Historically, public sector employees have always retained the right to strike in order to secure better pay and working conditions, especially when faced with unfavourable government policies or proposed legislation. However, the current economic circumstances of the US may soon make this a thing of the past, as governors are forced to cut their states budget shortfall by bringing public sector employee rights adjacent with those afforded by the private sector. However, while public expenditure must be cut to improve the nation’s overall budget deficit of $1.5 trillion, should it really come at the cost of fundamental employee bargaining rights?
Ohio state legislature this week passed a bill to limit employee’s collective bargaining rights by banning them from striking and also allowing them to refuse to pay their union dues. The primary reasoning behind the idea is to reduce the local governments burden and financial costs, serving the dual purpose of reducing their deficit while also enabling them to compete against more prosperous job creating states. In its is essence it is a logical plan for long term growth, and easily understandable when you understand the recent events in the city of Detroit and throughout many of the southern states of America.
The State Against the Individual
This situation is a textbook example of the main challenge that faces government in a democratic regime, as they are often unable to satisfy the needs of individuals and single groups while also acting in the interests of society as a whole. In this instance, economic regeneration is the best and most suitable methodology for creating prosperity in the state of Ohio, and this can be achieved through reducing public sector expenditure without losing jobs from organizations. Though clearly a way forward for the state as a single entity, it is has already been construed as an elevation of corporate interests above those of the common man.