When Rhode Island’s government-sector labor unions — organizations that engage in politics to elect people who will negotiate employees’ contracts with kid gloves so that more taxpayer dollars can be funneled to the unions and then back into politics — came out against a constitutional convention in Rhode Island, many observers thought it might be out of concern that a surprise wave of good-government interest in the Ocean State would usher in policies that make it harder for their racket to continue. Now, an activist group has emerged, funded almost exclusively with government-sector labor money (which is to say, with taxpayer money), and its emphasis does not fit those observers’ assumption at all:
The group has warned that such a gathering will open the door to actions that could impede women’s rights, gay rights, civil rights and rights for minorities and immigrants.
In brief: social issues, not labor issues. The organization’s Web site lists more labor unions and also a broader array of groups, but they have a particular bent, such as the Economic Progress Institute (aka the Poverty Institute), Humanists of RI, Jobs with Justice, RI NOW, RI Pride, RI Progressive Democrats, and the Secular Coalition for Rhode Island.
It’s possible that the unions are carrying the financial weight of this organization because they don’t want a convention based on their own self interest and just feel that trumpeting the social-issues angle will stoke the public’s fears more effectively. If that’s the case, then Rhode Islanders should question whether it’s appropriate for the labor organizations representing taxpayers’ employees to be using their money to carry far-left free riders. Even the most strident believer in the right of workers to organize can admit that the process shouldn’t distort our system of government on so many issues that have nothing to do with contracts and working conditions.
After years of observation, however, I’d suggest that the real lesson is that labor services are just the way in which the unions raise money for themselves. Their real mission is far-left progressive politics. If that’s the case, union members should ask themselves whether they really to gain such tremendous benefits that it’s worth so much destruction of our rights and our society.