Big Labor’s Midwest Offensive

Yesterday in the St. Paul, Minnesota, Pioneer Press, my colleague Russ Pohl and I detail the current militant tactics used by Midwest public-sector unions that are paralyzing government. The actions reveal the need to uproot the foundation of government union’s power over taxpayer funds by eliminating collective bargaining in government.

We explain that in Chicago the power of collective bargaining enabled the teachers union to execute a seven-day illegal strike:

Illinois state law “prohibits the CTU from striking over non-economic issues, such as layoff and recall policies, teacher evaluations, class sizes and the length of the school day and year.” Yet CTU President Karen Lewis has stated that evaluation standards and layoffs policies are the reason the teachers abandoned their 350,000 students.

Wisconsin public sector union’s collective bargaining advantage affords them absurd legal standing. It enabled the Madison teachers union to file suit and win — for now — against Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reform. On September 14, Wisconsin Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled, ”[I]t is undisputed that there is no constitutional right to collective bargaining.” Yet, he ruled that limiting the conditions over which government unions can negotiate violates workers’ rights to freedom of speech and association. In other words, the Judge essentially decided that if public sector union power were restricted, unions would be less attractive for workers to join, therefore limiting employees’ speech and freedom of association.