Skip to comments.Five Things I Hate About Labor Unions
Posted on 09/05/2011 6:05:02 PM PDT by freespirited
This Labor Day weekend, liberal union leaders throughout the country will likely be askings, What is that conservatives have against unions? The popular culture preaches their virtues, yet conservatives have stood firm in opposing union excesses, and clash constantly with the unions legislative agenda.
Its easy for the left to stereotype conservatives as callous rich businessmen, Alex Keaton wannabes, or plain anti-worker. The truth is conservatives have five legitimate concerns with modern day labor unions.
1) Unions Tend Towards Tyranny
Thomas Jefferson fought to protect Virginians from being forced by the government to fund Churches. In the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, Jefferson wrote, to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical.
Jeffersons use of sinful and tyrannical fits well with what unions across the country do. The ideal situation for unions is to have a union shop where employees have to join the union in order to work, or at least pay union dues, which makes them involuntary contributors to causes they may not support.
The National Education Association, for example, gave over $13 million to left wing advocacy groups. The NEA took money from conservative teachers living in states where union membership wasnt optional and gave the money to People for the American Way, the Rainbow-Push Coalition, Media Matters, and the Human Rights campaign.
Even with no specific religious or ideological objection, many workers want no part of a union, but find themselves compelled. Such was the case with a sixteen year-old part time grocery store clerk who realized that union membership would be of no benefit to her and was bullied by the Union and threatened with losing her job.
Unions in the 21st Century want to take away the rights of individuals to make their own decisions and to force them to join the Union. Nothing illustrates this more than the failed efforts for Card Check legislation, which would have eliminated the secret ballot in union certification elections and opened the door to more intimidation.
2) Union Corruption
The links between organized labor and organized crime are well documented. These links did not end with the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. In January, a grand jury handed down indictments against several union officials alleging mafia ties.
Beyond the Sopranos stuff, there remains a significant amounts of embezzlement unions. A Buffalo, New York Union President just entered a guilty plea this week. Another New York Union leader allegedly took her union for $42 million. In recent years, teachers Unions in Washington, Massachusetts, and Dade County, Florida have suffered major embezzlement scandals.
The sheer volume of union corruption is jaw-dropping. That alone should lead to a re-examination of public support for unions.
3) Encouraging Mediocrity and Shielding Bad Actors:
Unions are notorious for protecting the jobs of people who perform poorly or misbehave at work. Nowhere is this more evident than in New Yorks public school system. Thanks to the lengthy process to dismiss incompetent and abusive teachers, rubber rooms are maintained in which more than 700 teachers sit around and get paid full salary for doing nothing at a cost of millions of dollars per year to the taxpayer.
Teachers unions also oppose merit pay plans, claiming whether students do well in class is entirely out of their control, when studies show teacher quality is the biggest determining factor in how much students learn.
Union attitudes towards achievement are a turn off to people who might otherwise consider the teaching profession. A world where the good teachers make as much as the bad teachers is not one which will attract the best quality workers.
4) Demands that Ruin Business
Unions have contributed to the bankruptcy of several great companies, including GM and Chrysler, as well as United Airlines. Public employees pensions have put many states, such as California, on the verge of bankruptcy. Unions often deem the survival of the business they work for as secondary to getting larger health and pay packages.
The biggest damage done to businesses by unions have involved pensions and retiree health plans, but Union demands have gone beyond that. Thanks to the UAW, while GM was struggling to survive, they had to continue to pay laid off workers for years in a Job Bank, where they drew full salary to watch television, play board games, and read.
There was a time when unions fought against legitimately poor working conditions and sweatshop wages. In the 21st Century, unions serve mainly to drive up the cost of doing business in America and send jobs overseas.
5) The Opponents of Reform
Want to make government work more efficiently and do a better job providing services? The unions will be opposed. Powerful public employees unions pour massive amounts of money into campaigns and lobbying to kill efforts to reduce and reform government.
This is particularly noteworthy in education, where teachers dont want any hard reforms passed. The unions are such diehards on opposing reform, they twice booed the President for proposing even the most meager changes to increase educational performance.
The constant opposition of teachers unions killed D.C.s opportunity scholarships, taking educational opportunity away from more than 200 schoolchildren. Across the country, many students remain trapped in schools where they will never achieve their full potential, or remain on never-ending waiting lists to get into Charter schools for one reason and one reason only.
The teachers unions want it that way.
One famous teachers union president once declared, When schoolchildren start paying union dues, thats when Ill start representing the interests of schoolchildren. Opposition to school choice highlights this point.
The good news for conservatives this Labor Day is that the tide has begun to turn. As union membership declines and union excesses become more notorious, Americans are becoming less favorable in their views towards unions. However, conservatives have a long way to go to counteract the negative impact Unions have on our country.
Unions have closed shops and love them. As a condition of EMPLOYMENT you must join the union. Then the company or a local/county/city/state public union takes their union dues right out of your paycheck before you even get paid. You have no say or choice in the matter.
Then these unions turn around and give 100’s of millions to the most left wing liberal democrat politicians (99% of all union political contributions go to democrats).
It is UNAMERICAN.
