After hearing so much on the protests in Wisconsin, I have taken a look at the text of the law. The proposed law ends the ability of most public workers to collectively bargain. While I recognize that public sector unions have become way too powerful, this is not a law I could support.
Every individual should have the right to associate with whatever group they decide and to choose to allow others to negotiate for them. This law coercively strips away the rights of individuals.
The bigger problems with public sector unions is existing state coercion. As a Voluntarist, I find that more coercion is not the answer, rather less coercion is needed. Instead states should:
- Stop using coercion to force people to join a union, allow all individuals to decide for themselves whether or not they want to negotiate for themselves or to pay a union to negotiate for them.
- Stop forcing employers, municipalities, and government agencies to recognize and negotiate with unions.
- Stop the banning of strikes by workers. Government back to work orders and bans of strikes are nothing more than a form of forced labor.
If an employer is underpaying or mistreating their employees the union will naturally grow big enough that the employer can not ignore it. Ignoring a powerful union will have negative consequences. However powerful unions should not be created by government, rather they should arise out of the free market as a result of employees who have not been treated well.
We support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labor unions, and an employer should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a union. We oppose government interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain. - National LP Platform
Unfortunately, here in NJ we have the problem of legislators who have a conflict of interest when dealing with labor unions. Steven Sweeney, also serves as the President of Ironworkers Local 399. Other legislators who have come from the union realm include Nelson Albano, John Amodeo, Wayne DeAngelo, Joseph Egan, Elease Evans, Thomas Giblin, Paul Moriarty, Donald Norcross, and Nicholas Sacco. Out of our current 80 Assemblymen and Assemblywomen, 66 of them were endorsed the NJ Education Association in 2009. In 2009, 69% of special interest campaign donations were from labor unions. Total labor union influence of elections was $24 million.
I don't expect reform of NJ laws that grant monopoly power to unions anytime soon.