Katie Gage

Over the last several months, Big Labor has been trying to find any possible way to push their forced unionization, anti-small business agenda in Washington, DC. And late last week, members of U.S. House added an amendment to the emergency supplemental appropriations bill, which would give the federal government new powers to override local decisions about public safety employees. With strong opposition coming from many Members of Congress, the amendment supported by Big Labor’s political benefactors has caught the eye of workers, as well as the small business community. The amendment – the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (PSEECA) – allows the government to step in andfederalize the unionization process for police, firefighters and other emergency response and law enforcement personnel.

Should this receive sufficient support in the Senate and become law, it would place a stranglehold on the finances of cities, counties and state governments. They would be forced to abide by the outcome of these deals negotiated and required by the federal government, which in the past have included significantly higher salaries, augmented bonuses and benefit packages that vastly exceed the norm and are certainly more expensive than what local governments can afford as they face massive budget deficits.

This appears to be an attempt by Big Labor to call in political favors, while damaging state economies in the process. Senator Mike Enzi seems to agree as he stated, “This amendment would hit local municipalities during a time of budgetary crisis for no reason other than to reward big labor unions.”

Passing this amendment as part of the appropriations bill means new, higher and unfunded costs to states around the country that are already struggling. Introducing a new, federally-mandated program will only cause more economic hardship as it places the burden of financing the collective-bargaining agreements reached by national bureaucrats on local municipalities.

As these local governments attempt to balance their budgets, Big Labor sees an opportunity to seize more control of the workforce, which will in turn, line their pockets with increased union dues. But the impact that mandated collective bargaining would place on these communities could be devastating. Budgets that have built-in salaries and expenses for their local firemen and police officers would be subject to national unions’ standards. Ignoring local needs and economies, this could open wide the floodgates of financial burden on states around the country and result in less law enforcement and emergency response personnel threatening the citizenry in the process.

Katie Gage

Katie Gage is the executive director of the Workforce Fairness institute.