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Payback To Big Labor, While Our Cities & States Foot The Bill

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

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.

This seems to be nothing more than a political handout to give some form of payback to labor bosses being that Congress has been unable to pass the job-killing Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA).

Under EFCA, the unionization process changes from one of a secret ballot election to a public, card check system opening workers to intimidation and coercion. Additionally, by means of a government arbitrator, EFCA would allow salaries and benefits to be set by a federal bureaucrat – not employees and employers – in mandated contracts that would crush small businesses. Much like the collective-bargaining agreement with cities and states, EFCA would place the federal government in control over local, small businesses. EFCA is Big Labor’s top priority in Congress and since they have not been able to secure its passage, they are now looking to their supporters on Capitol Hill to advance other elements of the union agenda.

For instance, labor radical Craig Becker was placed on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and we’re now seeing troubling activity coming from it. Becker, a former union attorney who received a Presidential recess appointment, is under investigation for violating an ethics pledge he made during his failed confirmation process where both Republicans and Democrats voted down his nomination.

The bottom line is that Big Labor will stop at nothing to get the payback they believe they are owed, and whether the result threatens the budgets of local communities and/or forces small businesses to close, it appears their supporters in the nation’s capital don’t particularly care.

These sorts of unseemly and objectionable acts by public officials who are entrusted to represent the best interests of their constituents do not go unnoticed and will not be excused by the people who pay the bills and create the jobs throughout the country.

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