Public sector unions. Yuck!

To say that I am not a fan of unions is an understatement. However, while I can tolerate private sector unions, I think public sector unions are abominable. I encourage you to read some of my previous postings on this issue.

So I am happy to read that a major blow is about to dampen the influence of public sector unions. You might think that labor union leaders would vehemently disagree with me.

Multiple choice: Who made this quote. “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.

Rand Paul, Senator from Tennessee

Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin

Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States

George Meany, former President of the AFL-CIO

Answer: George Meany. Government unions are commonplace today, but, in the 1950s, the labor movement thought the idea absurd. George Meany was one of America’s most influential labor union leaders.

And the Mayor that dealt most effectively with the blight of public sector unions, Rudi Giuliani, informed us that “eventually they become just another street gang. Spiritually, psychologically, they’ve always been just a street gang.” 

When Giuliani likened public sector unions to street gangs, he knew of what he spoke. Readers in my age range will remember that there were 1,400 public-employee work stoppages nationwide in the mere 5 years between 1965 and 1970. They virtually grabbed the American people by the throat and shook! An image from the 1968 New York City garbage strike will suffice.

[Source: Government unions are in deep trouble. And they have themselves to blame, by Charles Lane]

“No obscure Supreme Court ruling deserves its obscurity less than Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, the transformational 1977 case in which the justices upheld mandatory dues for public-employee unions.”

This ruling provided public sector unions with a steady flow of cash. And from where did that cash derive: taxes. More importantly, they chose a pliable political party. Their 7.2 million members are, for all intents and purposes, a political arm of the Democrat Party – possibly its most powerful political arm. Fourteen of America’s top 25 political donors are unions and they overwhelmingly support Democrat candidates.

However, on Feb. 26, the Supreme Court will hear a public worker’s request to overrule Abood. The plaintiff’s contend that there is no difference between a public-sector union’s political activity and collective bargaining, since bargaining with the government affects taxes, spending and other public policies — which are inherently political.

Union negotiated pensions have created a permanent financial crisis in many states. Perhaps this forthcoming decision will end this clear abridgement of democracy where a union negotiates with the very individuals it supports in elections. It won’t be easy. Just recall the union insanity that surrounded Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to end mandatory public-sector dues and to sharply restrict bargaining in his state.

If Abood is reversed, it will cost public sector unions (and, thus, the Democrat Party) billions of dollars. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is the largest trade union of public employees in the United States. It represents 1.6 million public sector employees. However, a recent survey by AFSCME of those 1.6 million members found that only 35 percent of them would definitely pay dues if not required to do so. (Paid union membership plunged in Wisconsin after Walker’s reforms.)

Let’s hope the Supreme Court ends this nonsense.

Roy Filly

About Roy Filly

Please read my first blog in which I describe myself and my goals.
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2 Responses to Public sector unions. Yuck!

  1. David L. Wood, MD, (ret.) says:

    I too hope the Supreme Court will end the nonsense. With respect to unions, I am with Roy all the way.

  2. Edward Gazzano says:

    As a retired public sector human resources/labor relations professional (for the city & co. of SF) I am very familiar with mandatory union dues. The unions always had their way bargaining with the politicians they themselves supported. And worst of all, many employees came complaining to me about having dues involuntarily deducted from their paychecks going to a union they did not politically support.

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