Letters to the Editor

Bargaining rules differ for state, federal workers

Has anyone wondered why federal workers do not have collective bargaining rights, but state workers do in many states? The simple answer is that the Democrats, during Jimmy Carter's presidency, passed the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act. Opposition to federal workers having collective bargaining rights actually goes back to another Democratic president, Franklin Roosevelt, in the 1940s.

What the federal government did makes total sense. How can an elected government official bargain with a workers union when that union has significant influence over whether that official gets re-elected and whom the union contributes money to? It's a clear conflict of interest and FDR, Carter and the Democratic-controlled Congress in 1978 knew that and acted accordingly.

What the state governments that allow public service workers to have collective bargaining rights did makes no sense at all, and what is happening now and for decades in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, etc., is the proof.

Do you wonder why President Barack Obama has not gone to Wisconsin to support the unions there since he is such an outspoken advocate of unions? It's because if he did he would be seen as a hypocrite since he has made absolutely no effort since becoming president to reverse the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. And we all know that he is not adverse to declaring laws unconstitutional as he recently did with the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

Al Stern Bluffton

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