Letters to the Editor

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UNIONS: Public workers didn’t get the message

Letter by Doug E. Carlson, Tacoma on March 3, 2011 at 10:07 am | 71 Comments »
March 3, 2011 12:26 pm

Re: “Look at both sides of the story” (letter, 3-3).

The author asks those who support the Wisconsin governor to stop hating unions because of the good the unions have done over their history for the average worker.

There is no argument on the good they have done. This is not about private-sector unions, which are the ones that brought about the changes in the workplace. This is about public-sector unions.

The author (a local Machinists union president) does not engage in the same practices as the public union bosses. He does not go out with his union members’ money and spend it in a way to influence the outcome of their bargaining. The public unions do. They spend millions to get individuals elected who will vote for their contract proposals.

The private-sector union bosses, like the author, would have been better served to have worked with the public-sector unions to not use members’ dues to stack the deck. Like it or not, it is the public-sector union bosses who brought this on themselves. They assumed the public’s ability/willingness to spend money was bottomless.

The federal government employee unions learned this lesson a long time ago. Guess the state employee unions did not get it, and now they are learning the same lesson.

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