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Lest you think the battle brewing in Wisconsin is isolated to that state, think again. This is a battle that working Arkansans cannot afford to lose. Although Arkansas has less than 6% union organization there is legislation continually littering the desk of our legislators to promote and strengthen the union presence and pressures in our state.
According to the Arkansas AFL-CIO facebook page they are having a this Tuesday (Feb 22nd) at the State Capitol. If you visit their web site you will find legislation they are pushing.
Rep. Jim Nickels (D-Sherwood) who has strong ties to the unions here in Arkansas and has received over $20,000 in campaign contributions from them over two campaigns has filed many bills this session dealing with labor issues. An individual named Jim E. Nickels is listed as the Executive Director of the Arkansas AFSCME.
Last year I met Mr. Nickels for the first time here in Fayetteville as he disembarked from an AFSCME bus that was touring the state to promote EFCA (Employee Fee Choice Act, which is anything but free choice.)
Public sector unions cost Arkansans millions of dollars annually by driving state budgets well beyond responsible spending. That is the story in the majority of states in the US.
According to UnionFact.com, "Arkansas residents could pay 7.13% less in state income taxes if they weren't paying for inflated government employee union wages." Think that would stimulate business in our state?
The site also said:
Union officials have abused the trust of their members. They've misspent member dues and harmed the very same people they promise to protect.
In 2005 alone, federal racketeering investigations resulted in 196 convictions against union officials and employees and $187 million in fines. Union tactics -- including deception and intimidation during organizing campaigns, strikes that hurt members more than they help, spending mandatory union dues on radical political agendas, and the use of anti-democratic voting practices -- are long overdue for exposure.
I am wondering what the unions are all in a tizzy about. According to the Southwest Labor's District Council,
You can expect more unions across the nation to get fired up as elected officials across the nation attempting to bring fiscal responsibly and transparency to government begin to see where millions of tax payer dollars are being funneled.
It will be imperative to make sure we are getting the facts, contacting our legislators and becoming fully engaged.
As stated on Big Government.com's editorial on this issue, "we win this fight or we lose. It's that simple"