Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Where have you gone, Ronald Reagan?

5,000 people who have been employed running public transit in Philadelphia have decided that they no longer want to work at the levels of compensation that are being offered to them.

As of last February, it was estimated that there were 75,000 people looking for work in Philadelphia. That's the most recent number I found, and I doubt that it has gotten any better in the meantime.

Politicians such as Mayor Michael Nutter and Governor Ed Rendell are derelict in their duties, in that they have not started hiring from among that pool of idle workers, to replace those who are no longer doing those jobs.

Of course, I have the highest respect for the integrity of those leaders, so I wouldn't think of suggesting that they are corruptly derelict, as a result of their having accepted money from the unions.

When faced with a similar situation in 1981, then-President Ronald Reagan fired striking public employees.

The private sector has a way of dealing with unions' tendency to price themselves out of a labor market. The operations in question move to other places, where they can hire workers at market wage levels. That's why there is a rust belt.

The only way of dealing with this situation in relation to public sector unions is for political leaders to lead, as Reagan did.

2 comments:

Terry L. Johnson said...

hell yes.

i thought the same thing about reagan and the air traffic control union strike.

as a retired naval officer i am sickened by the idea of public employees being unionized and striking against the public for whom they serve.

this is where the issue of negligence comes into play because SOMEONE is negligent. either the union leaders are negligent for leading the rank and file into believing they are underpaid. or, the mayor is negligent in failing to adequately compensate his public employees.

in any case: with 10% national employment and thousands more being let go weekly, the transit works COULD NOT have chosen a worse time to walk out. makes public employees look smug and overpaid while others are being laid off.

this will not sit will with the general public.

Anonymous said...

I TOTALLY agree. I understand the strikers want a 4% pay raise, a guaranty of no layoffs and so not want to pay any more for health care. I have not had a raise in 4 years. My company has had 2 rounds of layoffs and ascattering of terminations. That's the real world, not the fantasy land of unionized workers. This union's leadership does its members a grave disservice - Fire them all