Unions limit power to the people

Published 8:54 am Friday, March 4, 2011

As a retired government worker, the current concerns on the Wisconsin state workers misses important areas on workers’ rights.

1. Merit systems cover most government workers.

2. Forced fees have many workers upset that they are forced to pay $300 to $1,200 a year to a private group that was made an exclusive bargaining agent often by a bare 50 percent vote in a select group.

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3. Exclusive agents in Wisconsin can claim only they can deal with employers on employee issues, thus rights of individuals and other groups are trampled by exclusive agents. Workers voice, choice and freedom are curbed.

4. Exclusive bargaining agents with forced fees hamper new groups to arise and show people that they may want them. Rather than freedom, the law strongly chains workers to a group most never get to vote on!

5. Cafeteria plans where people chose from options are hampered by exclusive bargaining deals.

6. As a teen in the ’60s I was a summer labor person for a metro Minnesota county. Some gutters had blown off the county shop, and we were putting up new ones. A union official came and said “stop; only sheet-metal workers can do that.” Our foreman said, “See the top shop foreman inside.” We completed the job before he came out. Petty expensive union rules harm government costs.

7. All people are free to join private groups. All can talk to government leaders. This happens in right-to-work states.

8. The American Legion and AARP can’t compel people to join yet for dues of $25 to $50 a year do influence government compared to the $300-$1,200 a year many exclusive bargaining agents charge. Unions want to keep forced fees from workers as a priority! Forced fees are often a political spending base.

9. Compare union dues in states where people with right to work are free from exclusive bargaining agent compulsion.

10. Forced fee slavery by an exclusive bargaining agent is not in keeping with free American workers. Let us all support freedom from exclusive bargaining agent compulsion in the U.S. power to workers, not union bosses!

Tom C. Schleck

Albert Lea