Big Labor's failed recall attempt

Big Labor's failed recall attempt

August 13th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

You may remember the angry protests and irresponsible actions of many union members in Wisconsin early this year when lawmakers there considered a bill to reduce the state's budget deficit.

The bill aimed to rein in unsustainable, expensive union contracts by limiting collective bargaining by government workers. Many protesters refused to leave the Capitol building, and there were threats of violence against Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

But eventually, the bill passed and collective bargaining was curtailed. That was an appropriate action, because government workers should not be unionized to begin with. They are paid not by a private company but by taxpayers, and there should never be any threat that government services will be disrupted by strikes.

But Big Labor was infuriated that Wisconsin had limited collective bargaining, so labor unions began pumping millions of dollars into Wisconsin in support of recall elections against Republican lawmakers who had backed the bill. Democrats hoped to recall enough Republicans to seize majority control of the state Senate.

But it was not to be.

Despite massive outside funding support, Democrats won only two of the recent recall elections -- and lost four others. Republicans therefore kept control of the Wisconsin Senate. The GOP may even pick up a couple of seats in upcoming recall attempts against Democrat lawmakers who fled Wisconsin to try to prevent a vote on the collective-bargaining bill from taking place.

Tennessee has taken similar steps to restrict collective bargaining by government employees.

States are well justified in rejecting unionization of government workers, both on principle and as a means to keep state and local budgets under control.