Unions and Liberal Thuggery – Guest Post

December 22, 2008 by The Constant Complainer

Welcome to the award winning blog of The Constant Complainer.

Here at The Constant Complainer, in addition to my own posts, readers can submit Guest Posts on topics they would like to complain about.  Neo Con Don submitted the below-Guest Post.  His complaint is twofold.  First on his mind is the union approach and second is the pending EFCA legislation.  It’s an interesting perspective.

This type of complaint post will most likely generate a lot of opinions – Therefore, if anyone has an interest in submitting a Guest Post to rebut Don’s, please contact me as I’m happy to present both sides.  Without further adieu, here’s Don.

IT WAS 1989 and I was on the hunt for a job.  You know, a J.O.B.  The kind of thing those high school students get in order to buy a car and pay for dates.  I figured I could work a couple nights after school and on weekends and work between 25 and 30 hours each week.  Just like today, there were all kinds of entry-level positions available in the fast food and retail businesses.  I had a few friends that worked at the local grocer so I started there.

They were hiring both stockers and baggers. I decided that I wanted to be a stocker because it was wintertime and I’ve never been much for cold and snow.  I was talking to the manager, and I told him that I had worked for the local convenience store for the past two summers and I was familiar with how to stock shelves and rotate and face the products, so I was bringing more experience than the typical 16 year old was bringing.  I told him that I was looking to work a couple evenings a week, Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. He explained to me that as a new associate, I would not be given much choice in the hours that I was given because of seniority.  Coming from a union family I understood how all of that worked, but I wasn’t really interested in seniority- I was interested in making the money I needed during the time I was available to work.  Needing a job, I asked him about the pay.  He explained that I would make $3.95 per hour.  I would be charged $30 per month for union dues, and I needed to pay for the health insurance that the union required.  That was about $15 per month.  I explained that I didn’t need to purchase the health insurance but was told that I did not have a choice because of the union contract.

I needed a job, so I filled out the paperwork and was told that I could start in 2 weeks.  I would be getting about 20 hours per week until I moved up in the seniority list.  Before taxes, but after union fees and insurance, I’d be making about $68 per week.

Later that week, I was in a local drug store and noticed they were also hiring.  A friend of mine was working there that day so I asked him how he liked it.  He said it was a good place to work and introduced me to the manager.  The manager was hiring, but wanted someone with a little bit of experience.  I explained that I had a couple summers working at the convenience store and I understood the process of stocking shelves.  He explained that he usually starts people out at $3.35 an hour, but he would give me $3.45 since I had some experience.  I told him that I was starting at the grocery store in two weeks, but I was interested in working here instead.  He knew the grocery store was a union store, and he explained that I would not be required to purchase the insurance or pay the union dues.  I explained that I wanted to work between 25 and 30 hours per week, but I also wanted the flexibility to work more or less if I need to.  He told me what days I would need to work because of truck deliveries and that it was very rare to be off those days.  Other than that, he explained that he awarded the best and most reliable workers with their choice of schedule.  That day, I walked out of the store 8 hours later because I started then and there.  Even though I was making slightly less per hour, I was not required to pay union dues or purchase unneeded insurance.  Additionally, I was a very efficient worker and was able to get extra hours when people called off.  In all, I was making between $90 and $100 per week as a high school student in 1989.

I tell you this story because I had the opportunity to make the choice to work in a union shop, or not work in a union shop.  By choosing against a union, I was able to make more money and had greater control over my income. Today’s liberals are threatening to push a union bill through congress that will be the most undemocratic legislation in modern day history.  The Employee Free Choice Act will remove the secret ballot when it comes to employees voting for a union in the work place.  Employees will be forced to cast a public vote through intimidation, and it will expand the union roles in the United States.  Barack Obama has stated his intention to sign this bill removing privacy and choice out from under America’s working class. The retail industry is expected to be hit the hardest. Unions force workers into unfair standards that reward years of service instead of value of service.  Unions destroy a company’s ability to increase profits, create jobs, and keep prices low.

There are several unions that I believe must still exist.  They include the police and fire unions, as well as the unions that exist for the Department of Transportation workers, bridge workers and construction workers.  As the Constitution was created to protect the individual from the tyranny of gov’t, so too are these specific unions designed to protect these workers from gov’t forcing them into unnecessary life threatening conditions.  The rest of the gov’t unions are a drag on the taxpayer and should be allowed to be dismantled at their members’ request.  We should, in every circumstance that occurs where a company with a union is about to fail, let if fail.  I understand that none of these CEO’s of the big three want to have their company fail on their watch, but they must be privately dancing at the prospect of union contract re-negotiation.

Unions had a purpose and a place at one time.  As the industrial revolution occurred, it was very important for safety standards to be set to protect workers from owners and managers that did not have child and illegal alien labor laws to abide by.  Today, federal and state regulations exist to protect workers from unsafe conditions.  The modern union is redundant, has become a drag on the U.S. economy because union practices do not allow for the flexibility needed in our highly competitive global market for a business to increase profits and create jobs.  Only 12% of the U.S. work force is unionized. 7.5% is in the private sector. The rest are gov’t “workers” including the teacher’s unions and gov’t support staff (not the staff of elected officials). 

