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Union Busting 2.0

Conservative leaders encouraging states to declare bankruptcy as a means of not honoring union contracts and pensions were challenged for their assertions in an editorial published in the New York Times Sunday.

Unfortunately, the New York Times editorial falls into a bad media pattern of blaming public sector employees for the compensations promised them.

Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Florida governor Jeb Bush are just some of the leaders publicly pushing the idea that states should have the option of bankruptcy to help them deal with budget deficits. They are calling for a new law that would allow states to reorganize their finances free from the union contractual obligations.

The New York Times rightfully points out that “magic-bullet ideas are no substitute for the hard work of governing responsibly.”  Where the editorial fails is when it becomes a cheerleader of state governors and using a “holier than thou” attitude to point out “government employees accept a special civic responsibility when they go to work for the taxpayers that is not always shared by their private counterparts - they are working to serve their state’s need, not just themselves.”

Fire fighters need no reminders of who they are serving and they have shared the pain of this recession by returning to the negotiating table and agreeing to wage and benefit concessions.

The responsible thing for states to do now is to honor the contracts and pension funds they agreed for public workers.

After all, public workers did not drive the economy off the cliff and it is time to stop blaming them.

Comments (2) -

  • Craig Russell (Crowley)

    2/25/2011 6:33:32 PM |

    Maybe. But are you ready to sacrifice if it goes unpaid? When did you ever think to trust someone in power that can never give you a straight answer. When did you think it was okay to trust someone with you own livelyhood? When are we gonna prepare ourselves and not rely on government or union bosses?
    "a governemtn that wdoes the least is a governemtn that works best"

  • Craig Russell (Crowley)

    2/25/2011 9:57:31 PM |

    Would you like your reps to take another handout from the Fed? Scaling back the scope of the Fed is the only way. And it is the States that have to pay now. We are teatering to the brink. We have to be in a position to trust our Government. But you cannot seriously think that handouts and cushy pensions are gonna save eveyone. It's time they cut where they can. And when you scale back the scope of Government it's the workers who are at risk Because they don't want to lose anything either. How about instead of demanding status quo. Demand our federal gov't to take the same pay as our soldiers who DIE everyday. How about demanding that their medical care is the same as those who fight for us. Avg pay for congress is $79K a year not including benefits paid for by us.
      How about Richard Trumkas pay and benefits. Has anyone asked about his pension, pay, ect.How about trumka taking our dues overseas to "organize" in the middle east. We have the power to make these things happen. Non violence and an Honest debate. Tell these people to quit hiding from the truth. Just tell us what your about and why. Maybe then well will have a clear choice. They all know we'll will boot them out. That's why they cry foul, sit in their offices, and circumvent the truth while rolling up their sleeves for the photo op. When their well being is okay paid for by us. They are afraid of losing power. They are dividing us. lets come together and demand instead of money and stuff and demand your real convictions. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE STUFF. pRESERVE THE MOST IMPORTANT UNION. USA. REMEMBER 9/11. THE DAY AFTER WE WE ALL WERE UNITED AGAIN FOR ONCE. REMEMBER THAT.

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