Government Worker Unions: Last Hope for Big Labor at America’s Expense
Public unions are once again in the news as they continue to press for the new Wisconsin laws enacted by Governor Walker to be voided through the judicial system (see Dane County Judge Strikes Down Collective Bargaining Law). Despite big labor’s cries of union busting, destruction of the middle class and unfair legislative maneuvering, let’s recognize this for what it truly is, survival for big labor and perpetuation of far left ideology. With all due respect to the rank and file union members, they themselves should be appalled by big labor’s overreach. Common sense, procedural fairness, accountability and balanced federal / state budgets are truly what most American’s desire and expect out of their lawmakers as articulated in Why Public Sector Unions are Not Typical Unions and Public Servants Lack Accountability. Instead, due to the massive influence and corruption involved in big labors cozy relationship with politicians they elected through massive campaign contributions, American citizens are receiving none of these.
As aptly described in Collective Bargaining is a Privilege, Not a Right, the current political process provides an unfair playing field for big labor, all at the expense of the American taxpayer. Big labor will counter that corporations as described in Election 2010, have the upper hand due to unfair influence by corporate lobbyist, especially since last summer’s Supreme Court Citizens United decision. President Obama (see Puppet or Puppeteer?), immediately responded to his handlers “wailing” by introducing the Disclose Act in congress, although as we have already seen, Unions are Outspending Corporations on Campaign Ads Despite Court Ruling.
The truth is we are Addressing the Symptoms, Not the Disease. Big labor conveniently forgets to explain that when they use rank and file membership dues to elect political officials, they in effect establish a monopoly. Very simply, they have no competition when force unionizing state employees and they are not subject to competitive bidding/negotiations with the government. Unlike private sector corporations, who not only have to meet rigid standards and specifications through a Request For Proposal (RFP) process when dealing with the government, corporations must also bid against other eligible private sector corporations. Most times, there are up to twenty companies or more involved in the process, this despite the fact the vast majority of businesses choose not to do business with government at any level.
On one side of the equation is big labor, who utilizes union members’ dues to elect politicians, despite the fact Union Members are Not Happy with Their Leader’s Political Spending. These politicians then appoint government employees with whom big labor knows it can negotiate (dictate) sweetheart deals (contracts) at the expense of the taxpayer. Ironically, member dues are extracted by force unionizing certain groups of public employees. Forced unionism happens routinely due to the lack of protection for employees, as passage of Right to Work laws are rare (see Indiana Right to Work, the Right Thing to Do.), because big labor’s “Gasping Dinosaurs” vehemently oppose them. What a deal.
Not only can big labor force employees to be part of its organization, but it then uses their money to elect and dictate who they will negotiate with and the terms of the negotiations. Can you as an average American achieve this with your political donations? Aren’t there laws against monopolies? Despite claims stating otherwise, unions are businesses and should be subject to anti- trust laws. Additionally, many unions (like the SEIU) play both sides of the fence. The SEIU’s Insidious Tentacles work to organize private sector employees, but also effectively use the SEIU’s “Persuasion of Power” to lobby politicians, such as President Obama, to force through laws (like Obamacare) that will provide more health care employees for the SEIU to organize through the expansion of Medicare/Medicaid or with the introduction of government run health care.
On the other side, a legitimate business must not only meet anti-trust laws but exacting government RFP standards while bidding against numerous other businesses. Additionally, employees are not required to pay dues or PAC funds that are in turn used to corrupt political officials and create monopoly bargaining. This system, which works and controls cost, is a testament to the effectiveness of capitalism/free market principles.
In contrast the union monopolies are socialism, cloaked by the term “social justice,” at its worst. Social Justice (Welfare) Breeds Complacency, Dependency and Sloth and is embraced and supported by the far left to further its’ leftist agenda at the expense of American freedoms. Is it any wonder that states like California, Illinois, New York and Wisconsin, as well as our federal government are on the brink of bankruptcy due to out of control public employee costs? We are witnessing America at a Crossroads. As Wisconsin Goes, So Goes America. It is time to wake up and restore a level playing field for employees and employers alike, eliminate big labor monopolies and begin Restoring America’s Prosperity.
About the author: David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.