NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Disorganizing Labor

January 10, 2011

Kevin Hassett, an adviser to both George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain, speculated that in the snowplow slowdown, Americans may have had their first taste of government workers shutting down cities, states and even countries when things do not go their way.  The delay of snowstorm cleanup by the unionized New York City snowplow drivers is an apparent protest against budget and job cuts, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

Some policymakers, however, are resolved to prevent such a bleak future from afflicting the country.  "Faced with growing budget deficits and restive taxpayers, elected officials from Maine to Alabama, Ohio to Arizona, are pushing new legislation to limit the power of labor unions, particularly those representing government workers, in collective bargaining and politics," the New York Times reports.

  • According to the Times, Ohio's new Republican Gov. John Kasich, following examples in many other states, "wants to ban strikes by public school teachers," while other new governors, most notably Wisconsin's Scott Walker, threaten to take away public workers' "right to form unions and bargain contracts."
  • Even Democrats in California and New York are considering giving public employee unions a haircut.

While elected officials who will try to rein in the unions might be a bit late, at least they deserve some credit for recognizing the problem and enthusiastic support for their efforts to fix it, says IBD.

Source: "Disorganizing Labor," Investor's Business Daily, January 5, 2011.

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