Skip to comments.Failure: Unions in America Today
Posted on 11/25/2012 5:40:20 AM PST by Kaslin
Unions played an important role in American history. At the turn of the last century, a lot of workers encountered awful and dangerous conditions on the job. The workers banded together, demanded changes and got them. After that, Americans joined unions and the dues began to roll in. Riding that wave of compulsory money, union bosses rose. With that much money flowing, corruption wasnt far behind.
Times have changed. The economy, country and world have changed. But unions havent. Union membership among non-government employees has fallen off a cliff. But although membership is down, their power remains large.
Why? Because a lot of Democrats, including probably President Obama himself, couldnt get elected without the armies of volunteers and votes they provide. No group has contributed more in time, sweat and money to left-wing politicians. That generosity, which comes largely from donations generated by involuntary dues collected from workers, too often goes to politicians who work tirelessly to cripple industries flush with union workers. Coal industry, anyone?
Thats not because union bosses are idiots; its because theyre ardent leftists who put their ideology ahead of the actual human beings in their ranks without regard to whether those human beings can pay their bills. AFL-CIO chief goon Richard Trumka isnt stupid. Hes made millions from workers whose demise hes overseen. How many rank and file members of the AFL-CIO do you think have pocketed almost $2.4 million over the last 10 years? Sure, he runs the organization, but he also makes his living complaining about pay discrepancy between labor and management. And thats just his AFL-CIO compensation. Who knows what kind of side gigs, such as consultant jobs and advisory positions, he has that help fill his personal Brinks truck?
What positive things have unions given us in the last, say, 40 years? Thats not a rhetorical question; I truly have no idea. Sure, SEIU goons attack and beat black conservatives such as Kenneth Gladney, which is like porn to leftists, and pay for-hire hit-groups such as Media Matters $50,000 per [YEAR/MONTH/ONE TIME] to urge the media to ignore the story, but what else have they done?
They killed the Twinkie, so maybe theyre now morphing into an anti-obesity group? But if thats the case, and youve ever seen these bosses in person, you know its not a fight theyre willing to lead by example.
Theyre trying to kill Walmart. Think what you will of Walmart, but its an awesome company. No company in the country employs more people or does more to help the poor and near-poor afford the necessities in life. Thats why its so strange to see leftists and unions, both self-declared champions of the poor, seek so desperately to harm the company.
But below the surface, its obvious. Unions want to harm Walmart because they employ 1.3 million non-union workers, and unions, specifically the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, see an un-tapped pile of dues. Leftists see an un-tapped pile of union dues too, but only see the union as the colon through which those dues pass on their way to becoming political donations.
Neither actually gives a damn about the workers themselves or what workers want.
Every attempt to unionize Walmart employees has failed. Simply but, the majority of Walmart employees have no interest in throwing a portion of their pay on to the altar of progressive politics. But progressive politics has no interest in leaving those workers alone. The machine wants money.
Thats how a group like OUR Walmart was birthed.
OUR Wal-Mart is a UFCW front group that appointed itself the arbiter of what is fair for Walmart employees who want nothing to do with them. Under the guise of caring, OUR Walmart called for nationwide protests against Walmart for the crime of having employees work for double-time on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Think what you will of Walmarts schedule, no one is forced to work there. Walmart employees can quit any time they wish. Unlike conscribed union dues, membership in the Walmart workforce is optional.
OUR Walmart, with only the best interest of workers in mind (thats sarcasm, by the way), encouraged Walmart employees to call in sick or walk out on their job on the busiest shopping day of the year and protest against the company whose logo appears on their checks.
The failure of past unionization votes proves Walmart employees arent stupid, but unions wont take no for an answer. They see money earned by workers the way junkies see someone elses heroin. They gotta have it.
But their call for protest was a dud. How big of a dud? The Washington Post, the print version of a progressive megaphone, stuck to reporting how many protests OUR Walmart said it had planned, rather than how many actually occurred. Walmart, which controls more than a fifth of the U.S. grocery industry and is the nations largest private employer, said just 26 such protests occurred nationwide. Can that number be believed? Of course. If it were not accurate, youd have heard by now from The Post and OUR Walmart and any number of other leftist information outlets.
A few such protests did occur, including one in Landover Hills, Md., in which Cynthia Murray, a 13-year employee, called in sick to protest her salary and working conditions. If it takes you 13 years to decide youre underpaid and underappreciated, and your job can be performed by anyone with a finger, you probably dont have the ambition or marketable skills to do much else in President Obamas failed economy. In which case, you should be thankful for the job you have, not lie to your employer about your need for a day off, then complain about your employer to the media.
