Jay Reding.com

Democrats Put Unions Over Worker’s Rights

The House has passed legislation that would give unions broad new powers to unionize without holding a secret ballot of employees, which could very easily lead to intimidation of workers who choose not to unionize. This legislation is purely a sop to Big Labor and a strike against the rights of American workers to have their decisions to unionize or not be a matter of individual concern, free from intimidation.

Megan McArdle makes a very valid point about this legislation:

Let me put it another way. What do pro-union organisers think of card check–and delivering the cards to employers as well as union organisers with no penalty, should the union fail, for firing or otherwise making life miserable for the yes votes? If you think that this is in some way wrong on principle, then how is it not wrong for unions?

The reality is that not every worker wants a union. The mythology that unions are the great protectors of the interests of the American worker is largely one of viewing unions through rose-colored glasses. Is a worker in a Toyota plant so much worse off than a worker in a GM plant? The answer is clearly no — those workers know that they are far more likely not to get laid off in the near future, and still make nearly as much as their unionized counterparts while enjoying roughly equivalent benefits. That worker has a right to make an informed decision about the benefits and drawbacks of unionization and do so without worrying that either the union or their employer can retaliate against them for their vote.

Mickey Kaus raises yet another important point:

The idea of requiring a union, without a secret ballot election, if labor organizers can obtain a majority of “cards” from employees seems like both a big idea and a bad idea. (See below.) If Republicans were smart and confident, wouldn’t they make a big deal of this–drag the debate in Congress out to give it more prominence, highlighting Obama’s support for this change which (more than any tax cut) would alter the very texture of the economy?Voters–even many socially liberal peacenik voters–traditionally worry that if Dems gain full power they will a) serve their special interests and b) cripple American capitalism in a fit of leftish nostalgia. This bill legitimately triggers both fears. …

He’s right. This is an extremely ill-considered bill that hurts American workers. Only a small minority (7%) of American workers are unionized, and that isn’t due to the usual claims of employee intimidation. As Kaus notes, the union system isn’t a good thing for most workers, especially in an age of unprecedented economic flexibility. One can make an argument that in a system where one works for the same company all their working lives it makes sense to have a union — but that just isn’t the case anymore. Collective bargaining has its place, but the idea that unionization is an absolute good ignores the reality that union workers are losing their jobs while non-union workers have more economic stability without sacrificing much in the way of wages and benefits.

Even if one thinks that unions are generally good for workers, it’s still ridiculous to argue that eliminating secret ballot requirements is a smart thing to do. If the requirement cut the other way — the law required unionization votes to be reported to employers, the labor movement would be up in arms. So why should the same principle not apply to unions?

This was a sop to the Big Labor base that is exercising a disproportionate amount of control over the Democratic Party these days. It’s poor policy and it is wrong for American workers. Kaus is right — the Republicans should be all over this and they should be highlighting why it’s wrong for American workers. The choice to unionize should be a real choice, and removing the ability to force a secret ballot on this issue invites unions to engage in coercion and intimidation. The Senate should ensure that provision dies, and if they do not, the President should ensure that this bill is vetoed.

20 responses to “Democrats Put Unions Over Worker’s Rights”

  1. Mark says:

    “which could very easily lead to intimidation of workers who choose not to unionize.”

    As opposed to intimidation of workers by employers who choose to unionize? Are there penalties applicable in this bill for union proponents who intimidate dissenters? There are no penalties for employers who do the same under current law. Sure, it’s officially against the law to do so, but it’s like hiring illegal immigrants. It’s against the law, but there are no penalties for offenders.

    “Is a worker in a Toyota plant so much worse off than a worker in a GM plant? The answer is clearly no”

    At least until you consider that the only reason Toyota workers in Kentucky and Alabama are earning more than $8 an hour is the fact that the UAW is propping up wages industrywide….and Toyota is paying competitive wage rates as a disincentive to unionize. As the American auto industry crumbles, the pseudo-cowboys at the non-union auto plants are all but assured to eat a three-course meal of concessions….which is of course exactly what you want.

    There is nothing that frightens your wing of the Republican Party more than an American working class that regains the empowerment it has lost in the last 25 years. The fact that fewer and fewer people are permanently distracted by cultural wedge issues also deviates from your playbook. It’s gotta be hard watching from afar as your fantasies of a Dickensian future crumble in the face of workers and the elected officials they’re voting for finally standing up to you guys and saying “ENOUGH!!!”

  2. Mark says:

    Also intriguing is that it wasn’t merely Democrats who voted for this. About a dozen, give or take a few, Republicans signed on for it as well. Generally, these are pro-labor Republicans who can tell which way the wind is blowing (and it ain’t towards Reding’s country club).

  3. Eracus says:

    That’s right, Jay, the only reason 97% of the labor force in America today is not unionized is because they are all poor, ignorant, minority slaves chained to the floor and forced to eat rotten eggs and moldy bread while being whipped and beaten and oppressed by you yellow running dog capitalist country club pigs squeezing every last ounce of strength and every last drop of sweat out of their bodies before setting them on fire to fuel the grinding wheels of the Earth’s destruction and heat the houses of the vile, vicious moneychangers and Zionists who profit from your fantasies of a Dickensian future crumbling in the face of workers of the world UNITE!! For in your Hobbesian fantasy of economic injustice the egalitarian principles of industrial revolutionary theater will result in fully 2/3 of the American people who are against the war and will never vote for Rudy Giuliani, who is unelectable because what Ann Coulter said was a vicious, despicable lie.

    How’m I doing, Mark?? Sound familiar? Makes about as much sense as you do, pal. This is 21st Century America. The only people who benefit from a union shop are the union officials and their lawyers, the union lobbyists and their lawyers, the politicians and their lawyers, and finally the retirement and healthplan providers and their lawyers.

    Meanwhile, the union member earns the same basic wages and has the same basic benefit package as every other non-union member in his industry, with the only difference being the union company gets itself closed down, sold off, consolidated, merged or bankrupted while the other non-union shop produces a cost-efficient superior quality product, gains marketshare, expands its production, hires more people and meanwhile distributes its margin of profit to its shareholder employees, private investors, municipal obligations and charitable concerns. You know, like Toyota does.

    What do unions do? As for GM and Ford, they’ve done nothing but produce a looming corporate welfare liability for the American taxpayer and an HMO leviathan that also happens to make over-priced, low-quality vehicles with no re-sale value to speak of because not one will last more than a few years. Need we mention how the unions have helped the airline industry?? Or the pathetic state of our unionized public education system that produced your chuckleheadful of self-loathing Marxist mush?

    You don’t know what you’re talking about, Mark. You’re just making stuff up again.

  4. Jay Reding says:

    (and it ain’t towards Reding’s country club).

    Who the hell gave me a country club and failed to tell me about it?

    Interesting how liberals always seem to assume all Republicans are rich. Then again, smart people usually are well-off…

  5. Mark says:

    “How’m I doing, Mark??”

    I gotta say….that wasn’t bad. The only part you got wrong is Rudy Giuliani won’t be elected President because of Ann Coulter’s comments, he won’t be elected President because his own son hates his guts. http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-usrift055118819mar05,0,258835.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-print

    Don’t those rock-solid Republican family values just warm your heart?

    “Meanwhile, the union member earns the same basic wages and has the same basic benefit package as every other non-union member in his industry,”

    That may be your most erroneous and easily disproven fantasy yet. Check out this: http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/jobsemployment/a/unionwages.htm

    “the only difference being the union company gets itself closed down, sold off, consolidated, merged or bankrupted while the other non-union shop produces a cost-efficient superior quality product, gains marketshare, expands its production, hires more people and meanwhile distributes its margin of profit to its shareholder employees, private investors, municipal obligations and charitable concerns.”

    Interesting that how during the most recent recession, non-union North Carolina and South Carolina hemorraged the highest percentage of jobs in the nation, discovering that they were merely a stepping stone on the journey to the global economic basement. It’s increasingly evident that working non-union for poverty wages and ever-diminishing benefits is hardly an insurance policy for “saving American jobs”…particularly with non-union Wal-Mart pressuring its distributors to move their manufacturing facilities to China to control prices or else lose shelf space.

    “You know, like Toyota does.”

    Ah, yes. But you forgot the other part of the equation of “what Toyota does”…that being draining public coffers of the state in which they build their plants to the tune of $400 million worth of freebies. For all intents and purposes, its American employees don’t work for Toyota, they work for the state of Indiana…or Kentucky…or Alabama. Kind of ironic that the Toyota workers you idolize are essentially the exact same as me…..state employees.

    Furthermore, if not for the fact that Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are trying to kill the American auto companies while they’re down, they wouldn’t even be building plants in America let alone paying respectable wages. And once the U.S. automakers are sufficiently neutered and the upcoming Chinese auto market kicks into high gear, triggering a renewed race to the bottom, expect to see those Kentucky and Alabama Toyota factories filled with $8-an-hour “guest workers” who can’t speak English. It’s admittedly shrewd business, and they’re lucky to have an endless pool of clueless anti-union neanderthals south of the Mason-Dixon line poised to hand them the smoking gun with which they will eventually be shot.

    “What do unions do? As for GM and Ford, they’ve done nothing but produce a looming corporate welfare liability for the American taxpayer and an HMO leviathan that also happens to make over-priced, low-quality vehicles with no re-sale value to speak of because not one will last more than a few years. Need we mention how the unions have helped the airline industry??”

    Actually, you got about half of that equation right. Plenty of mistakes were made by all parties in the recent and distant past. The bottom line is that GM and Ford pushed the “retiree health benefits” that are poised to bankrupt them as a means of satisfying stockholders that costs would be coming “in the future” as opposed to the present. They sacrificed long-term ruin for short-term dividend….exactly the reason why a thriving stock market (which always lives completely for the moment and thinks nothing of tomorrow) is often more worrisome than a bearish market. If investors are overly giddy, it’s a good sign that corporate America is doing something suicidal….as was the case when Ford and GM pushed retiree health benefits rather than pay increases to appease the UAW in decades past.

  6. Janek says:

    “smart people usually are well-off…”

    If only that was the case! My own banking account seems to be made of onions: every time I look at it, it makes me cry.

    J.

  7. zzx375 says:

    The greatest impact on this will be among smaller employers like the small electrical contractor or manufacturer who find they’ve been run over by the union bus. There are far more of them than the GMs and Fords.

    If unionization and the attendent benefits are such a no-brainer why aren’t all workers in this country lining up to join?

  8. Mark says:

    “If unionization and the attendent benefits are such a no-brainer why aren’t all workers in this country lining up to join?”

    Haven’t you been listening, ZZX? The systematic intimidation of workers that came in those dark days when employers held thumb control over the union process vis a vis the “secret ballot”. Even the most conservative estimates show that 40% of American workers would join unions if given the opportunity. Most estimates show the number somewhere between 50-60%. You gotta wonder about the disconnect when half the population wants to be in a union but less than 10% are.

  9. Jay Reding says:

    he won’t be elected President because his own son hates his guts.

    And the sleeze begins already…

    “We are both working on our relationship,” Andrew Giuliani told ABC News. “No matter what he’s done, I love my father. He’s my father and we love each other. It’s not as good as it once was – but it’s better than when it was its lowest, and it is getting better all the time.”

    He added: “I have problems with my father, but it doesn’t mean he won’t make a great president.”

    Typical of a Democratic hack to try to smear anyone who threatens them. No wonder the long knives are coming out for Giuliani now.

    Haven’t you been listening, ZZX? The systematic intimidation of workers that came in those dark days when employers held thumb control over the union process vis a vis the “secret ballot”.

    Yup, let’s make sure that the process ensures that the unions can intimidate anyone who dissents from their view so that number reaches 100%…

    Not having a secret ballot is completely against democratic principles. It is an invitation for union thugs to intimidate workers, and anyone who has a principled support for unions should have no problem with allowing secret ballots. It’s only people who know that their union-funded studies showing everyone wants to be just as screwed as GM and Delphi workers are complete bullshit who are afraid that the already-dwindling union rolls will continue to go down as American workers realize that getting screwed by corrupt unions gets them a cut out of their check and a pink slip down the road.

    There’s Mark’s brand of typical union-shill BS and then there’s reality. Unionization gets American workers nothing — the argument that union wages prop up non-union wages is simply untrue. If Toyota really wanted to screw over their labor force they could drop wages right now — where else would those workers go? Yet they haven’t, because their business is economically sustainable. They can afford to pay their workers the wages they do now and give generous benefits and still maintain their profit margins. Thanks to the corrupt unions in Detroit, Ford, GM and the other American automakers can’t.

    Mark not only refuses to see that the Titanic is sinking, but he’d be pulling people off the lifeboats to make sure the ship was full when it went down. So much for actually caring about American workers — it’s all about keeping the unions afloat and electing the Democrats who feed off of union dollars.

  10. Mark says:

    “It is an invitation for union thugs to intimidate workers,”

    Athere not provisions in this bill that penalize union activists intimidating workers?

  11. Eracus says:

    “That may be your most erroneous and easily disproven fantasy yet.”

    That is hardly true, Mark. Neither you nor your source takes into account what it costs to be a member of a union. Union members must pay union dues and assessments, factor in the cost of seniority placement, the costs of attending union meetings, providing for strike resources and arbitration/mediation expenses, and whatever other “emergency” expenses their leadership decides is necessary. There is no free lunch.

    And considering your own discussion of the matter, there is no job security either. The obvious reason to anyone unstained by the fanaticism of Marxist-Leninism is because the union merely produces a higher labor cost for the employer, forcing the employer to either reduce costs by producing an inferior product or to provide the same product at a higher price. There is no alternative. Labor unions today simply increase the cost of production and make the employer less competitive. They are an impediment to successful business in an increasingly competitive world. They are an anachronism.

    If labor unions were of any help in advancing a business’s bottomline instead of destroying it, Mark, then every advancing American business would be fully unionized by now and those who were not unionized would be trying desperately to organize. Clearly the opposite is the case, as even the unions themselves are today fragmenting and disassociating themselves from one another as their memberships continue to drain away. The primary challenge the unions have today is the number of members who wish to retain benefits as members of their union but still be able to work for non-union shops. Now, why would that be?

    It is completely obvious that your Marxist-Leninist ideology filters your perspective on reality, Mark, and is producing an insane and distorted outlook on the world we are living in. Who taught you to “think” this way? Because it is not “thinking” at all, of course, but rather simple wild-eyed communist fanaticism of a sort that may be popular in Hollywood and the left-wing fever swamps, but has no place in American business today. Only a true communist would assert Toyota is a state enterprise, or should be.

    Likewise, your treatment of GM and Ford with respect to their stockholders is particularly ignorant and misinformed. Anyone who owns GM and Ford stock today is carrying a loss. Their dividend return has yet to cover their original investment, and since there has been no capital appreciation, that means they have yet to turn a profit. Adjusting for inflation, those stocks are worth less today than they were in 1965. Their rate of return has been less than the rate of return on cash. In short, contrary to your misinformed, distorted communist worldview, it is the shareholders of GM and Ford who have taken the beating. That is precisely why these two industrial behemoths are facing bankruptcy today. No one goes broke making a profit, Mark.

    The reason Ford and GM are facing bankruptcy today is because their union labor costs far, far exceed their revenues on vehicle sales. There has been no “mistake.” The plain fact of the matter is the only people who have ever made any money off of GM and Ford is the membership of the UAW in collusion with management, the resulting corruption of which is ultimately responsible for the bankruptcy of the American automobile industry today. It is the workers and the shareholders who got screwed, Mark. And how.

    Apparently, the only person who doesn’t understand that is you.

  12. Mark says:

    “It is an invitation for union thugs to intimidate workers,”

    Oops…sorry about that.

    Are there not provisions in this bill that penalize union activists who intimidate workers? Under the current system, there are no penalties for employers who intimidate workers into voting against unions….and I’d be hard-pressed to believe a single Republican (or so many of the conservative Democrats) would have supported this if the penalties for intimidation that do NOT currently apply to employers were to not apply to unions in the post-secret ballot era.

    “Unionization gets American workers nothing — the argument that union wages prop up non-union wages is simply untrue. If Toyota really wanted to screw over their labor force they could drop wages right now — where else would those workers go?”

    Seriously, Jay? Are you that stupid or do you simply everyone else is? If UAW wages were not $60,000 per year, do you really believe non-union Toyota plants would be paying factory workers $55,000 per year? Seriously? Toyota and Honda are using the high salaries as a short-term means to avoid unionization. If the bubbas that work there weren’t along for the ride of decades worth of UAW collective bargaining gains, Toyota and Honda’s factory floors would be filled with the same low-wage immigrant workforce that have overtaken the factory floors of nearly every other non-union manufacturing plant in the South.

    “Yet they haven’t, because their business is economically sustainable. They can afford to pay their workers the wages they do now and give generous benefits and still maintain their profit margins.”

    First of all, the “new kid on the block” is almost always “economically sustainable” in the early going because they have not been around long enough to be choking from any significant legacy costs that are naturally absorbed by companies who have operated for decades and are propping up retirees in a way that Toyota is not. It’s the same reason why Northwest Airlines is tanking and Southwest Airlines is flourishing. Both are unionized, but one is drowning in legacy costs while the other is only 25 years old and has few retirees to finance. Assuming Toyota has any company-funded legacy costs at all looming for its American employees, they too will be a cinch to undercut in the marketplace a generation from now when the latest “new kid on the block” emerges. It’s an endless cycle guaranteeing a race to the bottom.

    Beyond that, Ford and GM are not given $400 million worth of freebies every time they open a new factory. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are. It’s hilarious when anti-union goons talk about the corporate welfare bailout that is looming for American automakers while completely ignoring the fact that the giveaway packages allocated to Japanese automakers by their host states are so enormous that the employees essentially work for the state of Indiana/Kentucky/Alabama as opposed to Toyota/Honda/Nissan.

  13. Eracus says:

    Yours is an absolutely ignorant, misinformed, and ridiculous argument, Mark. You are completely delusional. The reason States provide incentives to private investment is to expand their infrastructure and commercial base, create jobs for its citizens, increase investment in its community institutions, and raise government revenues.

    Only private investment can expand an economy, Mark, that’s why governments provide tax incentives. Then everybody wins. It’s only when government competes with private enterprise, as it has done on behalf of Big Labor, that everybody loses.

    Try to remember that we are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and that we do not live in a country where the government runs our businesses for our own “benefit.” That would be a communist country, Mark, with a totalitarian government such as the former Soviet Union, where no secret ballot ever existed but were labor union membership was universal, as were the gulags. That worked well, didn’t it?

    But then, what use have you for knowledge and history? The only world that exists for you is the one that began the day you were born and resides solely between your ears.

  14. Jay Reding says:

    Are there not provisions in this bill that penalize union activists who intimidate workers? Under the current system, there are no penalties for employers who intimidate workers into voting against unions….and I’d be hard-pressed to believe a single Republican (or so many of the conservative Democrats) would have supported this if the penalties for intimidation that do NOT currently apply to employers were to not apply to unions in the post-secret ballot era.

    No, under the current system the National Labor Relations Act makes it illegal for employers to intimidate workers – 29 U.S.C. § 158 et seq.

    Seriously, Jay? Are you that stupid or do you simply everyone else is? If UAW wages were not $60,000 per year, do you really believe non-union Toyota plants would be paying factory workers $55,000 per year? Seriously? Toyota and Honda are using the high salaries as a short-term means to avoid unionization. If the bubbas that work there weren’t along for the ride of decades worth of UAW collective bargaining gains, Toyota and Honda’s factory floors would be filled with the same low-wage immigrant workforce that have overtaken the factory floors of nearly every other non-union manufacturing plant in the South.

    There’s nothing preventing either Toyota or Honda from doing that right now. The reason why Toyota and Honda pays those salaries is because that’s what they can afford to pay and that’s what gets them the most experienced labor pool. They don’t generally compete for the same labor pool as GM and Ford, and their labor costs aren’t related to the costs of GM and Ford.

