In fact, there’s very little unions couldn’t do under Proposal 2. It flat out says it could “override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements.” Such an arrangement would leave the door wide open to a lot of potential mischief -- and potential cost.
How much? “It is impossible to precisely calculate the taxpayer cost, because the amendment could reverse so many laws and prevent so many new ones,” Mackinac’s Vincent Vernuccio points out, although the think tank has estimated that Proposal 2 “would likely negate a projected $1.6 billion in annual taxpayer savings.”
Small wonder, though, that union officials are pushing for such an undemocratic power grab for their public-sector arm. As I’ve noted in previous columns, private-sector union membership has been in steep decline. In 1980, one out of every five private-sector workers belonged to a union. More than 30 years later, it’s less than 7 percent. That’s fewer than one in 14.
Government-union membership, however, has been climbing. Today, in fact, more than half of all union members (52 percent) work for the government.
So when they lobby “management” (i.e., elected officials) for wage hikes and other benefits -- demanding, yes, higher taxes -- that money isn’t coming out of the bank account of some private company. It’s coming from taxpayers.
At least now you know whose jobs are being protected by the Protect Our Jobs amendment: union leaders. And it looks as if there’s little they won’t do to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else
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