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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The First Shot

The mayor of Cayuga Falls, Ohio (population ca. 50,000) has dared question the need for public sector unions. This has been a long time coming and I expect we will hear more questioning like this. I also think any candidate for office will be all but a shoe-in, in all but the bluest states, if he or she runs on a platform of abolishing government unions; and, if necessary, endorsing a Constitutional amendment prohibiting them. Those candidates could do worse than quoting from the following.
All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.
The knuckledragging, teabagging troglodyte responsible for those words was none other than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, writing the National Federation of Federal Employees in 1937, declining an invitation to speak at their national convention.

It was not until 1962 another more "enlightened" Democrat, President John Kennedy, signed an order allowing federal employees to unionize. Since JFK hasn't quite yet achieved hagiological parity with St. Franklin, and since it is now politically safe to chip away at the Kennedy legacy, the time has arrived for a full scale attack on government unions: federal, state, county and local; the preposterous redundancy of unionized civil servants speaks for itself. As the unemployment rate continues high (except for for unionized government workers, of course) and the economy continues to remain in the toilet, one could hardly come up with a safer issue to run on.

Union-busting scab

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