Pay Your Dues or Lose Your Job!

The headline in today’s Albuquerque Journal (subscription required) says it all: “Union to State Workers: Pay Up.”
According to the story, “last month, the State Employee Alliance-Communications Workers of America sent letters to nearly 500 employees saying they faced termination proceedings unless they began paying dues.” The story went on to note that “employees covered by the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the state are required to pay dues, even if they’re not union members.”
There are so many angles to this story that I could easily turn this posting into a lengthy essay, but I will refrain, so here are some points to consider: 1) While the role of private-sector labor unions is certainly open for debate, at least they benefit when the private-sector economy grows. Government labor unions on the other hand could care less about the private sector and only want to make government bigger. 2) Competition in the private sector forces labor to compete as well (look at the airline industry as an example). Governments don’t compete and there is no check whatsoever on government labor unions. 3) It is simply wrong to force a person to join a labor union in order to obtain employment, especially government employment as we are all taxpayers. 4) Adoption of Right to Work laws would allow individuals to join unions if they choose and to not join them if they don’t want to. 5) New Mexico is not a Right to Work State, but it should be in order to prevent labor unions (as opposed to actual managers) from having the ability to hire and fire government workers.