Big Labor's Burden On Taxpayers Straining Relationships With Big City Mayors

Big Labor's Burden On Taxpayers Straining Relationships With Big City Mayors

Reason opines that the fiscal reality of many cities have ended the love affair, in some instances, between local Democrat mayors and the union who elected them. But, it will likely not bring reform aslong as political machines a mostly funded and controlled by labor union bosses: When Chicago public school teachers started the fall semester by turning down a $400 million contract offer that would have boosted pay by 16 percent over four years, my first concern wasn’t for the children. It was for the Democrats.  Sure, the walkout by Chicago Teachers Union members caused havoc for kids. But I’ve been to public school, and I can tell you they didn’t miss much.  The strike’s lasting damage was to the party that since at least the early 20th century has been labor’s best friend. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not just some schmuck in the donkey party: He is President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, the congressional leader behind the Democrats’ 2006 House takeover, a Clinton administration arm twister so feared that he is still known by his ’90s nickname, Rahmbo.  But the strike made Chicago’s tough-guy mayor look like Chuck “Bayonne Bleeder” Wepner. Striking teachers dubbed him “Empermanuel,” accused him of having “no respect for us as people,” and even claimed (falsely, it turned out) that Emanuel was a fan of the Canadian alt-rock quartet Nickelback. When the teachers returned to work after more than a week on the picket line, they had scored a big pay increase and crippled the teacher-evaluation testing at the heart of the strike, a resolution Emanuel unconvincingly called an “honest compromise.” Emanuel is one of many recent Democratic chief executives who have, with varying levels of enthusiasm and success, tried to confront government employee unions. California Gov. Jerry Brown struggled for two years to get a minor pension bill through the legislature. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in March got a partial pension reform that is expected to save $3 billion a year out of the Empire State’s $133 billion annual budget. Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty lost his job when he took on the teachers union. 

Big Labor's Burden On Taxpayers Straining Relationships With Big City Mayors

Big Labor's Burden On Taxpayers Straining Relationships With Big City Mayors

Reason opines that the fiscal reality of many cities have ended the love affair, in some instances, between local Democrat mayors and the union who elected them. But, it will likely not bring reform aslong as political machines a mostly funded and controlled by labor union bosses: When Chicago public school teachers started the fall semester by turning down a $400 million contract offer that would have boosted pay by 16 percent over four years, my first concern wasn’t for the children. It was for the Democrats.  Sure, the walkout by Chicago Teachers Union members caused havoc for kids. But I’ve been to public school, and I can tell you they didn’t miss much.  The strike’s lasting damage was to the party that since at least the early 20th century has been labor’s best friend. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not just some schmuck in the donkey party: He is President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, the congressional leader behind the Democrats’ 2006 House takeover, a Clinton administration arm twister so feared that he is still known by his ’90s nickname, Rahmbo.  But the strike made Chicago’s tough-guy mayor look like Chuck “Bayonne Bleeder” Wepner. Striking teachers dubbed him “Empermanuel,” accused him of having “no respect for us as people,” and even claimed (falsely, it turned out) that Emanuel was a fan of the Canadian alt-rock quartet Nickelback. When the teachers returned to work after more than a week on the picket line, they had scored a big pay increase and crippled the teacher-evaluation testing at the heart of the strike, a resolution Emanuel unconvincingly called an “honest compromise.” Emanuel is one of many recent Democratic chief executives who have, with varying levels of enthusiasm and success, tried to confront government employee unions. California Gov. Jerry Brown struggled for two years to get a minor pension bill through the legislature. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in March got a partial pension reform that is expected to save $3 billion a year out of the Empire State’s $133 billion annual budget. Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty lost his job when he took on the teachers union. 

California Workers Union Has Labor Issues UAW vs. SEIU

The Sacramento Bee reports on a messy labor dispute -- not between union activists and management but between union activists and more union activists: A messy fight between California's largest state employee union, SEIU Local 1000, and another union that has represented 160 of its staff has spilled into public view. As they battle for those workers, the United Auto Workers is calling Local 1000 a hypocritical union-buster. An official with the National Labor Relations Board says SEIU, as an employer, has engaged in "unfair labor practices." The local rejects the accusations. The fight dates back years to a split between Local 1000 and an umbrella organization, the California State Employees Association. SEIU represents about 95,000 employees, the largest of four affiliates in the CSEA. Other affiliates speak for state retirees, state university support staff and midlevel state supervisors. The four groups' interests often clashed. Still, for years they pooled their dues money and bargained with the UAW for staff contracts covering secretaries to senior attorneys. When Local 1000 left and gained financial independence, it raised a question: What did its new status mean to its relationship with the UAW? The union local concluded that it needed employees to say who they wanted to represent them.

American Thinker: Right to Work and Individual Rights

Sylvia Bokor outlines the critical connection between the Right to Work and individual rights: The Right to Work clause came into existence in 1935, embedded in the Taft-Hartely Law. It means that (a) employees may not be forced to join a union, that (b) employers need not hire only those who agree to join a union, and (c) that employers need not fire employees for failing to join a union or pay union dues. What does this mean in dollars and cents? Consider one of the worse-case scenarios: the Nelson Index ranks New Mexico, a non-Right to Work state, below the national average. Recently, the Rio Grande Foundation published its study of the effect of Right to Work on business growth and increased personal income in New Mexico. The Foundation concluded that were New Mexico to become a Right to Work state, "[b]y 2020, New Mexico would have 42,300 more people working ... [and that] the state's personal income would be nearly $5 billion higher, and wage and salary income would be $2.2 billion higher." But why? Why does prohibiting the use of force have such a hugely beneficial effect on economic growth and prosperity? The National Institute of Labor Relations Research answers the question. Mr. Greer begins his article by correctly identifying the foundation of the Right to Work clause: "Big Labor propaganda against Right to Work legislation and laws rarely focuses on the principle at stake: freedom of association." Later he states: "... Right to Work laws are not merely or even primarily an economic development tool. Right to Work laws and legislation are really a matter of freedom, not economics." True. But go deeper still. Individual rights are the foundation of freedom. "Freedom is the absence of force." Without individual rights, freedom does not exist. To the extent one's rights are violated, to that extent is one's freedom is curtailed, ultimately to be destroyed altogether. By definition, individual rights include the assurance that no man may violate the rights of another with impunity. A culture permeated by freedom is a culture enjoying the essential condition for prosperity: protection and recognition of individual rights. Philosophically, the Right to Work clause is the recognition of man's right to think for himself, to make his own choices and decisions -- i.e., his right to life. Personal happiness fuels productivity. Prosperity results. So why do union bosses continue to block implementation of the RTW clause?