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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Union Rules

It's not just that they're evil, it's that they've got the PR instincts of a prima donna:

Selfish Sanitation Department bosses from the snow-slammed outer boroughs ordered their drivers to snarl the blizzard cleanup to protest budget cuts -- a disastrous move that turned streets into a minefield for emergency-services vehicles, The Post has learned.

Miles of roads stretching from as north as Whitestone, Queens, to the south shore of Staten Island still remained treacherously unplowed last night because of the shameless job action, several sources and a city lawmaker said, which was over a raft of demotions, attrition and budget cuts.

As Ezra Levant likes to say: "Fire. Them. All."

Posted by Richard Anderson on January 5, 2011 | Permalink


Unions are the closest you can get to organized crime without necessarily having the Sicilian connection. In the private sector they pretty much fade away after destroying most of the jobs and industries of their members. In the public sector they are a true cancer as they grow to own the political class. Give them unemployment with union membership or give them a Civil Service job without the union, make it their choice.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2011-01-05 4:45:51 PM

So, why is it that we pay taxes?

There is no way this 'attitude of entitlement' can be justified. It's another example of 'government monopoly' rearing its ugly, unproductive, unaccountable head!

There does come a time when the civic duty of EVERY responsible citizen is to get rid of an oppressive and ineffective government. While I do not claim any expertise on this subject, I do strongly suspect than when the 'civil service bureaucracy' manages to 'manage' the elected officials, that is 'that time'...

I suspect 'that time' is not as far off as I'd like to hope it is!

Posted by: Xanthippa | 2011-01-05 4:48:53 PM

John Chittick, well said. Xanthippa, while I do not disagree with your comments, the government is not the problem in this case. It is the unions and the protected status granted them by our courts or judicial activists.

Posted by: Alain | 2011-01-05 5:04:37 PM

Ah, Alain, but that protected status is granted them by the greater 'government bureaucracy'!!!

Because, as the bureaucracy (unionized as it is) grows, both the legislative and judicial branches are reigned in by their union-controlled employees...

Posted by: Xanthippa | 2011-01-05 5:21:25 PM

Alain, the unions themselves are not the problem. Monopoly is the problem. When the government decides to provide a "public service", it makes itself the only such provider. Anyone trying to operate their own plow service on NYC streets will get smashed by the City, and quick.

The monopoly power of government is passed down to public-sector unions, so they become the only supplier of labour for those service jobs. The result is exactly what we see in Paris and Toronto: poor service, high prices, and labour disputes that bring the entire market to a standstill.

In a free market, there's nothing wrong with unions. The root of our troubles is in the unfree market that governments have forced on us.

Posted by: Spazmo | 2011-01-06 8:27:59 PM

Yes Spazmo I agree that monopoly is a big part of the problem, but the problem of monopoly includes the unions and their protected status in Canada. The public service is also a monopoly, but I do not agree that all public services should be privatised. I am basing this on my personal experience where I live. Road maintenance used to be a "public service" until it was privatised some years ago. The private company has not done what was required in order to cut corners and save money which has resulted in the roads flooding several times. When the roadside ditches and culverts are not cleaned on a regular basis, one must expect flooding. I am not against all privatisation, but clearly it does not resolve all problems.

Posted by: Alain | 2011-01-07 12:02:12 PM

Monopolies exist everywhere. Even lawyers, doctors and other so-called professionals create bodies that are, in effect, monopolies designed to prevent competition. Better to abolish all monopolies of any kind and let Liberty reign.

Posted by: AB Patriot | 2011-01-07 3:23:53 PM

The only monopolies that actually act like monopolies in terms of price theory, are those that are under the umbrella of governmental protection (from market entry of potential competition), this is the case even for so called natural monopolies.

Unions have evolved to be a rear guard political force and are no longer detached brokers of collective bargaining whose actions are limited to contract law. The major difference with public sector unions and why they are inherently evil is that they are in a position to bribe their employers with campaign contributions (cash or in kind), harassment of opposition, or conversely, threats of job action, sabotage, etc. They essentially engineer a political class that is in perpetual conflict of interest by their employer status.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2011-01-07 5:22:16 PM

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