Union Squeal

The financial meltdown has led to an ironic result. Now that the labor unions have gotten their business partners, the Democratic Party, in firm control of the nation, the financial destruction caused by that relationship is being revealed.
The Massachusetts AFL-CIO sent a letter to all lawmakers today, urging them to vote against the legislation. If they didn't, the letter threatened, they could risk losing the endorsement of the state's most powerful union.
When Democrats are in power, special interests are as well.  And in Massachusetts, where financial strife is forcing the budget knife into the flesh of union interests, it is fun to hear the special interests squeal in indignant self-entitlement.
Robert Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, said unions were asking not to have to "suffer disproportionately due to these difficult times, and that we are not forced to give up our most basic rights."
Basic rights means, of course, control over the government, and the right to hold the people's interests by the balls.
One key provision of the transportation reform bill would dramatically scale back the benefits given to employees of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, considered some of the most generous in the country, for an estimated savings of at least $30 million a year.
After 23 years of grueling work - say, being the unnecessary second driver on a subway car, whose only responsibility is to double check the doors to make sure they're clear for closing - a union guy expects to be able to retire and spend the next 40 years or so earning almost as much as he did while he was working.
Union leaders, objecting to certain provisions in the legislation, roamed the State House halls with threats of lost endorsements.
You have to feel some sympathy for the union guys, even with the absolute destruction they reap. After all these years of pushing to get Democrats into power, they figured their power would increase, not decrease. Nevertheless, it's a mistake to be so honest - voters might actually start to see how bad they've made things.
Labor unions blasted the transportation bill, saying the plan would “eviscerate the rights of workers to collectively bargain.’’ Any lawmaker who votes for it, the AFL-CIO warned, may not be considered a friend of labor at election time.
Those are words that used to strike fear into the hearts of Democrats. Maybe they're wising up? More likely, they're doing the right thing simply because they have no choice.
“It eliminates all unions at the Turnpike Authority and takes no regard for collective bargaining,’’ said Robert F. Cullinane, head of the Teamsters Local 127, which represents toll-takers. “We thought we were voting for Democrats up here.’’
So did we. We can hope they've changed for real, but there's not much reason for hope - despite the happy moment that presents a shortage of money for paying off special interests.