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Pols turn on labor unions

The_Penguin

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Spurred by state budget crunches and an angry public mood, Republican and some Democratic leaders are focusing with increasing intensity on public workers and the unions that represent them, casting them as overpaid obstacles to good government and demanding cuts in their often-generous benefits.

Unlike past battles over the high cost of labor, this time pitched battles over wages and pensions are being waged from Sacramento to Springfield to New York City and the conflict is marked by its bipartisan tone, with public employee unions emerging as an intransigent public enemy number one in cities and state capitals across the country.

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Pols turn on labor unions - Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman - POLITICO.com

While I have my beef with unions and how they're run internally, I have to ask. Is it just the unions? Indiana is an example of a competently run government that didn't resort to going after the unions. Abuses should be minimized, yes, but this appears to be a strawman.
 

RightinNYC

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Pols turn on labor unions - Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman - POLITICO.com

While I have my beef with unions and how they're run internally, I have to ask. Is it just the unions? Indiana is an example of a competently run government that didn't resort to going after the unions. Abuses should be minimized, yes, but this appears to be a strawman.
You don't consider this "going after the unions"?

“We have a new privileged class in America,” said Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who rescinded state workers' collective bargaining power on his first day in office in 2006. “We used to think of government workers as underpaid public servants. Now they are better paid than the people who pay their salaries.”

“It's a part of a very large question the nation's got to face,” Daniels told POLITICO in an interview. “Who serves whom here? Is the public sector—as some of us have always thought—there to serve the rest of society? Or is it the other way around?”
As to the main topic: Public labor unions are just disasters. They've long since crossed the threshold of what was necessary to protect workers rights and are now at the point that they're just handouts from the public coffer.
 

Cold Highway

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People who work on the tax payer dime shouldnt have the legality to forum a union. Unions should be limited to the private sector. Civil Service jobs werent meant be career work, they were designed for people to get a temporary cushion in order to get back into the private sector.
 

Z3n

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In theory unions sound like idea-- preventing abuse, receiving livable pay and organizing workers democratically over issues that effect them.

But in reality they turn into the 3rd member of the unholy trifecta-- big government, big labor, and big business.

People like functioning and unified society, but when any of these institutions appears "big" its an existential threat, and the other two gang up to keep equilibrium.

Although at the moment i would argue that big business has both government and labor by the cahones.
 

justabubba

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i see the theme of union animus but i also notice that other than some vaguely stated opposition to unions the opponents are unable or unwilling to articulate what it is the unions are doing which they find needs to be ended
do you actually have examples of the wrongs the unions are engaged in or are unions the boogie men who are on the receiving end of your frustrations, without a basis in fact
 

RightinNYC

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i see the theme of union animus but i also notice that other than some vaguely stated opposition to unions the opponents are unable or unwilling to articulate what it is the unions are doing which they find needs to be ended
do you actually have examples of the wrongs the unions are engaged in or are unions the boogie men who are on the receiving end of your frustrations, without a basis in fact
Many unions, public sector unions in particular, have used their electoral and societal influence as a negotiating tool in order to strike deals with politicians that result in compensation that is substantially higher than a free market would provide. Because of these groups influence, politicians make deals with unions to win support in exchange for excess money that comes out of the taxpayer pocket. Taxpayers are less likely to raise a ruckus than are the union members, because the burden is distributed while the benefit is concentrated.

Further adding to this imbalance is the fact that few want to go on record criticizing "America's Heroes" like the FDNY or NYPD, and the fact that many believe these jobs are more difficult than they actually are. In addition, the fact that many of the most costly benefits (pensions, etc.) are hidden from public view prevents the general public from understanding the true cost of acquiescing to these union demands.
 

jambalaya

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In this day and age bitching about your benefits and pay is not very popular when so many are out of work. Then you have public sector unions who are basically saying "keep that tax money coming so we can get our raises". When was the last time you've seen any politician stand up to the public sector unions and suggest that they forgo a raise? The relationship just doesn't work when in affect you have no recourse but to give them what they want for the most part.
 
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