The Unique Problem of Public Sector Unions

An article in the Canada Free Press published earlier this week provides an extraordinarily articulate and passionate summary of the destructive power of public sector unions. To read the entire article, click on this aptly descriptive title “Who Will Protect the People from the Unions?” Rather than paraphrase author Steven Greenhouse’s inimitable prose, here are some highlights:

“It is often forgotten that one of the causes of the evolution of the modern American urban union was the lawless suppression of workers by Democratic party affiliated political machines, and yet it did not take so very long before the union became an outgrowth of that same political machine. And having wiped out nearly every independent industry with which it was associated, the only unions still surviving are those in control of either municipal services or state subsidized service providers, particularly in the medical field.”

“If the union began as a way to negotiate salaries and working conditions between employers and workers, the modern day union is often little more than governments and their union supporters bleeding the public dry in order to subsidize a political party and a union leadership that brings in the votes for that party.”

“The recent lethal work slowdown by union members in New York City during the blizzard or the multimillion dollar media blitzes by California unions for Jerry Brown and New Jersey teacher’s unions against Chris Christie is a harsh reminder of the utter greed and ruthlessness of the union’s last stand, their death grip on public services fed by taxpayer money. These stands have little to do with worker’s rights. They have next to nothing in common with the old union image of underpaid workers protesting outside of factories. It’s still about exploitation, but it’s about the exploitation of the public by a union-government political establishment.”

“When the union is isolated enough and the public is desperately trying to make ends meet, then the unions may lose. That’s what happened with the teacher’s union in New Jersey. But when the unions are big enough and feed off a huge membership that knows it has no choice but to vote union, and the unions are closely tied up with an entitlements dependent electorate, then the system may be irreparable. And that is what happened in California. You can’t fix a system like that, not without taking on millions of people who are robbing it blind. And that’s not an election, it’s a civil war.”

“In his own time as governor of New York and police commissioner of New York City, Theodore Roosevelt could not succeed in cleaning it up. And his many times removed cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt turned New York City’s corruption into a national standard with the New Deal. Together with Tammany Hall’s New York Senator Wagner, their National Labor Relations Act turned to compulsory unionization as a means of forcing workers into supporting the Democratic party, whether they wanted to or not. And by doing so, Wagner and FDR began the process of reclaiming the unions from the Communist party and organized crime, and integrating them into the nationwide structure of the Democratic party.”

“FDR and Wagner were both New York politicians with a ground floor view on how its dirty politics worked.  And the NLRB was not about worker representation, but about money and political power. It favored large unions with political affiliations, destroying small unions, and taking a Northeastern urban alliance between the political machine and the union bosses as its model. The workers were no longer being beaten by goons hired by their employers and the political machine’s police. Now they were being beaten by goons hired by the union bosses and the political machine’s police. Organized crime had always worked both sides of the aisle, playing for the highest bidder. The NLRB showed organized crime that unions were the future and industry was the past. But the politicians were ahead of them.”

“The union became a parasite and union jobs either went south or were outsourced. But the public sector union remained a tick fixed on the bloodstream of the public. You didn’t have to be a factory owned to be drained by them. You didn’t need to own a single share of stock. All you had to do was live and pay taxes in an area where public sector unions had gripped in their claws. The intersection of entitlements and public sector unions and political machines meant that money was being exchanged for political support, and the people outraged were not the ones that politicians cared about. They still made a show of driving a hard bargain, but more often they showed up at union conferences to loud cheers. Their old electorate paid taxes. Their new electorate gobbled them.”

“And that brings us back to 2011 where the oppressed worker is now the taxpayer, whose income and future are being garnished by unions. The poor man standing out in the rain is not the union employee, but the man waiting to collect another check, that will be torn apart and consumed by union bosses and politicians. Who will then protect those workers—the people, from the unions?”

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.