In a Huffington Post editorial, the author makes claims of GOP assaults on unions and Democrats not standing up for Big Labor. The column is referring to the legislation, proposed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. The law would limit collective bargaining for public employees, except for negotiating salary. The claim that Gov. Walker is using union busting tactics is false. The law is pro-labor if anything. Governor Walker has not seized the rights of workers to unionize. The legislation allows workers to keep union officials accountable for how union dues are spent.
The claims of Democrats not standing up for Big Labor are unfounded. A quote from his article disproves his assertion:
“In Wisconsin right now, Democratic legislators have taken the extraordinary step of holing up in a hotel in Illinois to block a quorum for a vote on what would be the most anti-worker piece of legislation to come out of any state house in a generation. But they can’t hide forever.”
Could these Democratic elected officials be any more pro-union than fleeing the state they represent to block a vote on the legislation? I think not. Furthermore, President Obama has appointed multiple union officials to government agencies and commissions. Some political appointees by the Obama administration: Craig Becker, formerly of SEIU, appointed to seat on NLRB; Andy Stern, former president of SEIU, now is a member of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform; and recently Bob King, UAW boss, was nominated to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Obama and Democrats have consistently pandered to Big Labors needs during Obama presidency. An executive order was issued that mandated all federal construction projects use project labor agreements (PLAs). PLAs are a complete sop for unions. They insist on using union workers, which increases the cost of construction projects on average by 10 to 20 percent.
The advancement of pro-labor law in Wisconsin should be seen as a step forward in the labor movement. It does not take away the right unionize. Gov. Walker is not attempting to vilify public employees, but his state has an upcoming two-year budget for 2011-13 that must address a pending $3.6 billion deficit. The fact is public employee union members make more than their counterparts in the private sector and in the public sector. Public employees contribute little or nothing to their health care or retirement benefits. These cuts and legislation are controversial, but are required because of the debt incurred from unnecessary government spending and public employees’ generous contracts. Public employees should be thankful for the legislation in hopes that Gov. Walker can improve Wisconsin’s deficit and prevent massive public employee layoffs.