Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Labor Unions and the Vote

In an article in "Redstate" this morning, AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka was quoted as saying businesses who are not creating jobs right now due to the floundering economy are "corporate traitors" and are guilty of "economic treason".  Mr. Trumka believes those business who are not unionized, and are not receiving bailout money from the government to help create jobs, are turning their backs on America. 

In reality, the big labor union in this country is one of the greatest contributors to the failing economy.  They would vilify me for writing this but one of the reasons General Motors and Chrysler were going under was the high wages, expensive health care plans and unsustainable pension plans of the United Auto Workers.  President Obama, a big fan of unions and government control of businesses, not only made a deal in which the stockholders lost everything to the union thugs but is going to bail out the unions and subsidize their pension plans, giving the unions yet another handout at the taxpayers' expense.  He is also a fan of card check, which gives unions more power to organize labor in all businesses and to intimidate those workers who don't want to unionize.  In return, Obama gets union backing and millions in campaign contributions.

Big labor unions contribute to high prices of goods and poor work ethics.  By that I mean vested union workers are almost impossible to fire because they are protected, no matter what they do.  When I worked for the Federal government my observation of the union was that they worked hard to reduce the workload and responsibilities of employees and helped keep lazy, worthless or criminal employees on the job.  I can't tell you how many times I saw a union employee get arrested and convicted for something yet keep his job because of the union.  One man was convicted of attempting to carry a loaded handgun on an airplane yet he kept his law enforcement job after conviction.  If he'd have had that conviction before he was hired he never would have been hired.  I saw others convicted of illegal drug possession and/or use who also kept their jobs in law enforcement.  Why?  The union went to bat for them and management was afraid to oppose them because labor arbitrators normally side with the union.

There was a time, back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, before laws were enacted to protect workers, when the union was a necessary organization in this country.  Today it is merely about power.  No group should be able to tell a privately owned corporation what they can and can't do yet it happens on a daily basis.  No group should have as much influence on the government as SEIU, AFL/CIO and others have today.  As far as I'm concerned, GM and Chrysler should have been allowed to go bankrupt, re-organize, disband the union and start over.  It would have increased unemployment but in the long run the company and the USA would be stronger.  Case in point - look at Toyota of America.  They have no unions but they're still working, still producing cars and not beholdin to the government.  Ford managed to survive without a bailout but only because they produce a high quality product that people are still buying.  But they have the same UAW union as the other two so problems are still very possible.  It's all about power and influence and so far, the unions have more than ever.

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