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Bosnia's Example

Privatizing is just a way to get rid of union jobs, nothing else. It does not save money, as predicted or the excuse given for the privatization. This is what is happening in Bosnia-Herzegovina-Sarajevo today. This privatizing has sparked economic plight and civil unrest with buildings being set on fire and the presidency under siege. When Bosnia abandoned Communism 20 years ago, officials devised a plan to privatize government jobs. More than 80 percent of privatizations have failed. Many well-connected oligarchies have taken companies and stripped them of their assets, declaring bankruptcies and leaving thousands without jobs or with minimal pay and no pensions. Protests erupted on Feb. 4 in the city of Tuzla, where thousands of factory workers burned government buildings and fought police over the selling off of state-owned companies that left workers without jobs and future wages. Privatizations have decimated the middle class and sent the working class into poverty everywhere it’s practiced. So when our elected leaders here in the U.S. talk about the good that comes from privatizing, just remember how Bosnia is doing today—the workers are fighting back. They have nothing to lose. Privatizing is the thinking of our small-minded, elected anti-union GOP people, and we are seeing it more and more from the federal government to the states, all the way down to the small counties and cities, and even quasi-governmental agencies like Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo). If you’re thinking about privatizing, just remember what happened in Bosnia. Those who are advocating for privatization only want to destroy labor, unionized or not. For workers in poverty usually do not have time to fight the 1 percent oligarchies. They are too busy trying to survive, and that is why Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats advocate for privatization. Privatization doesn’t work for the workers and it certainly doesn’t for the agency that goes that way. History shows that privatization costs more money than saves and there’s no loyalty established among the workers. Locally, LAFCo commission failed to look at its recent history of less than 10 years ago to learn that privatizing its executive officer’s position to know it was a bad and costly decision. The commissioner recently voted to privatize this position again as a cost saving measure. The LAFCo office used to be run by two well-qualified employees, now it has three unqualified employees with two of them being hired from a temp agency. Where’s the cost savings?

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