Top All-Time Donors, 1989-2010
In a free society, groups of individuals in the private sector should have the right to collectively bargain, however, at the risk of being collectively fired. Collective bargaining against taxpayer dollars should be outlawed.
Government should stay out the way except to protect against criminality.
So often it’s not even about what the workers want.
I take orders from a boss and he pays me very well for that privlage. If he came to me and told me that I was going to have to pay him to give me orders I would quit.
Any normal person would.
Most people don't realize that this is the worst behavior of unions. While companies are focused on negotiating over wages and benefits the "work rules" slip in without much attention. In the end these rules are enormously expensive because it limits the flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions and to employ the best employees.
Think that there can't be that many rules? Here is the UAW contract with Ford, all 2,215 pages of it.
They are Communists.
Been dealing with unions for decades - from both sides of the bargaining table - and I’ll add my contributions to the list as well !
As a “summer employee” in a steel fab shop I’ve been in the position of that 16-year old grocery clerk. When seeking a teaching position I soon learned my dual major studies didn’t count as high as an EeD with a “teaching field” when it came to placement. In the construction/mining business it was too often “seniority over skill” when time came to demonstrate your expensive equipment. In government its always “seniority/connections first” regardless of the individuals’ education/personal suitability/capabilities to perform the duties assigned.
What’s really sad is unions could be such a strong force for “good things” in the workplace; if only they’d abandon the combative mantras of Lewis and Hoffa. >PS
The next president should issue Executive Orders to abolish public unions, and to prohibit funding private unions with public money.
I find it amazing how unions so often make inflexible demands that wind up killing their members’ jobs. One might recall how Eastern Airlines was driven out of business by a union that wouldn’t let up on its demands even though the company was ailing financially. The same thing happened to the New York World Journal Tribune newspaper in 1966. When the unions struck the London Times and refused to go back to work despite considerable concessions by management, the owners gave up and sold the paper to Rupert Murdoch, who fired the union workers and replaced them with machines.
They got a waiver excusing them from ObamaCare while THEY were shoving it down OUR throats. That’s bull****.
Your typical union election revolves around which candidate proposes to do get the most concessions from a given employer. As a result, they is a never ending battle to see who can do the most damage to a business. Over time, of course, this leads to the inevitable destruction of every business and/or industry that becomes unionized. Public employee unions survive longer because they have more resources to tap into (read:taxpayer), but make no mistake, they will eventually exhaust theses too.
I can find more as well, but those are at the top.
They allow drunks like my brother to continue to drive even with several DUIs on his record.
Unions protect some workers who would be fired on any other job. They allow dangerous workers, like my brother, to endanger us all
#6 a ready reliance on and justification of physical violence.
What happens when employees are empowered against the crushing unions?
After Colorado in 2001 required public employees unions to have annual votes reauthorizing collection of dues, membership in the Colorado Association of Public Employees declined 70 percent.
In 2005, Indiana stopped collecting dues from unionized public employees; in 2011, there are 90 percent fewer dues-paying members.
In Utah, the end of automatic dues deductions for political activities in 2001 caused teachers payments to fall 90 percent.
After a similar law passed in 1992 in Washington state, the percentage of teachers making such contributions declined from 82 to 11
A UNION MANS DOG
Four workers were discussing how smart their dogs were. The first was an engineer, who said his dog could do math with calculations. His dog was named T-Square, and he told him to get some paper and draw a square, a circle, and a triangle, which the dog did with no sweat. The accountant said he thought his dog was better. His dog was named Slide Rule. He told him to fetch a dozen cookies, bring them back, and divide them into piles of three, which he did with no problem. The chemist said that was good, but he felt his dog was better. His dog, Measure, was told to get a quart of milk and pour seven ounces into a ten ounce glass. The dog did this with no problem. All three men agreed this was very good and their dogs were equally smart. They all turned to the union member and said, What can your dog do? The union member called his dog whose name was Coffee Break, and said Show the guys what you can do. Coffee Break went over and ate the cookies, drank the milk, crapped on the paper, screwed the other three dogs and claimed he injured his back while doing so, filed a grievance for unsafe working conditions, applied for Workers Compensation, put in for FMLA, filed charges with the N.L.R.B. and the E.E.O.C. , said he was sexually harassed, and was awarded permanent total disability for Situational Depression after returning from sick leave.
I was once bumped by a janitor out of a transformer coil winding job because of seniority. He couldn’t even read a blueprint. This is not a knock on janitors.
Those “combative mantras” long predate Lewis & Hoffa!
You are not going to believe this but federal labor laws actually allow union violence.
Read “FDR’s Folly”, its incredible what FDR’s labor lackeys allowed to be codified into labor law.
>>>They allow drunks like my brother to continue to drive even with several DUIs on his record
Not just unions doing that... Alchoholism is a disability under the ADA. Trucking companies are getting sued for firing alcoholic drivers.
Good post. Only part I disagree with is “The popular culture preaches their virtues”. Popular culture today seems too busy promoting the “virtues” of sexual promiscuity, drug use, consumerism, and narcissism to bother mentioning unions. Then again I don’t pay much attention to pop culture so I could be wrong.
Thanks for putting that data together. I had heard memberships were down but didn’t have the numbers.
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