor union, the elected official might still be an unemployed office worker. I suppose that little fact will never influence the way the elected official negotiates a new contract with the union, but you never know. Now remember that those elected officials are spending your money, money that the government takes away from you in the form of extortion taxes.

Right on the heels of political support is the misnamed 'right to work'. This actually refers to the fact that if anyone accepts a job with anyone, and their job is represented by union labor, the new worker is forced to join the labor union. The individual has no choice in the matter - legally he or she must join and union dues will automatically be deducted from their paycheck. The right to work prohibits this. So, if you find a position that is open and that you'd like, and the pay, working conditions and benefits meet with your approval, you can accept the position and succeed or fail on your own merit without a union contract and without union representation. Which is what I've done all my life, and what a lot of other people have done. You go to work, and if you don't like the job you can quit and find something else. Sounds simple, right? That's because it is simple. You work, you get paid, you drink good and the wife is a wife indeed (credit to Alan Dugan).

All that being the case, in part anyway, there are certain people who work for the government whose jobs are critical to the preservation of the life we enjoy. Anyone working for the fire department falls into that category, as do police and emergency medical services. While we could do without these services, it's a long way from desirable to do so. Therefore, if people in the fire department, police department or EMS belong to a labor union, government has decreed that they should not be allowed to go on strike. This presents the obvious quandary - if they can't strike, how can the union negotiate?

To begin with, I wouldn't trust our elected officials to negotiate a labor contract with anyone, let alone the police or, Lord help us all, the fire department. Remember, we need qualified people in these departments; we won't get that with a group of popularity contest winners at the negotiating table. One alternative might be for the government to hire one or more experts to examine the department, look over the contract and represent the residents. I'm not thrilled with this idea either, as the conflict of interest will simply be passed down the line. Another alternative is to let the citizens vote on the contract. While this is a long way from a perfect solution, at least the citizens are voting on how their money will be spent which is a brand new idea and definitely not in favor with any politico I've ever heard speak. Still, I'd try it for a year or so and see what happens.

Several things that should be removed from labor unions is the automatic deduction of union dues, the automatic renewal of union representation each year, and workers being forced by law to join a labor union. If a worker wants to join, fine. If not, the labor union should let that worker alone.

As things heat up even more in Madison, my thought is that the police who are responsible for keeping order and protecting the politicians who have been threatened are all members in good standing of a labor union. Having some experience with the Madison police, I can attest to the fact that they are all highly qualified people and enjoy solid financial support from the city. The current situation with all the violent Democrat protesters is certainly a little tough for them, but not impossible. Democrats have a history of violence and are probably used to it. Consider the 1968 Democratic National Convention and check the history here, at A Brief History Of Chicago's 1968 Democratic Convention. Now granted, that was in Chicago where the Moonbats fled in time of trouble... but still, it could happen in Mad City, couldn't it?

No comments: