Rauner stands up for the little guy

By The Madison County Record | May 6, 2015

Unions were originally founded by the working man.

Unions were originally founded by the working man.

Today they’re often the province of the non-working one, public sector unions in particular.

As Governor Bruce Rauner battles public sector unions in our St. Clair County courts, it's this 2015 reality we should all consider.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, government workers have a union membership rate that is now more than five times higher than that of private sector ones.

Union membership at self-sustaining, competitive, job-creating businesses has plummeted over the past 20 years, from 20.1% in 1983 to just 6.6% in 2014. Meanwhile, government sector unions have consistently grown; last year, 35.7% of public employees were union members.

Once organized to protect laborers toiling in high risk and often dangerous jobs, today unions are mostly a cocoon for overpaid public bureaucrats, seeking to guarantee that their bloated salaries, benefits, and pensions continue to be fronted by taxpayers who make far less than them.

These government union workers believe their individual interests are more important than the future of Illinois. They’d rather our property taxes collectively double than their salaries be lowered even a hint.

They’d rather let high business taxes drive private employers out of state than they be forced to contribute more to their own retirement or their rich taxpayer-funded health benefits.

They’re unmoved as work colleagues lose First Amendment rights, are forced to fund political activities in which they don’t believe and are unable to speak out against the government union or challenge its motives.

Public sector unions have become a scourge that have driven our state and municipalities into near insolvency by way of unfathomable pension obligations. Governor Rauner deserves credit for identifying their selfish, disingenuous behavior as the primary cause, then confronting it head on.

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