Monday, February 21, 2011

first they came for the public sector unions...

The first gauntlet has been tossed in the pending labor war -- and no, I'm not talking about the NFL. The Governor of Wisconsin has proposed ripping up contracts with public sector unions and starting over with new rules that will ensure collective bargaining doesn't get in the way of balanced budgets.

Is this terrible? You bet it is. But let's keep in mind how we got there -- the hard-line mentality of unions going back more than 30 years that viewed management as nothing but an enemy to be battled, instead of a collaborator. Despite the fact that alternative models were available (looking at you, Germany).

So now, instead of presenting alternative models for businesses, they used an opt-in or opt-out model, and now that times are tough enough, the excuse is primed to scrap collective bargaining altogether.

Problem is, if this sticks, the abandonment of collective bargaining in the private sector is close behind. Hard models are brittle and break easily. Flexibility is the key to survival.

You listening, Equity?


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