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January 27, 2012
SEIU: Myopic Greed
The Service Employee International Union (SEIU) is out of touch with reality.
Reality: the current California state budget deficit is estimated at 13 billion dollars.
Folly: SEIU workers in Fresno, California, went on strike for three days on January 23rd.
Reality: according to Phil Larson, a Fresno County Supervisor, the SEIU strikers have had a 31% compensation increase over the past 5 years.
Folly: The Fresno County SEIU workers went on strike for three days over a 9% pay cut.
Reality: according to U.S. News and World Report, Fresno is the 2nd worst city in America to find a job.
Folly: SEIU protestors in Fresno, during the strike, chanted, "WE ARE THE UNION, THE MIGHTY, MIGHTY UNION!"
Reality: the unemployment rate in the Fresno County was 16.2 percent in December 2011.
Folly: SEIU labor representative Kevin Smith, referring to the three day strike said, "It's a way to show that we've been disrespected."
Reality: according to Cal Watchdog, a study by Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management paints a bleak sketch regarding Fresno's pension liability. The best case scenario is that pensions will consume 78% of municipal revenues by 2019. The worst case scenario adds up to a whopping 142% consumption of municipal revenues by 2015.
Folly: one SEIU flyer states, "A three day strike will show the Board of Supervisors... ...that we deserve and demand respect now!!!"
Reality: the California Public Policy Center estimates that unions in California are able to extract about $765 million dollars per year from tax payer funded state workers in union dues. At the very least a third of that money is spent on political activities. That translates to about $20 million dollars per month available for spending on politics!
Agenda: according to the Washington Examiner, in 2008 SEIU spent $28 million dollars nationally to support Obama. No other organization spent more to help Obama get elected. According to CNN, SEIU also spent a whopping $65 million in 2004 in their effort to defeat George Bush.
Reality: California Watch reports that in 2009, after funding cuts, the Fresno County Sheriff eliminated 75 positions, mostly jail staff, and since then roughly 15,000 inmates have been released early due to continuing funding problems. After that, Fresno reassumed its position as the car theft capital of America.
Folly: one of the SEIU strikers said, "We are all Americans and we are fighting for what's best for us."
Reality: USA Today reported that for 2009 the average compensation for a state worker in California was $71,385, which is almost $8000 more than their private sector counterpart.
Folly: SEIU has filed a complaint with the California Public Employment Relations Board, claiming that Fresno County, "unfairly reduced employee wages."
Reality: the average salary for a RN in Fresno County is at least $67,000 per year.
Folly: "They try to make it seem like we don't work hard," said a county nurse. "I am just fighting for a little respect."
Reality: according to the latest government figures, there are at least 16.4 million people out of work.
Folly: marching strikers during the strike chanted, "hey hey ho ho union power on the go."
In former times government workers were public servants. It has always been the case that employers have the tendency to oppress workers, thus the legitimacy of unions. But today, an apparatus must be set in place to stop unions from oppressing taxpayers, financially and politically.
Maybe we can get the SEIU to advocate a new national motto: "Who is God? In unions we trust that government will supply all of our needs according to redistributive policies."
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