Why are Unions Flailing & Failing?
Before we start, I am not for or against unions; I am for good unions, against bad union, and against any union saying I have to join a union to get work or promoted. This being said, what are good and bad about unions and the biggest question is why, according to the New York Times “Share of the Work Force in a Union Falls to a 97-Year Low, 11.3%” has unions declined?
The American Federation of Labor, founded in 1886 and led by Samuel Gompers was the first union to last in the US. It was composed of several small groups which helped coordinate strikes and became a strong political entity. In 1955, the AFL merged with Congress of Industrial Organizations forming the AFL-CIO and is currently the most influential union in the US. All other unions were formed from the initial foundation of the AFL union and many split off due to conflicts within from dues to ethics. Unions peaked in 1954 at 28.3% of the work force and has been falling ever sense and today is 11.3% of the workforce. Today all the states with 15% union workers or more are in financial trouble according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics; why is this?
1. The right to strike- When strikes were first started it was over not being paid when the workers were owed money and over safety. These are two every good reasons unions were formed and adopted. Union helped make the work place safe.
2. Overtime pay- Many business owners wouldn’t pay their employees who worked over time or on weekend; unions helped force this in early America.
3. Workmen’s’ Comp- Many early owners also didn’t want to help out any of their workers who was hurt even if it was due to the owners neglect which the unions helped change.
4. Collective bargaining rights for employees- Helped employees make more money and obtain more benefits.
5. Wrongful termination laws- If you disagreed with management you could be terminated without reason, the union helped to stop this practice.
1. The right to strike- In our recent past we had a union strike costing its employers millions because the employer wanted to expand and picked a different area of the country. The area picked was due to the lower operation cost and much lower taxes. Any company who wants to expand and build new factories or anything else shouldn’t be damaged by its employees. Companies are in the business to make money and if good business sense says put the new factory else ware, they shouldn’t be damaged by its employees.
2. Collective bargaining rights for employees- This may have started off as a hopefully good thing but has turned massively to the dark. It is responsible for many cities going bankrupt due to the massive pension packages which were from the beginning unsustainable.
3. Wrongful termination laws- This was good but is now bad. When you have teachers in rubber rooms getting paid who should have been fired and in many cases put in jail. This not only wastes tax payer’s money but rewards bad behavior.
4. Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) - prohibits employers from using a lie detector test on an employee. As always when a politician puts a restriction on you they always exempt themselves from it: Federal, state and local governments are excluded. If our governments want to use it to ensure the honesty or dishonesty of an individual they want to hire, why can’t the people? Have you ever heard the word “Industrial Espionage?
5. Compensation increases and evaluations (i.e. raises) - When they are turned to automatic you have a problem. The IRS was caught in many illegal acts lately yet their leadership and employees are due for a bonus; this is a farce.
As I have shown you, union may be good or bad. The original question was,” Why are Unions flailing & failing?”
1. When you have hard working people working and you have a group of six worker but only four of them earn their money, they get irritated at having to do the other two’s load as well as their own. Many unions just care about the dues and will refuse to get rid of the trash and get two more hard workers to join the other four.
2. When you have unions trying to take away the Secret Ballot force members to tell them who they voted for; this causes friction and lack of trust in the union.
3. Who wants to be associated as being a union member of a union ran by a MOB Boss? Not all unions are corrupt but the corruptness of a union is always proportionate to its size. If you have a union being ran by a Mafia Boss I am pretty sure it is bad; it doesn’t take a genius. Most people are basically honest and don’t want to be associated with corrupt people.
4. When any peaceful demonstration against the union turns in to union bullying, people turn against the union. When you have SEIU thugs beat a man for no reason other then he does not believe the same as the union, when a Michigan Union thugs assaulting reporters and peaceful demonstrators because they do not believe the same as the union, and when in Wisconsin once again have violent union members attacking people, the unions will put a bad taste in the mouth of the people who once supported them; for these action the union is wrong.
5. When the union sells out its people like they did with Obamacare it turns people against you. President Obama and union leaders both said your premiums would go and President Obama said it would go down by 3000% (skip to 1:05) for companies. According to Forbes Magazine Obamacare will make all premiums rise at a minimum of from 34% to 80% with the Washington Post reporting increases as high as 130%. Everyone who voted for it and those who supported it without reading it has betrayed the American worker; this includes unions.
Now the shocker: I and 75% (not kidding) of my team workers went to our union (you didn’t see this one coming) with a grievance; we along with several others was threatened multiple times by a supervisor. This supervisor sent threatening, falsified documents, and sent vicious email not only to us but also to our customers. I went to the union with all the evidence, witnesses, emails, and a log of all the offenses with the intent of preventing anyone else from enduring this hostile environment we had endured for months. There were many workers wanting to join the union but watching to see what happened and see how good the union responded. We the workers requested a meeting with the union steward, the supervisor, and their supervisor. The meeting was agreed to and a date and time set but when the day came, the supervisor refused to show saying, “The Union is a waste of my time.” With the entire documentation of falsified document, threatening of workers, and threatening of our customers and the report from the union steward it was a slam dunk case and we went to the union president. The union president refused to do anything, became very condescending toward us, and told all the workers that they didn’t feel like it was worth their while to bring this up; it would just cause more problems. Being one of the top 10 largest unions in the US, you would think the workers would be worth more but I guess we’re not. Now I am not a union member, the 20+ people didn’t join the union, and several other union members who witnessed what happened quit the union because, why pay them if they are not even going to protect you from a hostile work environment.
Between the invasions of voting privacy, the bullying, the corruptness, the massive extravagant spending (not on union members but on union leaders and politicians), not doing what the unions promised, and betraying the American workers; is it really hard to find out why unions are flailing & failing?”