Don't strip power from union workers

  • Follow Letters

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and The Augusta Chronicle have something in common -- they both want to prevent "collective bargaining" and bust all public service unions.

The Chronicle in its editorial Feb. 22 ("Our first last-stand") has made the claim that the unions are bankrupting Wisconsin. Wrong! The unions have agreed to every demand for reducing salaries and benefits the governor requested, even though he gave millions in tax breaks to the wealthy.

What the governor and The Chronicle want is to take away the singular power that union workers have -- collective bargaining. Where are they getting their signals from? They are getting it from a rich right-wing organization Americans for Prosperity, which reports it has some $40 million, mainly from the billionaire Koch brothers, a notorious union-busting family that owns Georgia-Pacific, makers of paper products. This same organization, operating in multiple states, has targeted environmental regulations and the new health-care laws.

Let's get it straight: Unions, through collective bargaining, raise the level of lifestyle for its working families and, by competition, for nonunion families as well. Unions, such as those in Augusta, sponsor training and safety for workers in electrical, plumbing and carpentry so consumers get a job well done while making homes, and the workplace is safer.

Union collective bargaining prevents contractors from using cheap labor from other countries, thereby denying jobs for Augustans. At the root, is the right to use collective bargaining to offset the power of corporate greed, to bargain from strength and not from weakness, which individuals bargaining alone would face.

You can be sure that Gov. Walker's bravado is not his own, but shadows the voices of Charles and David Koch, who bankrolled him to the governorship. Instead of listening to the Koch brothers, The Chronicle should interview our union leaders in Augusta. They may be pleasantly surprised by what they hear.

Lowell Greenbaum

Augusta

(The writer is chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party.)

Comments (33) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 03/01/11 - 12:17 am
0
0
I know Lowell wouldn't lie,

I know Lowell wouldn't lie, so let me clarify some of his honest mistakes...

- The unions in Augusta do NOT have collective bargaining.

- Georgia workers are not being beaten and abused without collective bargaining.

- There is no "bargain" in collective bargaining.

- The chairman of the "democratic" party should be aware that we live in a democracy, where elections are held, people vote and the winning candidates lead. Mob rule should be left to the Middle East.

usapatriot
0
Points
usapatriot 03/01/11 - 01:24 am
0
0
"Gov. Scott Walker on Monday

"Gov. Scott Walker on Monday signed his first bill into law — a state tax break for people with health savings accounts."

"Significantly, the legislation enjoyed bipartisan support in the Assembly and Senate."
"Wisconsin had been one of only four states still stubbornly taxing contributions to HSAs ..."

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/opinion/editorial/article_c1096576-2818...

hmm. helping working class people thru a tax break.

He also is using tried and true conservative means to attract business to WI thru corp tax breaks. Since IL is doubling taxes, WI is primed to attact IL businesses.

But, to liberal minds like Mr Greenbaum, tis better to deny tax breaks than to actually gain jobs.

usapatriot
0
Points
usapatriot 03/01/11 - 01:34 am
0
0
"Let's get it straight:

"Let's get it straight: Unions, through collective bargaining, raise the level of lifestyle for its working families and, by competition, for nonunion families as well."

Raising lifestyle of the union members, you got that right. What you lie about is that collective bargaining has DECREASED the standard of living of the tax payers through higher state, local and PROPERTY taxes.

Only the public sector unions, Greenbaum, enjoy the superlative tenure, health and pension benefits. Not the majority of the tax paying public that pays for it.

And, Greenbaum, if your storied unions are so wonderful, why is it that you liberals so fear the OPT OUT provision?

If a union is so good, it should be able to stand on its merits, right? People should be beating down the door to join, not OPT OUT, right?

usapatriot
0
Points
usapatriot 03/01/11 - 01:28 am
0
0
duplicate

duplicate

usapatriot
0
Points
usapatriot 03/01/11 - 01:37 am
0
0
Public sector unions need to

Public sector unions need to be outlawed. It's only a matter of time. FDR was against it. George Meany was against it.

