Friday, March 18, 2011

Public vs. Private Unions

Posted by South Park Diva

Another exchange concerning unions - this one on Facebook. I posted this link to stand with Governor Scott Walker: I had also previously posted about the whole private versus public union conundrum.

To which an old HS replied: "oh yeah they are also entitled to earn a living wage which unions actually got workers earlier in the last century. if people working for private industry didn't have collective bargaining, do you really believe that big companies would actually pay a fair wage? as far as state workers go when was the last time anyone complained that teachers were over paid? without collective bargaining, they'd be paid a lot less.
as for the situation in WI the union agreed to an 8 percent cut in salary already. the governor doesn't want to give up anything. government that doesn't compromise is a dictatorship and in the U.S. wont last long especially in a state that has left leaning tendancies until recently."

To which I replied:

"My post was concerning public unions. Private unions are a different matter. Remember that when a public union goes to the bargaining table, they are basically bargaining with themselves with YOUR money! Politicians know that union money helps to win elections. So it is in their interest to keep unions happy. So when the government sits down with public unions, they are bargaining with taxpayer money - and they don't necessarily care about protecting the taxpayer, so much as protecting their own interests and getting re-elected. Unions know this. Politicians know this. Unfortunately, the taxpayers are getting duped far too often. Walker wants to end this strangle hold that public unions have on the taxpayer's wallet by taking away some (not all) of their collective bargaining rights. Basically, he only wants them to be able to negotiate salary, but not the massive pension and insurance packages that are bankrupting the state. Even FDR, a very progressive president, understood that public unions were a very bad idea.

Private unions definitely serve a purpose to combat dishonesty and greed in private industry, but they can still cause trouble in the long run. Look at our auto industry. At least some of GM's problems stemmed from unions. Remember that collective bargaining rewards people who do not want to work their hardest, perform their best and produce results. When your wages are decided in collective bargaining incentives, including raises, where is the incentive to work hard? Why should I bust my hiny to produce the best results, if my raise/bonus is already assured. My husband works for a company that is non-union. His raise is directly related to two things - first, how well does he do his job and second, how well the company is doing over all. The company will not reward him for crappy work and they will also not give out raises that they cannot afford. It's that simple. And the company is still in business after many, many decades. But what happens to a unionized company who has collectively bargained for raises at a certain percentage, but then the company has a bad year or two years? And they still have to give out larger raises (that are NOT based on performance), regardless of the fact that the company is suffering. So what do they do? Probably either lay off workers or raise prices. And raising prices can just hurt business more...

Unions have definitely served an important purpose. But when people aren't given a choice about joining, or when the union bosses admittedly don't actually care about the workers, but are more interested in creating some kind of revolution, we all suffer for it.

And last but not least, the government is under NO obligation to compromise with the union. The elected officials can pass this law if they have the majority, and in this case they do. Elections have consequences, and the consequences of electing a conservative majority into Wisconsin, is that the governor is not obliged to compromise in this legislation, as long as it does not go against the WI or US Constitution. A case in point can be seen in the massive healthcare bill that was passed last year around this time. Although polls showed that 60% of Americans were against the bill, Democrats rammed it through. There was no compromise with Republicans, because THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO. They had the majority, and that's how it goes. This is not a dictatorship. This is the consequences of elections. Period. And you will notice that Republicans did not abandon their posts in an effort to stall or kill the bill. Conservatives did not sit inside the capitol building chanting profanities and beating drums all day and night. We took our lumps and moved on. And now that conservatives have a majority in the House, they are attempting to legally reverse the decision made last year. That is how our law works. If the party in complete power does not compromise, that is not a dictatorship. That is partisan politics. And the people will have the chance to voice their feelings at the next election. That's how our REPUBLIC works. We are a Constitutional Republic."

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