CRI Focus Areas


Labor power and the Delaware taxpayer

11/28/2018

State governments vary in the degree to which they favor organized labor over taxpayers. The latest research from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) documents that Delaware government has adopted policies_OLD that give priority to unions over the interests of Delaware’s citizens.   Based upon 23 factors, the CEI ranks Delaware as the 10th most union friendly state. Maryland is tied with Delaware, while Pennsylvania ranks 4th, New Jersey 3rd, and New York 1st.   The reasons for Delaware’s ranking are straight forward. With regard to policies_OLD that favor unions over citizens Delaware:   ·         Allows government collective bargaining for state and municipal employees, teachers, and police and fire workers. Opposed by Franklin Roosevelt and even former AFL-CIO president George Meany, collective bargaining allows unions to bypass taxpayers and directly lobby elected and unelected public officials. The recent result has been runaway pension and health benefits that exceed the long term fiscal capability of government and ironclad job security that protects the minority of non-performing workers.   ·         Allows paycheck protection. Delaware permits compulsory deduction of dues directly from employees pay without the individual written consent of each union member. Also, incredibly, the Delaware State Education Association is allowed to automatically deduct Political Action Committee donations from teachers’ paychecks unless the member somehow knows to block it.   ·         Mandates binding arbitration. When collective bargain negotiations reach an impasse, non-elected arbitrators may impose a settlement on taxpayers.   ·         Through the Delaware prevailing wage law Delaware government steers construction contracts to unionized construction firms.   ·         Delaware does not provide citizens access to government collective bargaining negotiations through a mandatory open meeting law.   On the more pro-citizen side, Delaware does require unions to hold secret ballot elections and prohibits open card checks in voting (despite the fact that Senator Carper co-sponsored the subsequently defeated nation card check legislation). And Delaware public employees are not allowed to strike.     Unions certainly make sense in occupations and industries where the skills required make labor easily replaceable. The unfortunate truth is, however, that unions cause many workers to be more focused on their contracts than the survival of their company and the related customer service. And unions tend to disservice their members by protecting under performers, putting union management first, and pursuing political agendas without consultation.   Dr. John E. Stapleford, Director Center for Economic Policy and Analysis


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