‘We Do Not Believe It Is a Matter of State Interest to Require Mandatory Bargaining Between a Locality’ and Firefighters Union Officials

fireBefore voters stopped them by replacing dozens of Big Labor congressmen and women with Right to Work advocates in the November 2010 elections, President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nearly foisted a federal union monopoly-bargaining mandate on independent-minded state and local public-safety employees, public-safety departments, and taxpayers nationwide.

Only intense and persistent grass-roots lobbying by National Right to Work Committee members and a handful of allies prevented the federally monopoly-bargaining mandate, cynically mislabeled as the “Public-Safety Employee/Employer Cooperation Act,” from becoming law three or four years ago.  And seasoned observers of Washington, D.C., politics now expect this dangerous power grab to return in the current Congress.

Even a number of state and local local politicians who normally side with Big Labor recognize that it’s a terrible idea for the federal government, or a state government, to compel localities against their will to recognize a particular union as employees’ “exclusive representative” on matters concerning their pay, benefits and work rules.  The latest to speak out is Colorado Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper, who on Tuesday announced his opposition to pending state legislation that would force all localities to acquiesce to union monopoly control over firefighters.  Fox News reported on Hickenlooper’s statement yesterday afternoon:

[T]he governor, recognizing that municipalities from Boulder to Colorado Springs are united in opposition to S.B. 25, argued that cities should still be able to decide whether or not their firefighters can form a union.

“In this regard, we do not believe it is a matter of state interest to require mandatory bargaining between a locality and its firefighters,” Hickenlooper said.