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Unions and the will of the people

Updated on September 22, 2012

The battle between unions and government continues and the courts have now entered the picture again. Recent events in Wisconsin involved a judge declaring what is considered to be the collective bargaining legislation to be unconstitutional. There have been constant battles between union members and supporters who are not happy with the legislation enacted to help bring some fiscal control to the state of Wisconsin. The first was a recall election which Governor Walker won handily. The voice of the people in Wisconsin seems to not matter when it comes to positions on which unions disagree. Unions have a right to their opinion as we as citizens do but when the voters have spoken the decisions must be accepted by all citizens of Wisconsin.

Again I believe unions have a place in our economy but the membership of unions in general has been declining and they need to change with the times. Individuals want more freedom to make choices where they work without requirements for joining a union. Unions must present the benefits of membership to convince potential new members why they should join. The current tactics and actions being displayed in Wisconsin affect the reputation of unions in general not only in Wisconsin but across the country.

There have been other battles between state governments and unions such as in Ohio. Petitions were generated to place the issue on the ballot and the voters decided to repeal the law passed by the legislature which was similar to the legislation passed by Wisconsin. Unions were happy with the decision in Ohio and the state adjusted their processes as the voters made their decision. It appears that when voters do not give a win to unions they fight the results but when the results are in their favor they have no problem. This may or may not be the case but the appearance or perception of union actions in Wisconsin affect the reputation of all unions.

Today our court system is getting bombarded with lawsuits which in many cases should not be accepted based on the purpose and reason as identified when the cases are filed. In reference to the last sentence every individual or organization has a right to file suit when they feel they have been harmed either by an individual or by the government. From time to time decisions are made by judges in the lower courts and the decisions are overturned when appealed to a higher court. This raises the question on the basis for the decisions being made if they are constantly overturned. It is one thing to based decisions on facts and another to base them on their opinion as they see the issue being placed before them.

There is no question that opinions do enter in some decisions by our courts with regards to the constitutionality of laws passed by legislatures. When lawsuits are filed in conjunction with legislation decisions should be made on whether the legislation enacted was within the authority of the legislature who passed them. If the proper authority does exist then there should be no issue of constitutionality. The key is the issue of constitutionality. There are always going to be opinions on both sides of an issue in a court battle. Everyone has a right to their opinion but decisions need to be based on whether the authority of a legislative body was exceeded. When the answer to this question is yes the facts must be presented to support the decision and it should not be based on an opinion.

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    • Dennis AuBuchon profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis AuBuchon 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by and providing your comments. I too am a former government employee and the points you made are right on target. Thanks

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      As a former government worker I see a problem with the unions as a conflict with the way Civil service was originally set up. There is usually a Civil service commission which determines such things as pay scales, settling grievances and such. These commissions should work for the benefit of both employees and government. Unions don't recognize the needs of the public, as represented by the government.

    • Dennis AuBuchon profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis AuBuchon 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by and providing your input. I appreciate it.

    • junko profile image

      junko 

      7 years ago

      Dennis I like and understand your Opinion It is true that laws and the constitution are interpeted by Democrats, Republicans, and sometimes Independent's opinions. That has been the American justice system since the creation of The United States. It is what it is, OPINIONS of the court. If the opinion is not of your opinion and you can appeal..., that's all we can do.

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