Labor Unions look out for the average worker in roughly the same manner Michael Corleone looked out for his “business associates”. Apparently, in the city of Milwaukee, if you are a government contractor who requires your employees to pay Union dues to the Service Employees International Union, you don’t have to worry about complying with the city’s new “living wage” requirements. See, Unions care more about thuggishly extorting money from “the working man” than helping that same man make ends meet.
Milwaukee County officials approved a living wage requirement for local government contractors to pay at least $11.33 per hour. SEIU's Wisconsin Jobs Now campaign was the main backer of the requirement. But the new law includes a convenient way for contractors to avoid having to pay the living wage — they can agree to force their employees to join SEIU.
Holy Crony Capitalism, Batman! (Yeah… That was an Adam West Batman reference.) So, the SEIU helps to push a local ordinance that mandates $11.33 per hour in the name of “bridging the income gap”… But if you’re “lucky” enough to work for a contractor who requires unionization for the privilege of employment, you don’t need to make a “livable” wage. Way to look out for your own, Unions! (Sarcasm font desperately needed.)
Ostensibly the “livable” wage is a gimmick to shame private businesses into paying their private employees a higher wage for having the honor of working on government projects. Because of the Union’s economic illiteracy toward business models, governments in Milwaukee are now forced to shell out more hard earned tax dollars for contractors… Unless Union shops decide to cut their workers’ pay.
Talk about a win-win for Unions. Union shops will soon begin receiving more government contracts, because they are able to keep wages low (and therefore costs low as well). It’s pretty likely that this will result in more contractors forcing their employees into organized labor, so that they too can compete for lucrative government projects. Of course, this is good news for the SEIU, as they start raking in more revenue from dues-paying members. And we all know what more dues paying members will mean for the state of Wisconsin: the SEIU will have more money to help elect more Democrats; - who will then pass some more Union friendly crony-capitalist laws (thus continuing the circle of leftist life, Simba).
Desperation, it seems, is a great motivator for liberal creativity. Since Governor Scott Walker passed a slew of reforms to the state’s labor laws, Union membership has been in precipitous decline. It turns out that workers don’t really like paying fees to a bunch of elitist snobs who plunder employers to the point of bankruptcy. So, given their recent drop in membership and political viability, our Corleone thugs at the SEIU have decided to send a message to Milwaukee business owners with the help of the friendly neighborhood government:
Either pay your employees more… Or help us shore up our membership.
Consider it an old Chicago-style protection racket. “We’ll keep you from shelling out ‘livable wages,’ if you just help us collect a few thousand more dues!”
Aside from the grotesque Union hypocrisy on display (which will largely be lost on the typically leftist hacks who claim to be journalists), the exemption reeks of cronyism. Is it really asking too much for advocates of a law to follow its provisions? As George Orwell pointed out, some pigs are apparently more equal than others.
The Washington Examiner described the underhanded approach to Union-membership-proliferation as “mobster tactics.” And they’re right. Taxpayers and businesses get soaked, while workers (getting paid less than the legally defined “livable wage”) help pay the mortgages for SEIU executives. You would think that libertarians, conservatives and progressives alike would agree that such an arrangement isn’t exactly “living the dream” for the proletariat or bourgeoisie classes. (Of course, labor bosses are probably pretty giddy.)
Congratulations on your victory in Wisconsin, SEIU… Now, leave the gun. Take the cannoli.