Do you liberals really want the TSA to be unionized? Oops, forgot, you don't have long term consequence thinking ability, only short term gratification.

csrareader
1293
Points
csrareader 03/01/11 - 03:39 am
0
0
Why doesn't the Augusta

Why doesn't the Augusta Chronicle move Mr. Greenbaum's monthly letters to the comics section? They would blend in with the content on that page.

Sideshow Bob
0
Points
Sideshow Bob 03/01/11 - 06:00 am
0
0
Mr. Greenbaum longs to live

Mr. Greenbaum longs to live in a state where the worker has NO rights. They HAVE to join the union in order to work, the government automatically collects dues from their check so that the union can use it for the Democratic Party's advancement. Oh the freedom.

southernguy08
578
Points
southernguy08 03/01/11 - 07:28 am
0
0
Congrats Lowell, you actually
Unpublished

Congrats Lowell, you actually managed to compose a letter that didn't blame George Bush and the Republicans for all the world's ills. Are you feeling well? As for protection of the unions, of course Greenbaum will side with unions, since his party has been in bed with them for decades.

mable8
4
Points
mable8 03/01/11 - 08:03 am
0
0
If all that greenbaun stated

If all that greenbaun stated is true, then why is there such gross unemployment rates and our jobs were out-sourced to foreign countries? What collective bargaining? The only thing collective in the bargaining that a union manages to keep up with is how much they pocket so that the union officials can live a life-style that they would not otherwise have and all expenses are from the 'donors' who are forced to pay in order to keep their jobs. Unions have long out-lived their usefulness and should be banned, period. They have become an extraordinary disrupter of work, kept thousands out of a job because the individual did not want to join, and have polarized our country with their political pandering and unrealistic demands. It is time to break the backs of unions.

Carleton Duvall
6309
Points
Carleton Duvall 03/01/11 - 08:05 am
0
0
Mr Greenbaum, it would seem

Mr Greenbaum, it would seem to me that after taking an on-line bashing every time you write one of your monthly biased letters you would get the message. People in the CSRA, with very few exceptions, are not sympathetic to your views and your repeating the same rhetoric over and over is not going to change the way we feel. By and large Georgians are people who believe in personal responsibility and don't want government inferring in their lives. As far as unions are concerned, the fact that union representation in the private sector has dropped to an all time low speaks volumes about how workers feel about them.

dwb619
118651
Points
dwb619 03/01/11 - 08:14 am
0
0
Insider, All the construction

Insider, All the construction unions craft unions in Augusta participate in collective bargaining.

woodyforuga
0
Points
woodyforuga 03/01/11 - 08:52 am
0
0
Unions are old school way of

Unions are old school way of thinking...Lowell mentioned GP...I did work with GP before and after the Koch brothers purchased GP... They first bought a cellulose plant in Brunswick, saw how inefficient the operations was being run and still making a small profit, so decided to buy the entire GP mill operations. These mills have been modernized (Koch puts 90% of earnings back into operations) and they are run much more efficiently. So the real story is that the unions had to make some concessions but, at least, they will have a job long into the future. I would rather have a more secure job that make a few cents more an hour. Wake up and look at the big picture...not just paying your dues and letting someone else "collective bargain" for you...There is no bargain in collective bargaining...Quit buying the propaganda that big companies are trying to take advantage of you...The democratic party is already doing a great job of it.

Beck Tears
0
Points
Beck Tears 03/01/11 - 10:11 am
0
0
"The unions have agreed to

"The unions have agreed to every demand for reducing salaries and benefits the governor requested, even though he gave millions in tax breaks to the wealthy."

I don't get how people read this, and then believe unions are evil, while people like Gov Walker are heros. And the writer puts this fact into his article- and everyone attacks him, comparing this important current event to the comic section. The upstanding, mature and intelligent folks who agree with Gov Walker call the writer a joke and a jerk. Wow- what a way to sway people to your side, please let me sit with the grownup conservatives who cry and cry and cry about protesters, and throw insults at anyone not agreeing with them, and yet are so quick to point out a few liberals who raise their voice to cry some more.