Cynthia Murray should be fired. She probably wont be, but she should be.
The protests were such duds, with 99 percent of participants union rent-a-mob members made up of unemployable rabble and true believer union members disconnected from Walmart, even The Post couldnt sugar coat them beyond the joke stage.
Todays labor movement is a political fundraising machine with a reverse Robin Hood business model designed to advance a progressive agenda no matter how many forced-dues-paying members have to be ground into grease to keep the wheels spinning. Its no surprise most workers dont see any value in conscripted dues given to politicians whose agenda puts them out of work. What is surprising is that anyone outside of overpaid union leadership does.
The best way to get ahead and avoid this wallet-rape is the same it always has been pay attention in school, work harder than you thought you could, and dont trust anyone claiming to look out for your interests as long as you pay them in perpetuity to do so. Then again, if these goons get their way, the best way to get ahead in their world would be to become one of them a bloated parasite living off the labor of people who work for a living. But how could you live with yourself?
“You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well, and if you dont you get stuck in a union.
Not a good argument. That thinking lead to unions in the first place.
if these goons get their way, the best way to get ahead in their world would be to become one of them a bloated parasite living off the labor of people who work for a living. But how could you live with yourself?
Ask just about anybody if the work they do is important and they'll likely tell you that they're the ones holding it all together. People (men especially) find their identities in their jobs; couple that with self-pride and you've got justification for being overpaid or needing a fat raise.
Private sector unions are on the wane, only 6.5% of the workforce is unionized. The ones remaining get a lot of attention because of scarcity.
In the majority of cases the Walmart workers are better paid and have a lower turnover rate. The main difference is paying union dues.
A lazy Walmart worker gets fired. In a union they are protected and the other workers have to do their job for them.
Forget ‘too big to fail’, Walmart is too big to unionize.
The reason is their competition can't afford to offer enough in pay and benefits to make the dues worth it and still compete with Walmart.
They will never have the buying power Walmart does.
There’s a lot of companies that are active spreaders of unions and unionism, some of them are big on American exceptionalism, patriotism and quality. Know who and what you’re dealing with.
One example: Carhartt
The sad part about it that the ‘OUR Walmart’ crowd doesn’t care that the demonstration failed. In a month or so they’ll tout it as a huge success that shook Walmart to it’s core.
It’s just another step on the road for them.
Fractures are growing between public and private sector unions and further fractures are growing within both. We wouldn’t have crushed the pro union ballot proposals in Michigan without private sector union members voting against it. Even union members are starting to call for right to work laws.
As a Manager I lost ONE grievance, give away, in 32 years.
The criminality of unions was there from the start.
The "awful and dangerous conditions"? People took those jobs BECAUSE they paid better, and offered better chances of survival, than staying on the farm. In an industrial job, you got paid as long as you worked, and you could be sure of being able to buy food and shelter. On a farm, you could work had all year and still STARVE if bad weather killed your crops.
The "bad and dangerous conditions"? People consciously gravitated to those jobs because they paid better than safe comfortable jobs, just as today being a roofer in the hot sun pays better than being a WalMart shelf stocker.
What the unions did was to hold the employer's capital hostage in order to extort better pay, by threatening sabotage to the equipment and violence against any who tried to replace them.
That is true. But those unionized companies are committed to spreading their union, the rank nd file don’t matter much. There’s very few independent unions left, and they’re getting fewer.
Apparently, the American protestors haven’t been told about what happened to a Walmart in Quebec, Canada. Last month:
Workers there voted to go union.
Wal-Mart closed the doors.
NOW—not only are those jobs gone, but the thousands of citizens who shopped there can no longer do so.
Shades of Mark Steyn in this article, very well done!
Check out THIS RECENT EDITION as an example of the kind of regular daily headlines people were reading 70 years ago.
In the upper right-hand corner:
If you check out Homer_J_Simpson's NYT archive you will see similar headlines from that era nearly every day. Believe me, the union/communist movement had (and still has) absolutely no interest in what is best for America.
And the date of the article: April 3, 1941. At this time, Stalin and Hitler were allies, and the Communists in the US were doing everything in their power to sabotage any US military buildup, or US aid to Britain.
This all changed on June 22, 1941, when Germany invaded Russia. After that, they got all supportive of war with Germany.
Unions are small potatoes compared to the problems created by free trade with low wage countries. Unions opposed the free trade agreements, which makes one time that we should have listened to them.
Unfortunately, either the Unions have lost focused, or the ‘rats are ignoring them, because neither party recognizes the problem.