Today the Wisconsin assembly (state government) voted to remove some rights that unions had negotiated over time. For some, this is about unions … the reality is this is about money. If you can’t afford it then what are you supposed to do?
The unions have done incredible work over the decades in fighting for worker’s rights and ensuring that the average person is treated well. Their reason for existing is to do just that … but sometimes the right answer is to give a little for the greater good. That does not seem to be a tactic that unions like.
There is noise in the Ottawa press that the unions representing transit workers might strike again … the last time caused severe hardship to the Ottawa population in the middle of Winter. I don’t get it … they have good, VERY well paying jobs that require no particularly difficult skills. How did we get here?
I remember the eighties in Britain and the major battles between the unions (led by the coal miners) and the government of the day (led by Margaret Thatcher). Nobody wants a repeat of those times … because they hurt everybody.
Its time for those in power to understand that our world has changed forever … a common theme on this blog … what worked yesterday is not necessarily going to work today and likely won’t work tomorrow. Get over yourselves and get with the real world.
Wisconsin taxpayers can’t afford what the unions get today … so figure it out. It does not need to be a battle, it needs to be open and reasonable discussion about what is possible. But that isn’t looking likely!
I read a blog entry yesterday from Steve Tobak, a consultant and writer, talking about how poorly the Leaders have performed through the Wisconsin situation … which has become a national debate in the US. I liked his thoughts.
My thoughts … its about what the state can afford, not about unions. Its not about taking away rights, its about seeing what rights are affordable.