Have unions finally shot their wad, meaning are they becoming irrelevant? If the latest events are any indicator, the answer is a conditional yes.
The long, drawn out battle between unions and the state of Wisconsin have shown they aren't as powerful as they once were, with the governor calling their bluff and refusing to budge on his demand that state unions give up the right to apply collective bargaining to benefits and pensions, one of the most expensive portions of the state budget. Ohio governor John Kasich is doing likewise, trying to end the corrupting grip of the unions on state government and insatiable demand for taxpayer dollars.
We're seeing a retrenchment even among the one of the larger teacher's unions – the AFT – where the union leadership is willing to give up tenure, knowing it has been a sticking point for many communities because underperforming or incompetent teachers cannot be removed because of tenure.
Before labor laws came into being, unions had their place. It was unions that pushed for the legislation that now protects American workers in regards to working conditions, safety, discrimination, pay, and a host of others. But once those protections were made law, the unions became less a means of protecting workers and more like a protection racket. In the case of public sector unions, they extort money from the taxpayers which is then used to work against those same taxpayers by way of union campaign contributions to politicians, almost always Democrats, to keep the taxpayer dollars flowing in to union coffers. These days, the taxpayers are wise to this racket and are demanding a change.
It's about time. And maybe it's time for unions, at least public sector unions, to go the way of the dodo bird.