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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Socialist Labor Unions Oppose Individual Rights
Once upon a time a few fat-cat industrialists cared less about their labor force. At least that was the tale we were all told.
In some factories low-skilled and unskilled laborers, especially, faced long hours, unsafe work conditions, no overtime pay, and few benefits. This was the case at some factories, especially for larger industrial companies. Back then, those employers didn't know how the benefits of employee morale, building company loyalty, or employee health. They also somehow seemed to avoid the burdens of negligence when it caused injuries or fatalities to their labor force.
In came the labor unions. They organized the labor forces. In doing so, many of them employed tactics (and people) used within organized crime syndicates. Those thugs made sure that those laborers on the fence or opposed to unionizing quickly saw the merits of joining the union. Failure to do so could mean losing the ability to work through threat of vandalized homes and broken limbs.
The perceived good the unions generated are seen today. You have pay schedules with raises just for longevity. There are pension funds. There are health benefits. There are safety standards, overtime pay, and workman's compensation. There are even legal benefits.
Now, some laws mandate things such as minimum wage and overtime pay. Many employers have some form of preventive health program to include group memberships with health clubs. Pension programs have expanded to include 401K and Roth 401K accounts that employees can take with them from one employer to the next.
Gone, however, these days is a fair amount of company loyalty. When my grandparents retired, each had worked over 20 years at their firms. They both retired with company, not union, pensions. They also had investments and good financial plans for retirement. Company loyalty was rewarded as was the personal responsibility to prepare for one's own future.
Now, labor unions don't do much to protect the labor force. Sure, they provide one vehicle for "collectivist bargaining". They negotiate a cookie-cutter contract for all laborers. However, it denies individuality and individual merits in doing so. In fact, many unions punish those who do more work than the union allows.
They also do so in a Marxist attempt to take over the companies, making the owners, leaders and managers of those private companies subjugated to the whims of the unions. Under the contracts, the unions can order strikes and shut-down facilities leaving the companies unable to hire replacements. The unions also restrict the labor pool, many times keeping better people from being allowed to work. For unions, it's all about the collectives. It is labor versus owners and management. It is labor who seeks to be the oligarchy in charge. The kicker is that they would not have those jobs at all should the owners say "screw this, I'm moving to Tahiti". One case in point is Hostess.
Labor unions aren't about protecting workers' rights, not anymore. They are about money and power. That money and power isn't for the laborers but for the union administrators. That money is for the union's lawyers. That money is for the union's pension fund managers (people that "Occupy" should hate -- as they are bankers and stock-brokers). That money is for the union's health care insurance. That money is for the union's lobbyists and political funds. Those union dues are not for the workers' benefits.
The reality is that an employer could provide the same pension money, in the form of matching funds to a 401k, to the workers and save the "management fees" the union collects. The workers would benefit more. The employers can go through Aetna or Aflac for group health insurance programs and get the same policies the unions get, while saving those "union management fees" the employers cough up to the unions. Workers will be allowed to work harder and earn promotions and raises faster than the cookie-cutter contracts allow.
Unions don't like that. They want the money and they want the power. They do not want the individual workers to have any power for themselves. They want them to believe that the union is necessary to take care of them while the union is extorting those union dues from them. Yes, there is that little bit as well. Without having to pay those union dues, workers would have that money for themselves to save, to invest, to buy better food, to buy a gym membership at a group rate with fellow workers at a cheaper price than the union offers them.
Obama made some illogical and false claim that "Right to Work" laws equate to "working for less". In states that already have right to work laws, that has proven false. Yes, the wage scales may be slightly lower in those non-union shops. However, the difference in wage scales is more than made up for by costs of those union dues. So, the disposable incomes of those workers nets higher.
Another little fact that Obama doesn't want people to know is that, in non-union shops, entry-level workers tend to get their first raise earlier, and for more, than entry-level workers in union shops. They have incentives to be more productive without some union thug threatening them because they are working too hard.
Private sector unions are not all bad. They do provide some amount of service for the money. However, workers should be free to decide if they wish to purchase that product (union membership) or not. It's part of that natural right that Thomas Jefferson enumerated in the Declaration of Independence -- Liberty. Unions forcing membership to be allowed employment denies that natural right as well as the right to the "Pursuit of Happiness".
Public sector unions, however, are about fleecing tax-payers for funds that will be used to lobby the government that employs those public sector unions and buy politicians that control the purse strings for those public sector bureaucrats. The exceptions are police and fire unions. Then again, the US Military doesn't have a union and they have fairly decent benefits for former workers (veterans) and their retirees.
If unions were really about "workers' rights", then those rights would include the natural rights. They would include the right to work without being coerced or forced to join the union.
"Right To Work" laws do not restrict union membership. They do not outlaw union membership. What they do is insure individual choice and freedom. "Right to Work" laws secure the blessings of liberty, one of the missions of government mandated by the US Constitution.
That's why the unions are protesting so hard in Michigan. With the recently passed Right to Work law in that state, the unions lose their tyrannical control over auto workers, truck drivers, and, well, most of the state. They are afraid that the citizens will actually be free to earn and work and prosper. They are afraid the citizens will discover the truth -- the unions are obsolete, corrupt, and have been lying to them.
The unions also have no mathematically accurate facts to back up their claims. When asked for their data sets and sample populations in order to have their figures verified, they reply with threats and intimidation. They are lying and they don't want the truth to be discovered.
In fact, when asked questions, they assaulted Stephen Crowder instead of providing logical or reasonable counterpoint.
In opposing "Right to Work" laws unions demonstrate that they are really opposed to individual workers' rights. In opposing those laws, they oppose the purposes for which they were allegedly created. By opposing "Right to Work" laws, they are demonstrating that they are really about tyranny and oppressing laborers. And that is why they oppose "Right to Work" laws, because it takes away unions' ability to control workers. It also threatens to take away those union dues. With decreased membership and lower revenue from collecting those dues, the thugs that run the unions would have to -- gasp -- actually work!