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  1. #1 Strained States Turning to Laws to Curb Labor Unions 
    Strained States Turning to Laws to Curb Labor Unions

    By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
    Published: January 3, 2011

    Faced with growing budget deficits and restive taxpayers, elected officials from Maine to Alabama, Ohio to Arizona, are pushing new legislation to limit the power of labor unions, particularly those representing government workers, in collective bargaining and politics.

    Scott Walker, new Republican governor of Wisconsin, is threatening to take away government workers’ right to form unions and bargain contracts.

    State officials from both parties are wrestling with ways to curb the salaries and pensions of government employees, which typically make up a significant percentage of state budgets. On Wednesday, for example, New York’s new Democratic governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, is expected to call for a one-year salary freeze for state workers, a move that would save $200 million to $400 million and challenge labor’s traditional clout in Albany.

    But in some cases — mostly in states with Republican governors and Republican statehouse majorities — officials are seeking more far-reaching, structural changes that would weaken the bargaining power and political influence of unions, including private sector ones.

    For example, Republican lawmakers in Indiana, Maine, Missouri and seven other states plan to introduce legislation that would bar private sector unions from forcing workers they represent to pay dues or fees, reducing the flow of funds into union treasuries. In Ohio, the new Republican governor, following the precedent of many other states, wants to ban strikes by public school teachers.

    Some new governors, most notably Scott Walker of Wisconsin, are even threatening to take away government workers’ right to form unions and bargain contracts.

    “We can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and taxpayers who foot the bills are the have-nots,” Mr. Walker, a Republican, said in a speech. “The bottom line is that we are going to look at every legal means we have to try to put that balance more on the side of taxpayers.”
    Times change. Government unions are unsupportable.

    NYT
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  2. #2  
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    May 2008
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    I am so glad that LA state workers do not belong to a national union. Our pension fund is in pretty good shape. Friends of mine are pissed at the Governor for freezing their pay for 3 years. I hope they do not do something stupid and join one cause it may affect my pension down the road.
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