Collective Bargaining "Rights"

By Williamsen, Kurt | The New American, May 23, 2011 | Go to article overview

Collective Bargaining "Rights"


Williamsen, Kurt, The New American


"Don't let Walker take away our rights." That claim is repeatedly heard in Wisconsin as public-union workers try to recall Republican state Senators who voted for Governor Scott Walker's plan to require the workers to contribute more to their retirement and healthcare costs and limit their ability to use "collective bargaining" to increase pay and benefits.

Union workers claim that they are losing their "collective bargaining rights." But are union workers really losing rights? It depends upon one's definition of rights.

Tom Clementi, who defended the union line as a community columnist for the Appleton, Wisconsin, Post-Crescent, said that collective bargaining is a right because "federal and state law says so." In other words, rights are what the government allows one to do. If one is guided by that definition, then collective bargaining would be a right, but following that line of reasoning, Aryan Germans had a "right" to persecute Jews in the 1930s and '40s because government approved it. I doubt if most Americans--including Clementi--would be comfortable with that.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Let's assume that Clementi meant that rights are "what the government allows one to do, as long as the actions taken don't hurt other Americans." After all, in Clementi's world, though the state has the power to give you the "right" of collective bargaining, it shouldn't have the power to take away that right. Assuming this is what Clementi meant would also put his comment about "federal and state law" more in line with American jurisprudence, which basically says that one's rights end where another person's nose begins. If one's actions hurt another person physically, monetarily, or reputation-wise, one has overstepped one's rights. How then does collective bargaining stand up as a right?

Collective bargaining still fails to qualify as a "right" because collective bargaining definitely causes non-union workers to suffer. To understand how collective bargaining causes suffering, we must first understand what it is. Collective bargaining is more than just bargaining for wages as a group--if it were just that, it's likely that few in the private sector would have a problem with it. In practice, it means that when a group of public workers form a union, they can demand under power of law that disagreements between them and their employers go into binding arbitration, and an arbitrator will decide how many of the union workers' demands must be met in a negotiation period. (Any demands that are not met in one negotiation period will be sought in a following period--and then some. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Collective Bargaining "Rights"
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.