>Second, the public unions might be able to build coalitions with the
>public more easily than private sector unions since their members often
>provide essential public services.
How I wish this were true, but have there been any examples of it actually happening? The NYC municipal unions have done nothing of the sort; they haven't even peeped as successive administrations have hacked at public services for the last 23 years. (Of course, with about half the locals in the main municipal union, DC 37, under grand jury investigation, they're hardly in a position to raise much of a stink. Not even DC 37's endorsement of Giuliani can stop the march of the law!) And Mark Maier, in his book City Unions, argues that this has been the case since NYC first recognized its unions 40 years ago. Any other jurisdictions have anything better to report?