Skip to comments.Unions and Labor Day
Posted on 08/27/2002 6:41:50 AM PDT by mikeb704
More than a century ago, American Federation of Labor president Samuel Gompers declared Labor Day "the day for which the toilers in past centuries looked forward, when their rights and their wrongs would be discussed...that the workers of our day may not only lay down their tools of labor for a holiday, but upon which they may touch shoulders in marching phalanx and feel the stronger for it."
Unions were an emergent force back then. As recently as 1953, more than a third of American workers belonged to a union. Within 30 years, that figure had dropped to a fifth. Now, according to the Department of Labors Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 13.5 percent of wage and salary workers are union members.
More interesting is the mix of union membership. In the private sector, its only nine percent of workers. Among government employees, however, the percentage is 37.4.
Just nine percent of private sector employees. Keep that in mind the next time you hear AFL-CIO president John Sweeney speaking as though he represents all the hard working men and women in our country. Sweeney, who is also a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, is a stark reminder of how organized labors been hijacked by Leftists.
The gap between private sector and public sector unionism is explainable. Many workers have figured out that unwarranted demands the type most favored by union bosses can choke competition and lead to the exact opposite of the employees best interests. Squeezing out an extra buck an hour from management might feel good for a while, but when the plant closes because its no longer profitable to operate, the worker is the real loser.
In contrast, the public sector faces few competitive pressures. Theres no need to make a profit or, for that matter, to even stay within budget. Taxpayers can usually be forced to pay whatever is required. The unholy coalition of big labor and big government is as understandable as it is regrettable.
About 80 percent of those working in unionized operations must pay union dues as a condition of employment. Much of this money is funneled to Democrats promising an expansion of the welfare state and, even more importantly, still more preferred treatment for organized labor.
Yet for many years polls have shown that about four out of ten union members regularly vote Republican. If these folks have anyone speaking on their behalf, its certainly not the labor bosses who are forcing them to fund candidates they dont support.
For the past several months weve been treated to story after story centering on greedy business people. In fairness, theres never been a shortage of greedy union bosses spurring the rank and file to demand more, more, more. The average Major League Baseball salary is now over $2 million a year. Youd never think that as players are about to end the season with a possible game-killing strike. Talk about your toiling and exploited masses.
We shouldnt overlook the connection between unions and corruption. All too often, its been big labor thats helped keep the organized in organized crime. Its a red-letter day when you read that a unions pension fund hasnt vanished.
Then theres the union violence problem. According to an article in the Washington Times on the 1997 United Parcel Service strike: "Beatings, shootings, stabbings, death threats, intimidation and illegal confiscation of union dues have been reported by hundreds of workers since Teamsters President Ron Carey ordered the strike in August."
A Teamster spokesperson commented, "For a strike of that size and duration - particularly for a Teamsters strike, but for any union - the members really handled themselves very well." There arent many environments in which beatings, shootings, stabbings, death threats and intimidation are considered examples of acceptable behavior.
OK, you may have concluded I dont carry a picture of Mother Jones in my wallet. At the same time, I do think workers should have a right to organize. They should have a right to give money to whomever they choose. They should have a right to strike.
I just dont think workers should be force to pay union dues to get or keep a job. Employers should have a right to replace those who arent willing to work (read strikers) with people who are. I think union members need to get busier cleaning up their organizations and toss out the crooks and the sociopaths. And, of course, the Leftists, if there are any who dont fit in the first two categories.
Happy Labor Day to all who labor.
About 80 percent of those working in unionized operations must pay union dues as a condition of employment.
. . . about four out of ten union members regularly vote Republican . . . [but] Much of this money is funneled to Democrats.
Oklahoma, only a Right to Work state for one year, has now reached number one in terms of job growth.
Over 8 million Americans are forced to pay union dues as a job condition. Billion$ have been given to Democrat pols as a result of this EXTORTION!
4 out of 5 Americans support the principle behind the National Right to Work Bill (HR 1109) yet a Republican, John Boehner of Ohio, refuses to bring it up for a hearing before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. He can be reached at (202)-225-6205.
Nearly 100K incidents of violence by union "activists" have been documented. These include, shootings, bombings, beatings, etc.etc.
Past issues and additional info available at www.nrtwc.org Would encourage all to join this 2.2 million (and growing) organization.
Workers who exercise this option withdraw their financial support for all other regular union programs, such as legislative lobbying, political expenditures and community and charitable activities. These nonmembers continue to benefit from all these programs, but they shift a greater burden onto union members to pay for them.
No good worker does, just the lazy and incompetent need the unions. Unions eventually destroy all they control. I applaud you.
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