The News Tribune
There’s no telling what kind of sacrifices Tacoma’s firefighters union may be offering as it privately negotiates with city administrators to preserve positions and public safety. The big thing is that they’re negotiating in the first place.
The Great Recession has not been kind to public unions. In the rising economic tide that preceded it, many of them had won very generous compensation from local and state officials they’d helped put in office.
Unions in the private sector should have it so good. Private-sector unions can’t vote for the people they face at the bargaining table, and the companies they work for can go bust if they can’t turn a profit. (See Hostess Brands Inc.)
Governments don’t face the discipline of the market, and they rarely go belly up: People can do without Twinkies, but they can’t do without police protection, sewers, water or streets.