It’s not what I really expected to happen, but Wisconsin’s legislators “went medieval” (to use a wonderful phrase from “Pulp Fiction”) on the unions this week. The repercussions should be very interesting and started with AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka saying that the action was a “corruption of democracy.” A bit far-fetched, and as Jim Kyger, PIA’s Human Relations guru noted – why wasn’t Trumka saying that about last year’s landmark health care legislation?
What’s being hidden in all of this rhetoric is the fact that collective bargaining has created situations which are now becoming financially un-supportable. With over 50% of unionized employees working for the government, this also creates some crucial issues for taxpayers – who tend to be supportive of collective bargaining for government employees (although I mistrust how the survey questions are designed). The electorate doesn’t really have a clue what it’s going to cost them. There continues to be the idea that the “government can afford it.”
Collective bargaining may have had its place in past years, but over the decades both sides (management/employees) have acted like high school football players at an all-you-can-eat buffet, and are now paying for their over indulgence. Or should I say we’re going to pay for it.