Unions

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It’s  about time we get a moratorium on Unions.   I just got back from a visit to Detroit and once again was reminded why that city is going thru such tough times these days economically.  The Unions are all but killing the big 3.  It’s really sad.  While foreign car companies make great cars and are profitable, the Detroit auto companies keep sliding down that hill toward disaster.  

 From the Teachers unions to auto unions to construction unions to even newspaper unions, growing up in Detroit I saw first hand the greed,  audacity,  thuggery and the intimidation that goes on in the Unions.    Right now the big 3 in Detroit have been laying off union  workers by the truck full and they are still bleeding money.  Meanwhile Toyota and others are on a hiring spree to get more workers to make more cars.   Non-Union workers that is.  Toyota will go on, experts predict, in the next 10 years to be the biggest, most profitable of any auto maker.  Why is that?  Well, it’s because they don’t have to give into the Union thugs and pay people for wages at a far higher price then they are worth.  The cost to build a car by Toyota is far less then the price to build a car by, say, GM.  Unions do not  change the productivity of workers. All they can do is stop the employer from paying less than what unions demand the employer pay.

Take a look at Teacher Unions.  In New York state, it is all but impossible to fire a Teacher all due to unions.  If you want to read in incredible story, read this commentary by John Stossel.  Unions are one of the reasons I left the educational field.  I was tired of being told what to teach and how to teach it.  I was tired of other people deciding I am not happy with my pay.  I was tired of being intimated to vote Democratic and to give money to something I did not believe in.

You have all seen the jokes about Union workers on TV.  Even if they are in the middle of cutting a board, if the work day whistle blows, they are gone.  Well, that is not far from the truth.  Unions reward mediocrity.  That is a simple fact.  In my job, if my Boss tells me a job has to be done before I leave, that is what he means.  In the Union world, I would get paid more for working less  and not have to finish the job that day due to a long and incredibly hard to read contract. 

If I don’t like my salary, I can ask for a raise,  If I don’t get it, well, I can seek employment elsewhere.  That is not so with Unions.  They go into “Contract Negotiations”.  If they don’t get what they want, they walk out and go on strike.  Many times during that strike, they are still getting paid.  If I walk out, I am fired which is exactly how it should be in a free market economy.  

Violence is another fact of life with Unions.  Anyone who saw the movie Hoffa knows what I am talking about.  The violence in that movie was and still is fact.  The Teamsters in fact are one of the most violent Unions out there.  Look it up.  I remember my neighbor who was in a construction Union telling my Dad how easy it would be to tear down the scaffolding at a non-union work site.  A buddy of mine is a non-union contractor for an auto company in Detroit and he is snubbed all the time at work by the Union people and was intimidated at one point when he took on some overtime.  During the Detroit Free Press strike of the 90’s, Union strikers would throw spikes in the road to damage the tires of cars of the “Scabs”.  They also beat up a few of them.   

I speak about unions a bit in my Wal-Mart post.  What is the deal with unions trying to weasel their way into Wal-Mart?  All that would do is give you worse service then you get now and their profits would take a huge dive.  I don’t think they would go out of business (I know, that would be Heaven for most Liberals) but they would not be in a better position to take on their competition.

Have you seen what the Democrats are pushing for Unions now?  Here’s the way things work now thanks to a great breakdown by Neal Boortz:   “If workers want to form a union they first circulate a petition.  If a majority of the workers sign the petition an election will be held.  The petition is public.  The election is not.  A worker who does not particularly want to unionize might very well sign the petition so as not to incur the wrath of union-oriented coworkers.  Then when the secret ballot comes along he will vote no.

Unions have been running into just this situation for years.  A majority of workers will go along to get along by signing the petition.  Then they vote “no” on the ballot and the union election fails.  Union organizers know that the way around this is to eliminate the secret ballot.

Now the Democrats are going to try to accomplish that for them.  The new legislation would call for a union to be formed simply upon the signing of a petition by a majority of the workers.  No secret ballot.  No opportunity for a worker to express their true feelings on the matter without fear of retribution. ”

Unions are outdated.  At one time they were possibly needed but now, I really see no need for them in a free market economy.  All one has to do it compare the successful companies without Unions to those who have them.  The difference is clear.

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3 Responses to “Unions”

  1. Mike Says:

    Hi,

    You are totally misguided. I bought an American car once and it was complete garbage, I spent more on repairs than the cost of the car, the service from the dealer was poor and the parts nearly bankrupt me, plus I had a difficult time going to work as the car was so unreliable. I do not blame the workers for assembling a car from inferior parts and idiotic engineering, i blame the management and excutives.
    As for teaching, the reason why the standards are so low in the United States is you pay the teachers so little and they are not required to be certifed like any other self respecting profession. If you look up to Canada where I teach, we settle 99% of our contract without an work stoppage, we get paid a professional wage and all teachers within a school are qualified professionals with University degrees. It has nothing to do with unions, we are unionized and in the latest OECD benchmark Canada placed in the top 7 for all educational indicators.

  2. Roland Says:

    What are you talking about not being certified as a Teacher? Each state has it’s own certification. You must take tests to get your teaching license.

  3. The Big Three « The Moratorium Site Says:

    […] have written about unions before here and here and then about Teachers Unions here.  Whether it’s the Teachers Union or the UAW, […]

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