The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled yesterday in favor of the end of “collective bargaining.” This is wonderful news.
The Wisconsin legislature ended the right to collective bargaining for unions in 2011. While unions portray this practice as a means for gaining power against employers, that is an illusion. “Collective bargaining” is a means of using power against other workers—specifically workers who do not belong to the union and are willing to work for less.
The way unions feel about workers who will work for lower pay is similar to how late nineteenth-century railroad colluders felt about the railroad owners who undercut their prices by offering lower fares.
Public unions are much worse because the unions are not negotiating with the people who pay them. They are negotiating with politicians who make agreements that won’t have to be fulfilled while they are still in office. The taxpayers are put on the hook for debts made to fulfill union demands. The politicians get votes and other benefits for making the unions happy.
Associated Press reports,
The ruling also marks the end of the three-year legal fight over the union rights law, which prohibits public worker unions for collectively bargaining for anything beyond base wage increases based on inflation. A federal appeals court twice upheld the law as constitutional.
“No matter the limitations or ‘burdens’ a legislative enactment places on the collective bargaining process, collective bargaining remains a creation of legislative grace and not constitutional obligation,” Justice Michael Gableman wrote for the majority.
I wouldn’t call it “grace,” but collective bargaining is, indeed, an artificial imposition which government imposes on an otherwise free society. It allows workers to keep out competition in the same way cartelized industries use government power to prevent new companies from entering the market place.
This ruling gives Wisconsin a real shot at continuing the renewal of the state economy.