I’m a fan of most American Holidays. Most of them have a lot of meaning to me. Labor Day isn’t one of them. A day to celebrate big labor just goes over my head. We’re taking a day off work to celebrate a century-old institution that had a purpose when it was first formed. Guys like Samuel Gompers and Leonard Woodcock did a lot to improve the lives of those that were working, basically in factories, but also farm laborers later on, that were being taken advantage of. Big business back then had the notion if you didn’t want to do what they would ask, they’d find somebody else to do it that wouldn’t mind. Unions served a purpose.
Today, that’s not really the case. Oh, I’m sure there are industries and there are businesses that need to have the unions clamp down on them…but for the most part, we’ve got enough regulation going on in this country between minimum wage standards, and OSHA standards you’re going to avoid a lot of unsafe and undesirable working conditions. Unions were important in its early days. Today, I think they’ve outgrown that usefulness.
Today, I see unions not keeping businesses in check. Today, unions basically lower the bar to the least able member. If a guy
screws off at work because he knows that the union will protect him, the union will basically see to it that the bar is lowered to that level. And those that are there to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage are the ones getting screwed. They have to pick up the slack for the malcontent. Either that or they lower their efforts to his level, and productivity takes a nose-dive.
No…unions have served their purpose. And today, rather than celebrating them, we need to request that they go quietly into that good night. Their time is like the horse and buggy and the town blacksmith. They are of the past. They need to realize that.
Now, I have a lot of friends, especially out here, that are retired, have worked hard, and credit their success to their union membership. I think that’s fine and I don’t begrudge these guys a great retirement at all. They’ve earned it. But let’s just take a look at one profession that probably never needed a union in the first place: teaching.
Teachers work 9 months a year. They get paid basically for 12 months. They get “tenure” and are tougher than hell to get rid of once they get it. They have either the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) or the National Education Association (NEA) backing them up. Both are powerful unions still. Yet, teachers get to hide behind the unions rather than go out and vie for themselves when it comes to raises and promotions.
If you’re a great teacher, and there are many of them out there, you don’t need a union. You are hurt by unions. You could negotiate a much better contract with the school board than a union will give you…and never have to pay a cent in union dues. It’s not for those people the unions exist. It’s for the teacher that isn’t very good or doesn’t care, or is running out the clock waiting for retirement. They are hurting their students with poor teaching methods and apathy. And our education system suffers because of it. Now, the vast majority of teachers aren’t in either group. They’re in the middle…and they also don’t need unions. They care, but they’re not great. They need to be tested to see where they can receive the help they need to make them better…but they don’t want to take the tests. They don’t want to be graded. Why? They’re afraid of what the tests and the grades will show. Yet they give tests and grades out on a daily basis.
No, unions are a thing of the past. It’s time that we as Americans realize it, and push to enjoy Right To Work status in every state in the union. Only then will America regain its greatness.
Happy “Labor” Day!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!