Green Room

Lane: Let’s put an end to PEUs

posted at 11:38 am on February 1, 2014 by

I’ve had this column from Washington Post editorial writer Charles Lane in a browser tab most of the week, waiting for a good opportunity to use it. Instead, I’m going to feature it here, because it is just too good to miss. Lane has the same beefs with public-employee unions as do most conservatives, primarily the unhealthy alliance of unions and the politicians who negotiate their contracts at the expense of taxpayers. But Lane adds this twist — he thinks PEUs run counter to progressivism as well:

The labor peace justification tries to make a virtue out of something Americans normally, and properly, despise: government by interest group. A variant of that argument, advanced by my colleague Harold Meyerson, is that ­public-employee unions, with their large campaign donations and political staffs, have become “the all-around linchpin of the modern Democratic Party” and the progressive causes for which it stands.

Some of us, though, don’t think dependence on unions has been healthy for the Democratic Party or for the robust public sector it espouses. Again, the case in point is the public schools, which employ almost half of all local government employees but which Democrats dare reform only at the risk of war with teachers unions.

Also, California’s powerful prison guard union has provided key support for that state’s “three strikes and you’re out” mandatory life sentence law. Not progressive.

This, however, is really a secondary argument for Lane. He wants to break up the labor-politician complex by putting an end to public-sector collective bargaining, and he makes a great case for it. Be sure to read it all.

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The purpose of unions is to protect workers from their evil employer. So liberals that want public sector unions are admitting the government is evil, yet they want more of it. It comes as no surprise that the democrats embrace evil so openly seeing as how it’s the single most racist organization in human history. Even the Nazi’s use to thank the democrats for showing them new and more evil ways to inflict their hatred.

Flange on February 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM

“Protect” is a bit of an overstatement. It stopped being about the employees protection a long time ago. Unions are all about money. Their primary goal is to have employers pay more (usually to the union, maybe to the employees) for equal or less work.

If you doubt me, try negotiating a CBA and tell the union you will pay into the retirement, health and training programs they control if they will give give on other issues, such a pay, promotion, terminations, discipline, etc.

See how fast they become cooperative.

EdmundBurke247 on February 1, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Kudos to Lane. I’ve been interested in his comments since he came on FNC. Seems like one of the few remaining thoughtful, decent Democrats.

petefrt on February 1, 2014 at 12:56 PM

The purpose of unions is to protect workers from their evil employer.

No. The point of PEUs is to give the union boss a captive audience of members to contribute dues so he can funnel the proceeds into his pockets and the campaign coffers of the politicians who allow his racket to continue.

tdarrington on February 1, 2014 at 12:57 PM

EdmundBurke247 on February 1, 2014 at 11:59 AM
tdarrington on February 1, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Of course that’s true, I was attacking their stated and dishonest purpose. No one sells the public on the idea of unions being even more power hungry and greedy than they allege the employers are. They lie and say it’s for the protection of the worker. Well if the worker needs to be protected from the government, clearly that’s saying the government is evil.

Flange on February 1, 2014 at 1:08 PM

The purpose of unions is to protect workers from their evil employer.

Back in the past..when unions actually had a purpose is, well, back in the past. There was a time when workers needed to have a voice to balance the power of Big Mining..Big Auto..Big Oil..Big Textiles, etc. Now all of those gains are codified into existing labor laws. Where private sector unions were to balance the power of “Big Business”, public sector unions are “balancing the power” of who?…Big Taxpayer???
The existing legal standing of PEU’s is an executive order issued by JFK. Any standing POTUS should be able to recind that EO.

Mimzey on February 1, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Dismantle any and every public employee union.

Jeddite on February 1, 2014 at 1:37 PM

No unions for public employees.

tim c on February 1, 2014 at 2:03 PM

I don’t think “progressive” means what he thinks it means.

BKeyser on February 1, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Jeff2161 on February 1, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Thats good! Thanks for the link. Hadn’t heard about that.

Mimzey on February 1, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Once upon a time, even this Democrat recognized the danger of public employee unions (emphasis mine):

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

Wanderlust on February 1, 2014 at 6:37 PM


…the word…should be ‘prisoner’

KOOLAID2 on February 1, 2014 at 10:32 PM

If, as liberals claim, the benevolent government always acts in our best interests, then why do we need PEUs? Doesn’t the government already take good care of its employees?

blammm on February 2, 2014 at 10:04 AM

He wants to break up the labor-politician complex by putting an end to public-sector collective bargaining,

Liberals hired the unions just like the people of Hamelin hired the Piper, only the unions were hired to deliver votes at election time.

Now that unions no longer have the same clout, we’ll see liberals begin to move away from the unions. But just like the story of Hamelin, the unions want to get paid.

The big question is: instead of rats, what will the unions run off with?

BobMbx on February 2, 2014 at 5:43 PM


The big question is: instead of rats children, what will the unions run off with?

BobMbx on February 2, 2014 at 5:43 PM

BobMbx on February 2, 2014 at 5:45 PM

No unions for public employees.

tim c on February 1, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Next time around, when we design America v 2.0, no votes for fed employees in fed elections during the term of their employment/pension. People feeding from the public trough should not have the power to enlarge it. Conflict of interest.

petefrt on February 2, 2014 at 5:55 PM

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