Sunday, April 11, 2010

EDITORIAL: Don't upset the unions -- or else How far will they go to protect turf?

If you think this is bad, just wait until Card Check becomes law.

Two weeks ago, we described how the town of Flint, Mich., was hit with an arson wave on the day local officials were set to lay off a few dozen firefighters in an effort to close a municipal budget gap.

Flint's angry mayor made it clear he thought the spate of fires was anything but a coincidence.

Later, when city officials sought help from fire departments in surrounding suburbs, many refused to respond.

Then there's the story Friday out of New Jersey. The state faces a multimillion-dollar budget hole, and new Gov. Chris Christie has proposed reductions in salaries for public school teachers and other public-sector workers.

County Commissioner Steve Sisolak has been particularly vocal in advocating union concessions, especially among firefighters -- many of whom earn six-figure salaries and generous benefits. That apparently prompted Las Vegas firefighter Joy Sager to post on her Facebook page a note about wanting to "shoot Sisolak in the (groin)."

Sure, some of this may just be an expression of lighthearted frustration -- although the Flint fires indicate something far more nefarious. But it should also give taxpayers an idea of the risks inherent in upsetting the powerful public-sector unions -- and how important it is to support politicians come election time who are willing to accept those risks.

Read short article here.

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