I guess people live in a different reality. Another poster says "If a union is so good, it should be able to stand on its merits, right? People should be beating down the door to join, not OPT OUT, right?" But what we are seeing are people protesting to keep their rights. These aren't people trying to get out. And we also see people across the country and even parts of the world supporting the protesters. And the unions that are unaffected by Gov. Walker, such as police and fire fighters- are supporting the teachers in the capital- because they know they are next. I can't wait to hear from some commentators yell about how lazy and over paid the firefighters and police are, those cowards trying to bring down America with their desire to keep collective bargaining rights!

dani
13
Points
dani 03/01/11 - 10:13 am
0
0
Ahh, Mr. Greenbaum...I often

Ahh, Mr. Greenbaum...I often wonder if you actually believe what you say.

follower
332
Points
follower 03/01/11 - 10:29 am
0
0
30 days have past and perhaps

30 days have past and perhaps the faithful posters have forgotten a challenge as to the monthly ravings of Mr. Greenbaum.

Although breaking my own pledge to NOT respond to his idiocy, I do so only as a reminder that to ignore him completely will possibly prompt the AC to not print his inane commentaries.

I can only hope that others will join this effort.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 03/01/11 - 11:58 am
0
0
"Unions, through collective

"Unions, through collective bargaining, raise the level of lifestyle for its
working families" **Yes, by extorting money from taxpayers.**

I have no problem with a fair wage. But govt wages have surged totally out of control. Benefits are liberal & generous. And the final nail in the coffin is the pensions. Retiring government employees are being called the new millionaires.

Here's a great Forbes article. It works throught the math of government pay.

http://blogs.forbes.com/digitalrules/2010/06/01/the-millionaire-cop-next...

Here's an exerpt from it.

"Who are America’s fastest-growing class of millionaires? They are police officers, firefighters, teachers and federal bureaucrats who, unless things change drastically, will be paid something near their full salaries every year–until death–after retiring in their mid-50s. That is equivalent to a retirement sum worth millions of dollars."

This is an outrage. And we the taxpayers are forced to pay for this! Unlike a private company who can just tell the union to shove off, I'm moving my factory or closing the door. We, are forced to pay for this injustice EVERY SINGLE DAY WE GO TO WORK. We can't tell the IRS to shove off. They just keep coming at you hour by hour, day by day, week by week. You pay or you go to jail.

dade30906
258
Points
dade30906 03/01/11 - 04:16 pm
0
0
We can't continue to let the

We can't continue to let the Republicans hold the needs of the American people hostage to their increasingly extreme right wing wish list.Wisconsin has shown us what can happen when Democrats fight back.

nofanofobama
8291
Points
nofanofobama 03/01/11 - 04:51 pm
0
0
public workers should never

public workers should never be allowed to unionize...period..union and private business have a entirely different relationship..if in the private sector a union gets a sweet heart deal then rhe company has to dramatically raise its price..i can then shop elsewhere.. but when a public union strikes its against the tax payers and we have to pay taxes. i have no choices in taxes except to goe to jail..that where mr. democrat lowell makes his major mistake..its the working class that pays taxes and public unions take money from the working class thru sweetheart deals bribed with campaign money to lousy politicians . .. if its private let them strike...if its public break them up now

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 03/01/11 - 04:57 pm
0
0
USA Today Article. Just

USA Today Article. Just posted 2 hours ago.

"Wisconsin is one of 41 states where public employees earn higher average pay and benefits than private workers in the same state"

Surprise!!!!!! Lets all go out and support out local government unions. They are doing such justice for the American taxpayer.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-01-1Apublicworkers01_ST_N.htm

Among the key findings:

• California. Public employee compensation rose 28% above the inflation rate from 2000 to 2009 to an average of $71,385 in 2009.
• Nevada. Govt employees earned an average of $17,815 more — or 35% — than private workers, the nation’s biggest pay gap.
• Texas. The state ranked last in benefits for public employees. The state hasn’t granted cost-of-living increases to most retirees since 2001.

