12.31.2010 0

Disorganizing Labor

  • On: 01/07/2011 09:20:02
  • In: Big Labor
  • ALG Editor’s Note: In the following featured editorial from Investor’s Business Daily, the editorial board says snow plow work stoppages may just be the beginning of labor union disruptions:

    Public Employee Unions: Economist Kevin Hassett warns that the snowplow slowdown in New York could be a glimpse of America’s future. Some forward-looking states, though, are moving to limit the damage.

    Last week, in an editorial highlighting the problems created by government-employee unions, we suggested that legislators outlaw collective bargaining for public-sector workers.

    At about the same time, unionized New York City snowplow drivers helped us make our case. It appears they delayed snowstorm cleanup as a protest against budget and job cuts.

    City workers deny there was a job action. But the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn has opened a criminal investigation.

    Meanwhile, Hassett, an adviser to both George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain, and now a Bloomberg columnist, speculated that in the snowplow slowdown, “Americans may have had their first taste of” government workers shutting down cities, states and even countries when things don’t go their way.

    “Here’s one vision for 2011 in the U.S.: subways slower, lines at airports longer, trash and snow piling up in the streets, visas and other government documents processed less quickly,” wrote Hassett.

    Some policymakers, however, are resolved to prevent such a bleak future from afflicting the country.

    “Faced with growing budget deficits and restive taxpayers, elected officials from Maine to Alabama, Ohio to Arizona, are pushing new legislation to limit the power of labor unions, particularly those representing government workers, in collective bargaining and politics,” the New York Times reported Monday.

    According to the Times, Ohio’s new Republican Gov. John Kasich, following examples in many other states, “wants to ban strikes by public school teachers,” while other new governors, most notably Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, threaten to take away public workers’ “right to form unions and bargain contracts.”

    Even Democrats in California and New York are considering giving public-employee unions a haircut.

    Eyes that are wide now should have been opened long before government workers’ salaries, health care and pensions began to break the backs of the taxpayers who paid for all the good times.

    While elected officials who will try to rein in the unions might be a bit late, at least they deserve some credit for recognizing the problem and enthusiastic support for their efforts to fix it.

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