They held a public worker rally in Trenton today to protest pension and benefit reforms being legislated in New Jersey where Christopher Sheldon, Vice President of CWA District 1, had this to say: (scroll down for video)
As stirring as that speech might have been to some, it would have been more beneficial for his cause had the speech concentrated on the positive role of unions. Possibly something like:
In the present state of affairs I am convinced that we cannot possibly dispense with the trades unions. On the contrary, they are among the most important institutions in the economic life of the nation. Not only are they important in the sphere of social policy but also, and even more so, in the national political sphere. For when the great masses of a nation see their vital needs satisfied through a just trade unionist movement the stamina of the whole nation in its struggle for existence will be enormously reinforced thereby. Before everything else, the trades unions are necessary as building stones for the future economic parliament, which will be made up of chambers representing the various professions and occupations.
A little dry but the author makes a solid point about the importance of the union movement. If you care to read more of this pro-unionist the entire book, from which this passage is excerpted, is here.
Mr. Sheldon’s incendiary rhetoric was cribbed, almost verbatim, from the Wisconsin playbook. It would be a distraction from a serious debate were a serious debate going on. As it is, I have seen no news story or press release with any numbers as to savings to taxpayers or projections of how much longer the pension would survive with these ‘reforms’ presumably because either people don’t care (they’ll be for or against anything they’re told to be for or against) or those who do know the real numbers realise how pathetically weak these annual ‘reforms’ of the New Jersey pension system continue to be.
As it is, the best any New Jerseyan concerned with not being embarrassed on a national stage can hope for is that nobody notices that Osama bin Laden used non-union labour.
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