Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, February 25th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 15 Comments

There’s been a lot of talk lately about “attacks” on labor unions but I don’t buy it.  Because from all appearances, labor unions are committing ritual suicide.

15 Comments to SEPPUKU

February 25, 2011

Odd. The article says that both sides claim to have video evidence either refuting or substantiating the claim that sexually degrading comments were made to women entering the legislative chamber. No details are given of either. I would like to either see a damning video or hear several independent reports on this. Remember the claims that Tea Party people called black Representatives “n…..s” when there was no substantiation at all for the charge. If I accuse somebody, I’d like to be reasonably sure the accusation is true.

February 26, 2011

Workers have a right to be represented by a Union to collectively bargain on their behalf and to prevent worker exploitation. In certain circumstances workers even have the right to withdraw their labour which in turn would then involve loss of wages and could involve loss of a job. You cannot withdraw labour and insist on being paid, and claiming to be on strike but report to your employer that you are sick is dishonest to both employer and a betrayal of your labour colleagues who are losing wages. However neither unions nor workers, individually or collectively have a right to intimidate or threaten their employer or their fellow workers.

BTW: Freedom of speech does not include the right for someone to claim or demand to speak on your behalf without your consent especially if you disagree with what is being proposed and then insist on being paid for it.

February 26, 2011

The massive implosions have been entertaining to watch. What’s that phrase again? Something about giving people enough rope…

February 26, 2011

So far what can be confirmed is that union supporters were evicted from the House gallery for shouting and unruly behavior during the vote. I think Wisconsin has been entirely too gentle on accepting unruly behavior within the Capitol Building while legislative bodies are in session.

What this is about in all the states is forced unionization of public employees and forced payroll deductions of dues which are then used to promote political candidates the members may not support personally. Democrats fear that if given a choice about 30% of the union members may decide not to contribute. A 30% funding decline would devastate the Democratic political machine.

February 26, 2011

There is no constitutional “right” to insist the government use organized labor. No constitutional “right” to insist that the government refuse to hire laborers who are not enrolled in the union. No constitutional “right” to insist that expired contracts be binding on continued employment. No constitutional “right” that certain benefits “must be paid for. No constitutional “right” that government must force people to pay a lobbying group working against their own conscience and their perception of the public welfare.
There are no “rights” here, only bad government policies.
“Government employee union,” as a concept, is flawed, since it effectively forces the rest of us to be governed by a quasi-legislative body in which we have no franchise, , and which lacks any constitutional directive or support.

February 26, 2011

There’s been a lot of talk lately about “attacks” on labor unions but I don’t buy it.

Don’t forget that most media figures who report on said “attacks” are themselves members of labor unions, so their objectivity is obviously in question.

Amy P.
February 26, 2011

Workers have a right to be represented by a Union to collectively bargain on their behalf and to prevent worker exploitation.

Which is fine, except we’re not talking about taking away private-sector unions. But GOVERNMENT unions which, by and large, are the wholly owned piggy banks of liberal Democrat politicians.

If the left is so afraid the government will exploit them if collective bargaining privileges are rolled back, that only makes the conservative case for smaller government that much stronger.

February 26, 2011

Thank you, Amy P.

Therese Z
February 26, 2011

One reason private-sector unions exist is to try and make sure that the profits of the companies they work for are as equitably distributed as possible, by which I don’t mean socialistic evening-up, but fair pay for a day’s work, and pay for all work.

Private-sector unions have become a means to grab ever-bigger pieces of the tax purse into which they themselves pay. Protection from unsafe conditions, sure, same as private unions, but somehow forgotten is that fact that when they grab their chests and emote “it’s all for the children” and say it without any accountability for results, they are stealing from themselves.

Dale Matson
February 26, 2011

When the auto unions went on strike for the right to refuse overtime, it suggested that the union leadership was one dimensional in seeing monetary issues as the singular bargaining issue up to that point.

FW Ken
February 26, 2011

I have a public employees union I could join, but won’t. I would live nowhere but a “Right to Work” state.

That said, the abuse I’ve seen public sector management inflict on direct line workers is not only unacceptable for decent people, but costly, when the workers sued and won.

There is no excuse for naivety in either direction.

Don Janousek
February 26, 2011

“There is no right to strike against the public interest by anyone, anytime, anywhere.” Calvin Coolidge

“Silent Cal” might not have said very much, but when he did, he sure hit the nail squarely.

February 27, 2011

FW Ken, one of the points Gov. Walker of Wisconsin makes is that WI has one of the strongest, and earliest, civil service statutes in the country. Public employees there have protection quite apart from union contracts.

Allen Lewis
February 27, 2011

Katherine –
I agree with you that this article sounds a lot like “he said/she said. But given recent events in which we know that public sector union representatives have behaved in thuggish and boorish ways, I am inclined to take the Republicans word on this. But concrete proof would be good.

Public sector unions have been part of the deficit problem for a long time. It is time that they were controlled. But the legal climate makes that rather unlikely. Too many “progressive” justices when it comes to “labor issues.”

FW Ken
February 27, 2011

I can’t google it up, but my memory says that Milwaukee had a Socialist Party mayor back in the 20s, or maybe Wisconsin had a socialist governor. Something like that.

Katherine –

From my perspective, civil service can be a problem in a manner not unlike that of unions. However, I agree with LaVallette’s points, because in a fallen world, fallen men will abuse others in the pursuit of power. Some sort of check needs to be in place to protect us from one another.

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