Warner Todd Huston
Wisc. firefighters care more about their union than 9/11 memory
By Warner Todd Huston
July 5, 2011

If you needed yet another example of why government employees should never be allowed to join unions, this is it. In Racine, Wisconsin the local fireman's union got into an imbroglio over a July 4th parade float honoring the fallen first responders of the Sept. 11 attacks, a parade entry that the union supported previously. This time, though, union bosses decided not to support the 9/11 memorial float because one of the firemen on the float opted out of the fireman's union this year.

That's right, the fireman's union decided that their union agenda was more important than supporting a memorial to their brethren that died on Sept. 11, 2001. Their union agenda was even more important than patriotism and an Independence Day parade.

Imagine that. These union thugs despoiled the memory of the Sept. 11 fallen and used them in order to make points for their union ideals and political policies.

What could be more disgusting?

The man in the middle is Matt Gorniak, a Milwaukee-area fire lieutenant, who was the driving force behind the 2011 float idea. Naturally, he assumed that his fireman brothers would love to join him to honor those police and firemen that died at the hands of our enemies on Sept. 11. Boy was he wrong. The union took a stand against his float because Gorniak happened to have left the union this year.

Gorniak took advantage of a little used clause in Wisconsin state law that allowed him to opt out of the fireman's union because he sided against the union's political agenda. He wasn't the only one, either. Several firemen joined him in his protest.

But because of Gorniak's action the union bosses decided to prevent other firemen from joining him on his parade float honoring the 911 fallen.

Gorniak even told the union that he'd step back and allow the union to decide whom to allow on the float but the union turned its back on him anyway. "I was shocked at the response," Gorniak told reporters.

Gorniak has vowed to carry on with the parade float and has offered an open invitation to any fireman that wants to join him.

Another firefighter that opted out of the union told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he felt a backlash would occur once word got out about what the union was doing.

Mike Gabby told the paper, "I've got to think most of the guys would agree with me: This has nothing to do with politics."

Ah, but when it comes to union thugs there is no memorial, no patriotism, no coming together unless the union agenda is satisfied first, foremost, and above everything else.

Like I said, when a union finds its own petty hatreds getting in the way of patriotism, civic duty, and a memorial to the fallen, then that union has lost its legitimacy. But this is just the thing. It is always thus, if you will. Unions don't care about God, Country, and Community. They care only about unions. And this why it is detrimental to the public safety to allow people whose job it is to save lives to join unions.

You see, as far as union bosses are concerned, union rules, union needs, union desires, toeing the union line all come before public safety and what is best for the people.

Simply put, government employees should never, ever be allowed to have a union. Government unions are antithetical to good government and actually dangerous to public safety. This little tale is just one more example of that.

© Warner Todd Huston


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Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston's thoughtful commentary, sometimes irreverent often historically based, is featured on many websites... (more)

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