Circle The Wagons

What if you were told, that as a condition of your employment, you must join an organization and pay them a portion of your salary?  What if you did not want to join this organization, but were still forced to pay a portion of your salary as a condition of employment?

What if that organization used that money from your salary and gave it to a political party?  What if that political party’s doctrine was something you disagreed with?  Would you stay with that job?  What if that organization had the backing of State Law?  It sounds Draconian, doesn’t it?  Legal extortion, supported by the State.

Ask this question: For what purpose, other than political contributions, does this organization provide to the employees?  What value does this organization provide to the employee?  Wouldn’t this organization equate to nothing more than a Protection Racket for employment?

Of course, I’m writing about Unions, in particular Public Organized Labor.  I ask these questions because I do not see the value of belonging to a Union in this modern era.  There was a time in this country’s history where Unions were needed.  Workers needed to protect themselves from employers that would force workers to work long hours, in dangerous conditions, and for low pay.

However, that’s no longer the case in today’s employment markets.  We have Labor Laws that protect workers, allow fair compensation, and reasonable hours of work.  The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes standards for minimum wages and overtime pay.  About the “Right To Work”.  In the legal sense, it means that workers don’t or shouldn’t have to join labor unions to land or keep jobs.  There are many laws to protect the worker.

Even if workers choose not to join unions, their rights still entitle them to the same union representation as that received by union members in the same bargaining units. But, under the NLRA and through union-security agreements (or clauses in collective bargaining agreements), nonmembers might have to pay dues for their share of union representation, if state right to work laws don’t make it illegal. The dues that nonmembers pay for this purpose are sometimes referred to as agency fees.

What if you neither wanted to join a Union, nor wanted any representation by a Union? Should you still be forced to pay an agency fee, or face termination?  Is that fair?  If an employee neither wants, or needs, any Union representation, then why should that be forced to pay an agency fee?  At that point, wouldn’t that be considered extortion?  I think so.

Consider the case of a retired U.S. Marine that runs a school ROTC program in Worcester, Massachusetts.

State law requires certain public employees to join unions as a condition of employment or pay a so-called agency fee, which goes toward the cost of collective bargaining. But Godin said he shouldn’t have to pay the $500 fee because he receives no benefit from the local union. He provided a letter from the local union demanding he join or pay the fee by the school year’s end. Godin said in 14 years of teaching in Worcester public schools, he’s never been asked to pony up for the union.

Here is perfect example of Union Bullying.  An individual, who clearly doesn’t need, want, or care for any Union representation, is being threatened with termination if he doesn’t pay a Union Agency Fee.  Under these conditions, this individual should be, by law, exempt from paying any Union Fees.  That’s Fair Employment and the Right to Work.  Should not the merits of  ones job performance be the criteria for continued employment?

Unions are Circling the Wagons in an effort to replenish their coffers.  Even if that means extorting money from those who neither value, nor want any Union representation.  The reason why Unions are using this heavy handed tactic is pretty clear, they are loosing money.  And lots of it.

We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama,” declared Andy Stern last month, and the president of the Service Employees International Union wasn’t exaggerating. The SEIU and AFL-CIO have been spending so much on politics that they’re going deeply into debt.

That was from a WSJ article back in 2009.  The recent political election proved the point even further where organized labor spent millions of their members money on a failed political campaign.  They Lost.

Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise,” the official said. “If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November.”

If that were my money, my Union dues, my Agency fee, being used to influence a political election, I would be outraged.  Thank God it’s not my money.  Because if it were, I would quit the Union in a heart beat.  Which is probably another reason why Union membership is continuing to decline. The majority of Union members work for the Public sector and that is unsustainable without further tax increases.  If Unions could, they would take private savings plans, like 401K’s.  Democrats, are happy to comply.

“The radical solution most favored by Big Labor is the seizure of private 401(k) plans for government disbursement — which lets them off the hook for their collapsing retirement scheme. And, of course, the Obama administration is eager to accommodate their buddies.”

Another reason why Unions are investing heavily in Political campaigns is to promote candidates that will pass laws to force companies and small businesses to Unionize.  The Employee Free Choice Act is such a promotion that the Unions want to see into law.  Also known as “Card Check”, this insidious attempt to take workers freedoms away, and to force them to surrender a portion of their wages for Union representation.

When the economy begins to truly recover, and the private sector begins hiring again, those jobs will probably not be Union jobs.  Unions have outgrown their usefulness and are merely nothing more than a special interest group.  On Friday, June 4th, 2010, Obama announced the addition of 431,000 jobs created, and the Stock Market dropped 324 points, closing below 10,000.  You would think all those new jobs would be a good thing, but 411,000 of those jobs were public jobs.  Temporary Census worker jobs.  After that work is done, unemployment is going to go back up.  An economy based on Public jobs is unsustainable.

Here’s an analogy that the Unions and Democrats seem only to care about.  If the government creates more Public jobs, then there will be more tax revenue, which will allow higher Public Union wages, which will bring in more tax revenue, which will create more Public jobs, which will create more tax revenue, which will allow higher Public Union wages, …. and on, and on, ad nauseam.

This cyclical effect neither makes sense economically, nor is it sustainable.  It doesn’t produce anything, but higher taxes, and an inflated government.  My analogy is like putting your two feet in a bucket and proceeding to lift yourself up.  It just doesn’t make sense.  However, this is how Unions and Democrats think and this is what they are doing.

When you’re done banging your head against the wall, does it stop hurting?

What’s For Dinner?



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