Unions, especially public employee unions, are quite rightfully taking a beating lately. Scott Walker drove a stake through the heart of public employee unions in Wisconsin and survived a viscous onslaught from Democrats and their union owners in the process. The UAW got their clock cleaned in Chattanooga, TN in a union election at Volkswagen plant, a plant where the management was not only not hostile to the union, but welcomed them and worked with them to organize their workers. Then the recent SCOTUS decision that held that public employee unions like SEIU and AFSCME could not organize home health care workers.
The bottom line isn’t going unnoticed, although it is going unpublicized. For example, in Wisconsin, every school district that complied with Act 10, the legislation curtailing public employee union contracts, no tax increases were necessary to fund schools and districts that had been facing huge deficits were suddenly facing balanced budgets or surpluses. A number of districts in very liberal cities signed contract extensions with their teachers unions to avoid Act 10. In every one of those districts teachers were laid off and taxes were either increased or budgets slashed in other areas to pay for teacher benefits.
This week, a new wrinkle got publicized although we had to stumble across it as opposed to hearing about it on a major news outlet. Not even FoxNews reported it. The Oregon Catalyst reported the follow good news for tax payers and bad news for union bosses.
Because of a deal struck by Governor John Kitzhaber, Oregonians won’t have the opportunity to end forced union dues in the public sector this year. However, a just-released public opinion poll makes it clear that if the Public Employee Choice Act had been on this November’s ballot, most voters likely would have supported it.
The poll, conducted for National Employee Freedom Week (August 10-16) asked adults across America:
“Should employees have the right to decide, without force or penalty, whether to join or leave a labor union?”
Nationwide, 82.9 percent of respondents answered Yes. Of the 500 respondents in Oregon, a resounding 84 percent answered Yes.*
This poll may be surprising to some, but not to us here at CurmudgeonCentral! because we’ve followed the results of right to work legislation, most recently in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Teachers Union and AFSCME, the two major public employee unions lost up to 75% of their membership and millions of dollars in dues. The biggest losers in the lost dues was the Democratic Party, because their largest donors are unions.
It’s time for conservatives to take heart and start working toward granting the right to work in states where unions still hold the workforce – and the taxpayers – captive. Given the alternative, workers would prefer to spend the outrageous amounts collected by their unions and given to Democrats on their families than on their union bosses lavish lifestyles.
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