Unions are upset and protesting mightily about an effort by Ohio State Senator Shannon Jones that would ban collective bargaining in the state of Ohio. The bill would also abolish salary schedules for public employees and instead require merit pay.

I praised the bill in Ohio Bill To Kill Collective Bargaining for State Employees.

Shane Atwell picked up on my post and added some great comments in his article Good News: Efforts in Ohio and California to Abolish ‘Collective Bargaining’

One thing he noticed that I had not heard yet is a measure in California that will also end collective bargaining. The Sacramento Bee discusses the situation in Group aims to end collective bargaining for public employees

A Santa Barbara-based organization that wants to end union representation of California government employees has revved up its campaign contribution collection machinery for a run at putting the idea to a statewide vote.

Lanny Ebenstein, UC Santa Barbara economist, head of the California Center for Public Policy and president of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association is named in the state filing as the reform group’s treasurer.

If his name seems familiar, it’s probably because Ebenstein authored “Reforming Public Employee Compensation and Pensions.” a report that purported to show that California public employees’ pay and benefits are “unjust.”

We spoke to Ebenstein a few weeks ago. His group wants to put up a ballot measure that would end collective bargaining for all city, county, regional and state employees in California. The reason, he says, is that unions have too much influence and the pay and perks their members receive are leeching money from government services, like education.

There is precedent for this: At least 18 states forbid collective bargaining for some categories of government workers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Virginia and North Carolina prohibit it for all public employees. And GOP governors in Wisconsin and Ohio are threatening to change state collective bargaining laws if they don’t get union concessions.

Collective Bargaining is Extortion

I certainly commend the efforts of Lanny Ebenstein and the California Center for Public Policy and will support the group as best I can.

I also want to direct your attention to Shane Atwell’s rock-solid rationale as to why collective bargaining is extortion.

‘Collective bargaining’ is not what its name indicates. In fact, it means exactly the opposite of what you’d guess. Collective bargaining refers to the obligation of an employer to recognize the elected representatives of a group of workers and his further obligation to negotiate with those representatives. This last part is what makes ‘collective bargaining’ extortion.

Under collective bargaining laws, employers have to recognize an elected union and have to negotiate with them.

Imagine if the tables were turned and employers had the right to ’employer bargaining’, under which the employer could demand whatever pay reductions or workday increases he wanted, the employees had to negotiate with the employer, and employees couldn’t quit!

[Such an arrangement] could only be classified as slavery.

The right to terminate the employer-employee relationship is a fundamental right of both employer and employee. Employment should be mutually beneficial to employer and employee and open to termination by either when it becomes non-beneficial (limited of course by any voluntary contractual agreements).

Collective bargaining laws have achieved two things for unions and union members. First the negotiations strongly tend in one direction until the employer moves his operations offshore [or to another state not subject to collective bargaining]. This ratcheting is inevitable given that employers are forbidden their ultimate tool: terminating employment.

Second, the misnamed [term] ‘collective bargaining’ has given an aura of moral righteousness to the unions who pretend to be fighting for true American values like the freedom of association. [However], they are fighting for values quite foreign to [the United States], values that come from Marxist collectivism, i.e. the expropriation of the property of employers and the negation of their rights.

[Therefore, wages and benefits garnered under collective bargaining arrangements are fraudulent in nature and should therefore be subject to revision.]

Contact your representatives and urge them to fight collective bargaining. [Please] support ballot initiatives [to restrict or eliminate collective bargaining] when they appear.

Any text in brackets above is mine. Thanks Shane. And good luck to Lanny Ebenstein in his mission to help right the wrongs in California.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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