The Employee Free Choice Act is a malicious attempt by liberals in Washington to pay back the unions for their financial support by creating a law that allows the unions to force the organization of employees that do not want to be members of a union.  This is yet another example of the “party of tolerance” forcing their ideas down your throat where the only benefactors are the coffers of the Democratic National Committee and the victims are those that are employed or buy goods made in America. 

Whether you agree with unions or not, I think everyone can agree that this piece of legislation is wrong because of the coercion that is involved.  People have a constitutional right to form a union. People do not have a constitution right to force a union on workers.

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  1. Zig says:

    The purpose of unions is to give a voice to the voiceless. Unions are very important if they work for the correct constituencies. However, Gov’t. employee unions, like everything else in the Gov’t. and other businesses, just serve management and help them to keep the status quo and their workers in line. Gov’t. employees aren’t required to join unions.

  2. Otis says:

    I agree with NCD…unions suck and today they do far more harm than any good. The passage of this illegal bill would begin the fast downward spiral of our economy, and the end to american workers’ rights.

  3. Mike says:

    I don’t like unions either. I agree that they served a purpose at one point, but don’t anymore. Yes there are some unions that belong like the ones you listed, but most are not needed. I think this bill is plain stupid. Not for the reasons you think though. You think people are going to be intimidated because they have to vote publicly, and probably right, but maybe those people should show a little freakin backbone and vote how they want. I don’t really see a problem with this. If congress’ votes are made public, then what’s so bad about this?

    The only problem I have with it is that they don’t have a choice to vote secretly or publicly. I just don’t think it will be disastrous as you think it will. But you’re a conservative, and have a tendency to overreact…to everything.

  4. Gina says:

    Pro-unionists argue that the union benefits teachers and government workers get keep them in the job when they would likely quit after a few years. I think that’s a great reason NOT to have unions. I’ve personally met too many teachers and government employees who admit they hate the job but stay in it for the retirement. I don’t want my kids being taught any longer by those teachers who openly admit to me that they hate teaching! I’m all for giving pay increases to good teachers, but NOT for paying bad or passionless teachers to “stick it out.”

    Unions stifle the natural flow of those who do good work for the sake of good work or the turnover of bored educators for teachers who have a passion for kids.

  5. Otis says:

    We mostly agree on this one, but a secret ballot is the only way to guarantee a fair vote…just like a voting booth in a public election. Congress must vote in public because they answer to WE THE PEOPLE, and their voting record is one of the ways voters determine if we are going to hire them for another term, so your analogy is flawed.

    Back to the union vote, if the voter gets a choice of public or private vote, there will still be union intimidation, and that is unfair to the worker. I don’t believe unions are a good thing, but they are constitutional and their right to form a union must be supported…as long as they are not forced into forming a union. This bill is as anti-choice as anything we’ve ever seen.

  6. Sam says:

    If the company that you are working for is meeting all of the needs of the employees (needs not wants), then there is no reason to have a union in the workplace.

  7. Marlee says:

    Wake up NCD! You’re clearly tainted and your posts and comments show you’d rather attack than discuss. Also, I don’t think this law will be passed. Obama will have too many other things on his plate. The unions will have to wait their turn.

  8. Zig says:

    Gina–Almost everyone who has a job would rather be elsewhere. Why would you single out teachers and Government employees? Do you want your kid being taught by a new, inexperienced teacher, right out of college, every 2 years or would you rather have a “lifelong teacher” who knows exactly how to teach in every situation and to kind every of kid with every kind of learning style?

    Teaching is a calling. There is no way they get paid enough to deal with all the sh’t they put up with. The same goes for Government employees. When you have a question about your taxes and need a correct answer, do you want a snot nosed newby or a seasoned Government employee who knows the ins and outs of filing a tax return, because he or she has done it every June for 25 years? Because teachers and other Government employees have the patience and foresight to get insurance and a pension (for life) doesn’t make them any less inspired to get through the day. Work sucks no matter what kind of work you do, it’s still work. If work were so fun, you would pay your employer!

    The only difference between the teacher/Gov’t. employee and the financial wiz-kid, thief, on Wall Street is that one will lie to you, promise to make all your dreams come true, while stealing your money…And the other tells you the sad truth about life in a Democracy, steals your money, with a badge, and has the support of Congress. Wake up, NCD!

    Government employees are NOT required to join the union! Unions are only in business for the unions. Teachers and Government employees are just smart enough to take full advantage of the system in which they work!

  9. NeoConDon says:

    Greetings from the very warm south…

    Wow Zig,
    If you actually knew what you were talking about, you would be dangerous…

  10. Zig says:

    NCD, This site is called the constantcomplainer, idiot! And I know about exactly of what I write… Your petty attempts to try to make me look like a crazed redass won’t work. I have lived all the experiences I have shared on this site. A NEW DAY IS UPON US! Happy New Year! And, NCD, how do you afford to go south?

  11. NeoConDon says:

    Happy New Year, Zig…I hope you find some intelligence this year.

    What is a “redass”?????

    Not sure what you mean by “how do [I] afford to go south.” But, my kids had a glorious week at Disney World during Christmas time.

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