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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Oppose Unionization of Police and Firefighters


"Whadda ya mean youse don't wanna join da union?"


I have received a message from the National Right to Work Committee alerting me to a proposed bill to put police and firefighters under union control. This is a bill that Harry Reid is trying to push through before November to please his union buddies. It is called the Police and Firefighters Monopoly Bargaining Bill (S 3194). The below link has a petition by which you can urge your senators to vote no.


http://www.righttoworkcommittee.org/pfactionfax.aspx

When I was a Customs Agent in the early 1970s, there was a move to bring us under a union (I think it was the AFL-CIO.) In an office meeting, one of our agents stated that if we, as law enforcement personnel, joined a union, we could never call ourselves professionals. I agreed with him then, and I agree with him now. The thought of police and firefighters being under the thumb of a union and engaging in strikes is abhorrent to me.

I hope you will sign the petition. Believe me, there are young staffers galore in Washington whose job it is to count the yeas and nays from their constituents.

9 comments:

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I don't know enough to have an opinion on this issue, but let me ask you this, in response to the following statement:

The thought of police and firefighters being under the thumb of a union and engaging in strikes is abhorrent to me.

Is it more or less abhorrent than the idea of our police and firefighters being treated like crap and not being able to afford to take care of their families? These are the people who protect us, and we need to make sure that they're treated well. I don't necessarily trust the government to always do that, do you?

Gary Fouse said...

Lance,

Would you really approve of cops/firefighters going on strike?

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I'll answer your question if you answer mine first.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Hmmm...no response on this one? If I was a Fox News pundit, I'd ask something like, "So, you think that police officers and firefighters should have to work even if they get paid less than minimum wage and have to pay for their own equipment? Do you want cops in our country to be like cops in Mexico, where they're easily paid off so they can make a living?"

Of course, you're not saying that - but are you thinking that?

Gary Fouse said...

"So, you think that police officers and firefighters should have to work even if they get paid less than minimum wage and have to pay for their own equipment?"

Can you give me an example of cops and firefighters in the US being paid less than minimum wage?

I see your point, Lance, but it's probably in the small poorer areas that they don't get good pay. We all support high pay for cops and firefighters, but I could never support them going on strike. It would be better to find another department that pays better.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

You're still not answering the question, Gary. What's worse? The idea of them going on strike or the idea of them being treated poorly?

Gary Fouse said...

Lance,

Give me an example of police and firefighters in the US being treated so poorly so that they cannot support their families. If there is such a case, I would suggest they take their talents to a department that will pay them more.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I take it that you refuse to answer the question then, right? I'll address all of your points if you'd just do that. Until then, anybody can see that you're doing one amazing dodging act.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

On the advice of a life-long communist, now deceased, who always opposed unionization of police officers, I agree with Gary. I hate to be on the same side as Calvin Coolidge about anything, but look up what did happen when the police in Boston went on strike while Coolidge was governor of Massachusetts.

The only difference between a street gang and a police department is that the police (if they are up to par -- many police forces in the world are not, and therefore come to resemble a street gang), are enforcing the law as it is, not as the cop on the beat would like to make it on the run. Police unions overlap too easily into setting policy, when they are supposed to be the physical manifestation of the policies that We The People decide on for ourselves.

That said, all of Lance's points are valid, and there need to be mechanisms for dealing with them, not just good intentions and verbal acknowledgement. Come to think of it, most cities DO have some sort of contract negotiations with their police and fire officers, which, while not the result of strike actions, do provide many of the protections of a union. So what exactly is this bill going to offer them?