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Monday, April 4, 2011

Anything To Keep It In The Union

A post at POWIP by an author who lives in Madison, WI, documents how in mid-March, with the budget repair bill having recently passed, a variety of unions in Sauk County acceded to all management demands, including giving "carte blanche [to the county] with regard to the economic conditions of employment" (audio at 4:40).

Remember, we have heard how collective bargaining was critical to protecting workers. 

But in Sauk County, the unions didn't care about the workers, they simply would do anything to keep the unions in place, and thereby keep the flow of union dues coming.

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  1. One thing pointed out in a radio show I heard: we've had endless coverage of Wisconsin. Have you heard from any source how much union dues are?

    I know I haven't. Doesn't that seem like a reasonable bit of factual info that people following the story might want to know?

  2. @JimMtnViewCa - in one of my first posts on Wisconsin, I think I quoted 700-1000 as the number based on news reports.

  3. It's not that surprising. This is what the whole battle in WI has been about. Dues. The unions already agreed to the increases in pension and health care payments. The Reps don't want the unions donating the money to Dems and the Unions don't want to lose their clout.

    John Fund had this nugget in the WSJ over the weekend that illustrates why the union cares so much about mandatory dues: "

    In 2001, Utah made the collection of payments to union political funds optional, and nearly 95% of public school teachers opted not to pay. In 2005, Indiana GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels limited collective-bargaining rights for public employees, and today only 5% of state employees pay union dues."

    The union knows its members won't pay if they aren't forced to do it. No money for the union, means no clout.

  4. They didn't just "accede" to all management demands; they exceeded them. It was the union leadership who went to the county and said how about if we give up everything and (quote) let the county dictate the economic conditions of employment (unquote).

  5. I sent a link to this story to one of the Wisconsinites who is so pro-union it's almost sickening. Via Twitter

    We had been having a back and forth concerning the situation up there and she has yet to respond.

    I can almost picture her, hands over ears, repeating over and over, la la la la la la la, can't hear you.

  6. I listened to the hours of debate during the recent WI Joint Committee on Finance. One aspect that surprised me when I heard it was the Walker Bill (union contribution) savings being referred to in past tense. Meaning, they are proceeding as if that money is there already.

    It wasn't a Republican senator that said it either. I forget which departmental staff member said it, yet it went by without a peep of challenge by anyone.

    It was during the 3rd session covering the UW system reform. Of which, I'd like to see the whole system go private. Pop that education bubble. "Paying more, getting less"


  7. Back in the early 80's, I worked for a small company that tried to unionize with the Teamsters Local 560, whose vice-president used to be the infamous Tony Provenzano. It was the talk of the shop. When the union found out we only had a total of a dozen drivers and a couple of mechanics, they kicked them down to talk to a local garbage haulers union. I guess we weren't a big enough fish to help fill their slush fund.

    I also got a wrench thrown at me which hit in the middle of my back as I was walking away by the punk mechanic who started the whole union thing because I refused to join. Fun, fun, fun.