It is not unusual to see mistakes and misinformation, deliberate or otherwise, in news stories about labor unions and union members. From pensions to payrates, the hard-won benefits enjoyed by union members are a constant target for right-wing publications aiming to fuel tension between union and non-union workers.
An exception to that norm is the coverage provided by business reporter Ted Reed in the Street.com. From his days as a reporter covering airlines and airline workers for various newspapers, to his current online coverage, Reed routinely provides refreshing insights and coverage without the customary bias.
In a recent article titled “Should Wisconsin Look to the Private Sector,” Reed examines the showdown in the Midwest, where Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker and others are seeking to eliminate collective bargaining rights for state employees.
Citing successful negotiations at several major U.S. corporations, Reed asks if maybe Gov. Walker should take a lesson from the private sector, where crisis negotiations with labor unions have produced gains for all involved.
For his article about the situation in Wisconsin, Reed interviewed industry experts and union leaders, including NFFE-IAM Federal District 1 President Bill Dougan, who voiced the opinion of many union members when he said, “It’s pretty clear that what’s going on in Wisconsin has little or nothing to do with the budget deficit.”
Dougan was equally clear in his remarks about the real but often misrepresented purpose of collective bargaining, “The bottom line is that labor and management share a lot of the same interest in terms of making employers more efficient in delivering their services,” Dougan said. “We’re all about helping federal agencies be successful and delivering on their mission, because their being successful ensures that they continue to get funding that keeps our folks employed.”