Big Labor Targets Public Safety Workers
By Mark Mix
Senator Harry Reid has put state and local governments on notice-we're coming for your workers. Abandoning normal procedure, reminiscent of the recent push for "Obamacare," Majority Leader Reid has bypassed the Senate Committee process and placed the so-called Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (S. 3194) on the Senate calendar. In fact, we have been told by Senate leaders that it could come up as early as this week. And with Senator Reid and his Big Labor allies in Congress in full payback mode, Senator Bill Nelson's and Senator George LeMieux's votes could easily determine the fate of public safety workers all over the country.
If passed, the better-named Police and Firefighter Monopoly Bargaining Bill could turn over police and firefighters of local governments to union boss control by federal mandate. It overrides the laws of at least 25 states, including several that have a complete ban on granting union officials bargaining privileges for public sector employees. Most Democrats and some weak-kneed Republicans are rushing to ram this bill through, regardless of the cost to America's police and firefighters-not to mention the extra stress it will impose on state and local governments nationwide at a time when they're already struggling financially.
You see, states and localities that have "taken the lead" by doing public employees the disservice of forcing them under union boss control are at the forefront of state and local budgetary disasters. The two worst are Illinois and California, and there is little disagreement as to the cause. Illinois is facing a $13 billion shortfall-half the state's budget. California is facing a budget deficit of over $19 billion thanks to out-of-control government union bosses and their outrageous demands. Dropping down a level, the city of Vallejo, California, actually went bankrupt after nearly 75 percent of its budget was spent on satisfying the demands of the union agreement covering police and firefighters. And the Mayor of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, recently stated that struggling cities are "handcuffed" by public sector monopoly bargaining. But as we've seen, far too often, government union bosses deny any responsibility for budget deficits. Instead-whether legal or not-they threaten to walkout on strike, or as just occurred in Toledo, get the "blue flu."
Public sector union bosses simply hold the public "hostage"-denying important public services-until they win amnesty for themselves and their members. Of course, bans on public sector strikes sound great. Union-label politicians love to include strike ban clauses in legislation to make the Big Labor bosses' takeover of important public services sound less dangerous-as they've done with S.3194. But the reality is, they're virtually meaningless. Just ask the commuters in New York City.
Why would Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid even consider passing something as damaging as the Police and Firefighter Monopoly Bargaining Bill? Especially now? The answer is as simple as it is disturbing. The Democrat Congressional Leadership is beholden to Organized Labor bosses for their power. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid know that without Big Labor's billions in campaign funding, their tenuous grip on power would be lost. So, despite the cost to American taxpayers and public safety workers, they're pushing full steam ahead with the Police and Firefighter Monopoly Bargaining Bill. During these tough economic times, the devastating "fruits" of government monopoly unionism have never been clearer. With this bill set to come up at any moment, it's vital all Floridians contact Senators Bill Nelson and George LeMieux and urge them to cast their votes against the Police and Firefighter Monopoly Bargaining Bill (S. 3194) at every opportunity.
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