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The American Worker/Unions


yabadabapal

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Ive been watching the Wisconsin lawmakers trying to pass a new law

that would bar any collective bargaining power by unions such as

police, fiefighters and gnereal labor unions to organize on behalf

of the welfare and benefits of its members. This according to

the Wisconsin law makers is being brought in as a tool to reduce the states budget deficit, I would like to hear what you guys think about this.

Here is s recent article.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/18/wisconsin-union-protests

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This is for public employee unions correct, not the private sector? I guess the Gov decided it would be easier to go this route, than to actually sit at the table and say "NO", when the State does not have funds to pay...unless of course, they raise more taxes, while already being in the hole some $3B. At least their making an attempt to do something, as opposed to my neighbor, Illinois...they're $15B down. Yes, they just raised the State income tax, but haven't had time to figure out new ways to spend it yet....hopefully they'll pay their owed school districts first.

 

Is it going against what we as citizens have become accustom to, you bet. However, CHANGE is never ending. We are all going to go through this in one way or another and someone has to go first. I'll throw my fit when they lower my social security benefits and change my pension pay out (from two private sector businesses).

 

I still wouldn't want to live anywhere else, but the makeup of how things have been done is going to change and society is going to have to cope with it. We have reached global status, which isn't good for many or for our prior elevated status.

 

I wish someone had a really good answer for all this, that wasn't going to hurt...like that penicillin shot my Doc use to give me for any and everything, when I was 8 years old. Had we only known then, it really didn't cure colds.

 

The only way out of all this is to ride that bike this summer and enjoy what ya got in the time ya got left to do so....everything else is just a distraction.

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Dave McReynolds

I see two different issues here:

 

1. Collective bargaining to set wages and benefits

 

2. Protection of workers' rights against unfair labor practices.

 

I really have no objection to limiting public employee unions' rights to bargain for wages and benefits. Wages and benefits should be set at the level needed to attract and hold qualified applicants. You don't need a union to figure out what that level is; you just advertise for a job opening and see who shows up.

 

I do believe public employees need a union to protect their members' individual rights on the job. When I was an IRS agent, there were several occasions where it was clear that a manager had a vendetta against a particular employee, and without union intervention, the employee would have been treated in a maner that was arbitrary, capricious, and unfair (if not illegal). It is useful to have a union to help an employee fight against illegal acts where the individual employee may not have the resources to fight or may fear retaliation, but where a union really helps employees is to stand up for employee rights against unfair or arbitrary acts by managers that might not rise to the level of being illegal.

 

I'm not sure if the Wisconsin law is aimed solely at #1, or both #1 and #2?

 

While I am generally in favor of unions protecting workers' rights, there are clearly excesses on both sides. In some cases, unions have defined work rules so closely that it is almost impossible to get the job done, and have even come down with sanctions against its own members if they do any work not covered by their particular job description. In the case of the Treasury Union, it seemed to work pretty well. I remember some cases where the union counselled the employee that management was not being unfair and that they should get with the program. That counselling from the union probably had more of a positive impact on the employee than if the same words were said by management.

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I do not know the particulars but this seems to be contrary to federal law - the National Labor Relations Act as administered by the NLRB. The Wisconsin State lawyers may have found some wiggle room but an all out ban seems unlawful.

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Probably the best thing a Union does is have a contract with the employer. That way pensions and benefits can be protected. Should salaries be adjusted down? Yes, in some cases; but I'd first have to ask management how much of a pay cut they're taking and if bonuses will be applied to labor as well as management if things pick up.

 

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Dennis Andress

The answers to these two questions are a another way to look at it:

 

How do you define austerity?

 

How much austerity doe we need to balance local, state, and federal budgets?

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How dare they expect government workers to contribute to their own benefits like an private sector worker? Or remove the government from the process of collecting union dues? Next thing you know they'll expect government employees to earn promotions and raises!

 

(tongue planted firmly in cheek)

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A wise woman once wrote "for the foreseeable future, there will be no politics or political discussion in any form allowed on BMWST.com."

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