The PJ Tatler

Massachusetts House votes to curtail government union collective bargaining privileges

Wait a minute — Massachusetts isn’t run by teabaggers, isn’t dominated by union-hating corporatists, and isn’t even a right to work state. So what gives?

The 111-to-42 vote followed tougher measures to broadly eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio, Wisconsin, and other states. But unlike those efforts, the push in Massachusetts was led by Democrats who have traditionally stood with labor to oppose any reduction in workers’ rights.

Clearly, the unions didn’t issue enough violent threats. But isn’t it curious, that Democrats in Wisconsin fled the state to block a bill that, in Massachusetts, was brought up by and approved by Democrats?

Unions fought hard to stop the bill, launching a radio ad that assailed the plan and warning legislators that if they voted for the measure, they could lose their union backing in the next election. After the vote, labor leaders accused House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and other Democrats of turning their backs on public employees.

As you might expect, the AFL-CIO is unhappy that the Democrats didn’t stay bought.

“It’s pretty stunning,’’ said Robert J. Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “These are the same Democrats that all these labor unions elected. The same Democrats who we contributed to in their campaigns. The same Democrats who tell us over and over again that they’re with us, that they believe in collective bargaining, that they believe in unions. . . . It’s a done deal for our relationship with the people inside that chamber.’’

Isn’t all this curious — Democrats in Wisconsin fled the state, with the backing of the Obama administration, to block the eeeevil Republican bill that’s awfully similar to the bill that Democrats brought up and passed in deep blue Massachusetts.