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.