NY Times: Former allies turning on public sector unions 

How do you know that organized labor’s agenda is in huge trouble? You start seeing anecdotal ledes like this one in The New York Times, from yesterday:

Trenton — Stephen M. Sweeney, the president of the State Senate here, glowered with disgust as he described how one New Jersey town paid out nearly $1 million to four retiring police officers for their unused sick days and vacation time.

Mr. Sweeney, a Democrat, also scowled about the estimated $46 billion New Jersey owes in pension contributions and its $58 billion in liabilities to finance retiree health coverage for government employees.

For years, Republican lawmakers have railed against public employees’ pay and benefits, but now another breed of elected official is demanding labor concessions, too: current and former labor leaders and allies themselves.

After 12 years erecting steel beams for office buildings, Mr. Sweeney became a top official in New Jersey’s ironworkers union, now holding that post along with his legislative one. He says the state can no longer afford the benefits won over the years by public sector unions.

“At some point, you reach the limit of your ability to pay,” he said.

About The Author

David Freddoso

Bio:
David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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