There was a time in this country, about a hundred years ago actually, when unions were a good thing. Employers took advantage of their workers, making them work long hours for little pay. There was no such thing as overtime. Working conditions were often dangerous and even deadly. And if you didn’t want to continue to be employed in that situation, that was ok with the employer, they were ready to let you go at the drop of a hat, and there was always someone ready to take your place.
Unions were needed because they stopped that imbalance. And along the way, a lot of unions made a real difference in the lives of their members. They made work places safe. They guaranteed an honest wage for an honest day’s work. And the good ones even went so far as to train the members to be better at their jobs. Trade unions emerged as the way to go if you wanted to be schooled in being an electrician, or a plumber, or a construction worker. They taught you the right way to do things in those industries, and held you to strict standards.
Today, most (but not all) unions are dying. They can’t attract people to join them because quite frankly, they’ve outlived their usefulness. Now, when I talk of “today’s unions”, I’m not going to include the trade unions. They still have a very vital place in today’s society. They create master electricians, and master plumbers, and they teach the folks in construction how to do their job more professionally and with better quality. No, what I’m speaking of, are the unions that are seemingly single-focused on getting more money out of the employer without really giving the employee anything else. In a lot of instances, the employee is left with large deductions taken out of their paycheck to go for union dues, with very little to show for it.
I’m talking about unions like SEIU, which basically does a lot of healthcare workers, maids and maintenance people in hotels, and some of the lower paid folks in our society. I’m talking about unions that really don’t bring much to the table, but are quick to strike, quicker to denounce employers, even to the point of printing in newspaper ads, or stating in radio ads the home addresses of employers, and encouraging their members to go and strike, not at the place of business, but at the house. That is garbage, and those unions should be disbanded and thrown in the trash like the garbage they are.
Two things to understand here. Andrew Puzder, who Donald Trump announced as his Labor Secretary isn’t very union friendly. He prefers to hire foreign workers over US born workers, and my hunch is that he isn’t going to be giving the unions much of an ear. He comes from fast-food, where minimum wage is the rule of law, and worker turnover is only surpassed by how fast they can shove out burgers. He’s not going to be sympathetic to the union bosses.
Second, understand the unions in this country spent $100 million against Donald Trump in the recent election. And the second rule of politics is, if you’re spending money to have me defeated and I win, I’m coming after you. It’s going to be a very cold day for unions in this country for the next four years.
You are going to see more “Right To Work” states, less union involvement, and more individual negotiations in a lot of areas, which I’ve said should happen anyway. I mean, if you’re a great school teacher, why would you do the job for the same pay as someone that is less qualified and not as good? Go out and negotiate your own salary, and make what you’re worth! The same goes for every industry. Base it on merit, not seniority. That is the way life should be…and get rid of the dead wood that is holding industry back.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!