News Roundup: Politicians On Labor’s Payroll
Rhode Island Legislators Literally On The Union Payroll
Although plenty of politicians are effectively on labor’s payroll thanks to the massive amount of money that unions funnel into political campaigns, two Rhode Island state senators have taken things to a whole new level. Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio and Senator Frank Ciccone both pulled in six figures from the Laborer’s union, with Ruggerio taking home almost $233,000 and Ciccone’s salary and benefits totaling roughly $197,000. As New Jersey union members know, it helps to have organized labor controlling the state house.
Wisconsin’s Collective Bargaining Law Survives Seventh Circuit
A three-judge panel sitting in Chicago has ruled that Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reform in Wisconsin, Act 10, is constitutional. The Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) had sued the state to stop enforcement of the law that limits public sector employee collective bargaining. WEAC argued that the exemption for public safety unions was unconstitutional. If the WEAC’s appeal is not heard by the entire panel, then the current injunction will be lifted and Wisconsin’s labor reforms can finally take full effect.
NLRB Asked To Intervene In NYC Bus Strike
NY1 is reporting that New York City bus company owners have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to stop its drivers and matrons from continuing the strike that began on Wednesday. Until then, the companies were responsible for getting 152,000 kids to school—at the cost of almost $7,000 per student. The city’s Department of Education wants to open up competitive bids for the routes to save taxpayer money, but the union is insisting that the city impose job protections that New York courts have declared illegal. John Podhoretz of the New York Post says that we shouldn’t be surprised by this strike and that unions will only intensify their strikes over the next decade as old deals collapse under their own financial burden.