Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Labor Payback is a B$#%@

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, a truism confirmed by the payback union bosses are getting from politicians in exchange for all the union member money funnelled towards campaigns. The news is filled with attempts to steal employees’ right to a secret ballot vote when deciding whether to join a union, a move to kill a labor board that doesn’t toe the union bosses’ line, a push for an economically unsound “living wage,” and more.

Herewith the menu of payback:

Massachusetts’s governor is trying to kill a state labor board which apparently had the gall to operate as required by law. A Boston Herald editorial today excoriates the move, writing:

There is nothing subtle about the Patrick administration’s willingness to use the state budget to whack away at those who don’t toe the administration line.

Case in point, the state Labor Relations Commission, which last January ordered up hefty fines on the Boston Teachers Union for its strike threats. The commission’s tough stance not only averted a work stoppage, but likely had a sobering effect on the union, which eventually reached agreement with the city.

But the governor’s budget eliminates funding for the commission – illegally, charge two Romney appointees to the panel, especially if that move comes in retaliation for that decision and a pending matter involving the Service Employees International Union.

Over at the NAM blog, Carter Wood notes that AFL-CIO president John Sweeney’s demand for universal healthcare, which is being echoed by increasingly more politicians, is a self-serving demand for organized labor.

A top Maryland labor official says politicians’ recent support for a statewide “living wage” — which will increase the cost of government and eliminate any hope of competitive bidding — “should not be seen as a payoff for unions.” Tough to see it any other way.

The biggest payback of all has to be Congress’s attempt to end secret ballot elections. Colorado’s Pueblo Chieftain editorializes: “BIG LABOR put tons of money into the past election cycle to elect Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.” As importantly, the paper’s editors note that the card check bill is a bad deal for employees:

This is truly a bad bill for workers who do not wish to join a union, and it overturns more than a half-century of settled federal labor law. The bill tramples on the rights of individual employees to vote in secret on whether they support a unionization effort. Imagine if our politicians tried to force us to make our election choices public.

There’s no free lunch. But when union bosses dump so much money into American politics, it’s taxpayers, consumers, and employees who get stuck with the check.

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