Labor Day is for Taxpayers, Not Unions


Matthew Brouillette, president and CEO of The Commonwealth Foundation, recognizes government employee labor unions’ forced dues power and Labor Day in the Patriot News:      

As the sun sets on a sizzling summer, celebrations with family and friends will mark another Labor Day. But few citizens will recall or cheer the nationwide railroad union strike, featuring violence and vandalism ending with military intervention that led to the first such federally recognized holiday in 1894.

Unfortunately, those turbulent times of the late 19th century might revisit us soon. But this time, it won’t be because labor unions rail against a corporation, it will come through a strike against the American taxpayers such as they recently did in Wisconsin.

But for those who see this as a sign for celebration that workers no longer see the need for unions in the workplace, a far more destructive threat to Pennsylvania still lingers.

It’s found in the government sector, where unions such as the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Service Employees International Union have increased their grip on public employees’ paychecks and those of the taxpayers who fund them.

Thanks to legislatively provided privileges that allow unions to force dues and fee payments as a condition of employment, more than 50 percent of all state and local government employees are in a labor union. Meanwhile in the private sector, fewer than 9.3 percent of employees collectively bargain.

It is not the Democratic Party or the Republican Party that wields a legislative majority in Pennsylvania, it is the “union party.” Comprising the government employee unions, private sector unions, trial lawyers, extreme greens and other nonprofits that are based largely on taxpayer money, the union party is aligned for a single purpose: To use the American political system to extract the greatest amount of income and wealth as possible for the benefit of but a few.

But if we’re to veer clear of the financial cliff the union party is taking us over, the taxpayer party — blue-and-white collar workers joined by their families and entrepreneurs that refuse government handouts — must become the majority party in Pennsylvania once again. 