published Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Wamp criticized for union legislation

by Matt Wilson

PDF: Zach Wamp NRTW letter



* U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp

* Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam

* Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey

* Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons


* Former state Rep. Kim McMillan

* Nashville businessman Ward Cammack

* Mike McWherter

* State Sen. Roy Herron

* State Sen. Jim Kyle

U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., has taken some heat over his support of legislation that provides collective bargaining rights to police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee, sent Rep. Wamp a letter in late September, asking him to remove his name as a co-sponsor for the U.S. House resolution.

“If (the legislation) becomes law, Tennessee legislators would be forced to write state laws giving broad new powers to public safety union bosses over public safety employees in order to comply with the demands of the federal government,” Mr. Mix wrote.

Rep. Wamp, one of 163 of the resolution’s co-sponsors, said he understands the concerns raised in the letter, but the legislation does nothing to revoke Tennessee’s status as a right-to-work state. He said the resolution, which does not allow for strikes or work slowdowns, was originally written by U.S. Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn.

“He calls it the bare-bones minimum of rights,” Rep. Wamp said. “This gives them the ability to share their grievances or express themselves.”

Jeff Eldridge, president of the Chattanooga Firefighters association, said he is glad Rep. Wamp is supporting the resolution. His union’s main goal is to be able to sit down and negotiate for things they need, he said.

Along with Reps. Wamp and Duncan, U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis, D-Tenn.; U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., and U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., are signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution.

Rep. Wamp is running for Tennessee governor in next year’s gubernatorial election.

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joe4gov said...

That's some fancy company you are keeping there, Zach! If Rep. Duncan originally wrote the legislation, why is he not listed as a co-sponsor and supporter of the bill? Oopsie!

There is a Constitutional alternative in the 2010 GOP primary for Governor. Check it out:

October 11, 2009 at 12:39 a.m.
harrygalvest68 said...

This bill has Zach Wamp written all over it. He says one thing: "I stand for the 10th amendment" while traveling across the state of Tennessee, then, goes up to Washington and does something like the federal government the right to tell Tennessee what to do. Same 'ole Zach.

And worse, he has changed his position on this bill. Sounds like so many politicians that we know: "I voted against it before I voted for it."

Zach, you stand for nothing but your own self preservation. You know the union big wigs don't follow "no-strike" clauses. Who doesn't know that? All you had to do was watch a little TV coverage a few years back of the NYC public worker strike to know that they weren't allowed to strike either...but, they did!

If this bill that Zach supports becomes law and TN is forced to change our laws and then cities and towns across this state start to go bankrupt in a few years because of greedy government union hot shots, remember that Zach Wamp stood should to shoulder with them to make it happen.

Just look what is happening to CA and NY and MI -- union hot shots have too much power and the places are going bankrupt.

October 11, 2009 at 9:14 a.m.
cornmeal said...

This was an excellent show of support for public safety personnel throughout the State of Tennessee. Thanks Rep. Wamp for your signature as a co-sponsor for this piece of legislation. It will allow public safety personnel all over the state to sit down with their respective employers and agree to a contract. Thanks once again!

October 14, 2009 at 11:56 p.m.
Salsa said...

About time.

October 15, 2009 at 12:23 a.m.
joecrash1 said...

Lesseee! Union wise guys running around holding the government for ransom..........Greedy government wise guys holding police and fire fighters to 3rd class citizen's pay and benefits while making them pay for take home cars which benefit the city as a whole with better cared for cars and more cars on the street at any given time. Cops and firefighters should go and sign up for food stamps like they did in the 80s. That got the city's attention.

October 15, 2009 at 10:08 a.m.
johnh said...

Well it is about time our Policeman and Firefighters have the same ability to bargain as school teachers. With the crime issues we have in West Tennessee and Knoxville we need to keep all those folks working to protect us from criminals.

Great job Zach. I also see that you oppose the labor union initiatives in manufacturing. You have clearly taken a leadership position to protect Tennesseans and I certainly appreciate it.

When the guys that deliver gasoline to gas stations who overcharge us to line their pockets have more rights than the public servants that protect those of us paying for the overpriced gasoline, now that is an issue, or two for that matter.

February 4, 2010 at 7:57 p.m.
harrystatel said...

Zach "What's Term Limits?" Wamp! Now we've got him out of the Third district, why would we want him as Governor?

Fight Organized Crime!--Re-elect no one. Let someone else have a chance to pad their pockets like Zach has done.

February 4, 2010 at 8:50 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

Nice job of sucking up to the police/firefighters for their votes Zack. Sorry Zach, not buying it.

Zach, says..“He calls it the bare-bones minimum of rights,” Rep. Wamp said. “This gives them the ability to share their grievances or express themselves.”

So by your own words you are advocating the basic tenet of unionism. I am a union member and have no faith whatsoever in your supposed support of selective unions whose vote you are courting. Do you support the Employee Free Choice Act? Have you supported union organizing or "rights" in the past.

I don't believe you at all. You have shown yourself a liar by your term limit pledge you broke after railing against the influence of incumbent politicians. Once again, you don't pass the smell test.

February 4, 2010 at 9:21 p.m.
johnh said...

Harrystate is mis-informed and sounds like a Ramsey tool.

If Zach has lined his pockets why is his net worth only $1 million after 16 years in congress? He is one of the poorest members of US Congress

February 8, 2010 at 7:35 a.m.
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