Go Texas!

Beck Tears
0
Points
Beck Tears 03/01/11 - 05:03 pm
0
0
What's the going rate for a

What's the going rate for a private sector employee taking 911 calls?

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 03/01/11 - 05:38 pm
0
0
If it was privatized the pay

If it was privatized the pay would be less than the government workers I can assure you. And it would probably be run more efficiently too.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 03/01/11 - 06:53 pm
0
0
Twinkle twinkle little star.
Unpublished

Twinkle twinkle little star. The check is in the mail. I promise I wont tell. I,ve only had one drink, officer. The dog ate my homework. I don't know how that got in my pocket.

dwb619
118651
Points
dwb619 03/01/11 - 07:30 pm
0
0
Nofan, "sweet-heart deal" is

Nofan, "sweet-heart deal" is a term covering an agreement between a crooked union rep and the company, that robs the employee of his wage package. Usually accompanied by a pay-off from the company to the crooked rep. wage package

Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 03/01/11 - 08:29 pm
0
0
Don't strip power from union

Don't strip power from union workers?

How about not FORCING employees to be a member of a union against thier will and deducting the dues from their paychecks exceeding $1,000.00 per year?

How about unions being non-partican instead of spending over 50% of the dues collected on democratic candiates and advertising.

The unions are putting people out of work, including their own members but as long as "they get theirs" they could care less...don't think this is true, well look no further than Detroit and the auto plants, police forces, school systems, etc.

dwb619
118651
Points
dwb619 03/01/11 - 08:32 pm
0
0
Federal law says any union

Federal law says any union member can Opt out their portion of dues for political purposes.

TheFederalist
1
Points
TheFederalist 03/01/11 - 08:37 pm
0
0
Sorry Lowell, but your usual

Sorry Lowell, but your usual leftist spin is just as wrong headed as your usual bilge. The sad truth is that public sector unions have been a plague on the taxpayers for decades, and finally we have had enough. The taxpayer will no longer let you pillage our Federal, State and local finances to enrich your members and keep financing your liberal agenda through historic payola of the elected. Collective bargaining is ONLY for the private sector, where there is skin in the game for both sides. Whine all you want, but the long overdue wrath of the taxpayer is only beginning, and before this is over, public sector unions will be remembered as simply a bad idea from the past that was deposited in the scrapheap of history, where it truly belongs.

TheFederalist
1
Points
TheFederalist 03/01/11 - 08:59 pm
0
0
Federal law says illegals are

Federal law says illegals are deported and the DOJ enforces ALL laws too. So much for those pipedreams.

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 03/01/11 - 09:02 pm
0
0
"Unions, such as those in
Unpublished

"Unions, such as those in Augusta, sponsor training and safety for workers in electrical, plumbing and carpentry so consumers get a job well done while making homes, and the workplace is safer." Oh yea Lowell....there are numerous UNION residential contractors....you know like your landscape contractor, your roofing contractor, your framing contractor, shall I go on? I wonder just how many houses have IBEW contractors doing the electrical or 150 installing the plumbing?

dwb619
118651
Points
dwb619 03/01/11 - 09:24 pm
0
0
I get the opt out card every

I get the opt out card every year. All you do is sign it, mail it, and your monies are refunded.
Never used it.

Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 03/01/11 - 10:35 pm
0
0
DWB, that may be fine in a

DWB, that may be fine in a right to work state - try it in other places where your dues are taken from your paycheck no matter what.

If you want to join a union, fine, no problem. Get your paycheck and send them a check or OPT IN to send them money - you shouldn't have to opt out of anything - and, you can't opt out of the union, only selected portions.

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs