The line from the labor unions and their supporters over Wisconsin’s attempt to get rid of their over 3 billion dollar deficit is that it is ‘union busting.’ Not really. More correctly the unions are busting themselves. Here’s why.
The labor unions are an industry and in business just like any other business. Like all businesses, they have a product of some sort. In this case, it is labor. In a free market, customers have choices. The State of Wisconsin is a customer. They can buy from supplier A or B, or hundreds more.
Currently, Wisconsin is running a deficit and needs to make cuts somewhere. Their constitution demands it. They have a balanced budget requirement. Obviously, they need to cut costs wherever they can do it safely.
The Wisconsin labor unions excluding public safety (police & fire) have a choice to make. They can choose to suffer the firing of however many of their members it will take to reach a manageable point. OR, they can renegotiate their medical and pension plans, with a guarantee of no firings, and accept collective bargaining on wages and salaries only. That is what Gov. Walker’s bill would do.
Currently, these Wisconsin labor union members affected pay 9 percent of their health care costs. Private sector employees in Wisconsin pay 23 percent. Walker’s bill asks for 12.6 percent. The labor union employees currently contribute nothing toward their pension plans. A good private sector plan is a matching, 50/50 plan. That’s what the reform bill asks for. No more than the average benefit package in the private sector.
Democrats can cry union busting all they want. And they are. Why should they care you ask? Because BIG LABOR’s money supports Democrats. Also in Gov. Walker’s reform bill is giving union members the option to opt out of paying dues. Obviously, if the union members liked belonging to the union and believed it is truly representing them, and did not feel that they have to be members in order to work, there would be no hesitation in having such a clause. Their objection to the ‘opt out’ option tells a different story as to their motivation. So it’s not hard to figure out why President Obama and Democrats are on the side of the unions instead of the people of Wisconsin. It’s not because union workers work better than non-union workers. It’s because the labor unions contribute to their re-election, whether their members want them to or not.
Bottom line, the taxpayers in Wisconsin are the buyers. They are the one’s paying the salaries and benefits. When push comes to shove, and that’s where we are right now, and not only in Wisconsin but everywhere, there is simply no justification why the taxpayers should pay more than they have to for government labor. If the labor unions refuse to compete in the labor market, then they will be busting themselves.