Union Rank and File Breaking in Wisconsin
February 22, 2011 1 Comment
While the young Communists and various socialist groups protest in Madison, Wisconsin in support of government employee unions, the rank and file union members in private industry break ranks. Even the New York Times has noticed. Wisconsin, like most midwest states, has lost a lot of manufacturing jobs. The remaining private manufacturing employers have demanded and received concessions from union employees.
The result of those concessions is that union rank and file aren’t much interested in supporting government employee unions. Like the rest of us in the private sector, they wonder why government employees shouldn’t have to pay for some of their healthcare and retirement. Especially so when the alternative is having taxpayers, including private sector union rank and file, see their tax bills increase.
Let’s be honest about the protests taking place in Madison. They do not include any significant amount of union solidarity. Most of the protesters are hardcore government employee union harpies, left-wing University of Wisconsin students and assorted radical leftists who want to pretend it’s the 60′s again. Even the rank and file government employees haven’t bothered to show up in Madison. Very few have taken part in protests in Madison or called in sick.
This battle isn’t just raging in Wisconsin. There have been protests in Ohio over a similar plan put forward by Gov. John Kasich. Protests are planned for Michigan later today, which will be met with a counter protest from various Tea Party groups. (interestingly the media ignored the fact that there were 15,000 Tea Partiers supporting Gov. Walker in Madison last Saturday)
Nationwide, around 50% support Gov. Walker while less than 40% support the unions according to a Rasmussen poll. This suggests to me that the folks who voted Republicans into power are serious about seeing state budgets reduced. The best way to reduce state budgets is to bring government employees salary, benefits and pensions under control. There is no reason whatsoever why government work should be more profitable to a person than private sector work. Government has no business creating a brain drain in the private sector and taxpayers shouldn’t be stuck footing the bill for obnoxious benefits and pensions for people who work 9 months a year.
Gov. Walker needs to stand firm. Other Republican Governors need to ready themselves for a fight. The government employee unions are loud and organized. The left-wing media will support them at all costs. The Tea Party needs to be prepared to step in to support these Republican governors when they do the right thing. State and Federal budgets have to be reduced. Taxpayers cannot afford tax increases and we cannot afford more debt. Gov. Walker is doing the right thing for Wisconsin and we must encourage Republican governors elsewhere to do the right thing. Cutting government employee salaries, benefits and pensions to balance the budget is the right thing to do for taxpayers.