    If they wanted to cut labor costs, they could do so right now. But they don’t because they need a skilled workforce to keep their quality high. None of those factors have anything to do with labor unions 400 miles north.

    First of all, the “new kid on the block” is almost always “economically sustainable” in the early going because they have not been around long enough to be choking from any significant legacy costs that are naturally absorbed by companies who have operated for decades and are propping up retirees in a way that Toyota is not. It’s the same reason why Northwest Airlines is tanking and Southwest Airlines is flourishing. Both are unionized, but one is drowning in legacy costs while the other is only 25 years old and has few retirees to finance. Assuming Toyota has any company-funded legacy costs at all looming for its American employees, they too will be a cinch to undercut in the marketplace a generation from now when the latest “new kid on the block” emerges. It’s an endless cycle guaranteeing a race to the bottom.

    They don’t.

    They don’t have the pension overhead because they don’t have a union making unreasonable demands. The costs are shared more equitably, so they have no pension crisis looming over their heads like Detroit does. And what a “race to the bottom” it is when the non-union plants are wage and benefit competitive with the union plants — and don’t have to lay off significant fractions of their workforce every few months.

    Beyond that, Ford and GM are not given $400 million worth of freebies every time they open a new factory. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are. It’s hilarious when anti-union goons talk about the corporate welfare bailout that is looming for American automakers while completely ignoring the fact that the giveaway packages allocated to Japanese automakers by their host states are so enormous that the employees essentially work for the state of Indiana/Kentucky/Alabama as opposed to Toyota/Honda/Nissan.

    Um, Chrystler was given a $1 billion federal bailout in 1980, and there are proposals to send more federal dollars their way. The auto industry is one of the single biggest corporate welfare recipients in the country, and has been for decades. The state benefit packages that some automakers get is a sound investment on the part of the states that make those deals, and the automakers aren’t getting any better of a deal than any other heavy industry gets.

    Your arguments still don’t hold water against even a quick look at the facts…

  15. Mark says:

    Eracus:

    “The reason States provide incentives to private investment is to expand their infrastructure and commercial base, create jobs for its citizens, increase investment in its community institutions, and raise government revenues.”

    That sounds to me an awful lot like…..socialism. Gotta love all the “free market” Pollyannas loudly advocating socialized risk and privatized profit without even recognizing the inherent contradiction in their delirious worldview.

    Jay:

    “No, under the current system the National Labor Relations Act makes it illegal for employers to intimidate workers – 29 U.S.C. § 158 et seq.”

    We all know it’s “illegal”…just as its “illegal” to hire illegal immigrants, albeit with no penalties applicable for offenders. Likewise, there are no penalties (at least none that are ever enforced) when Big Management intimidates and coerces union-busting tactics when they are allowed to control the entire procedure vis a vis the “secret ballot” system.

    “There’s nothing preventing either Toyota or Honda from doing that right now.”

    Sure there is. If Toyota and Honda attempted to pay wages and benefits vastly inferior to what UAW workers were earning, Toyota and Honda would join the UAW. Only when Toyota and Honda effectively kill the UAW (and once Bush gets his guest worker program through) will the companies be able to turn their factories into modern-day sweatshops.

    “If they wanted to cut labor costs, they could do so right now.”

    At which their workers would join the UAW and cripple the entire grand scheme of the Japanese automakers after nearly two decades of effective Machiavellian business strategy.

    “They don’t have the pension overhead because they don’t have a union making unreasonable demands.”

    So Toyota and Honda have no looming costs at all for retirees? So they’re passing those costs onto taxpayers as well? But let me guess…..we need to cut Medicare too, right? That way, neither government or employers finance the health care of seniors.

    And now matter how many times you attempt to blame these retiree health benefits on “unreasonable union demands”, it was Ford and GM, not the UAW, who pushed for them back in the day because they wanted to please stockholders who wanted the instant gratification of staving off present-tense company costs (such as pay increases favored by the UAW) in favor of deferred company costs.

    ” the non-union plants are wage and benefit competitive with the union plants — and don’t have to lay off significant fractions of their workforce every few months.”

    You’re entire premise is full of holes. The union has nothing (or very little) to do with the diminishing sales of vehicles made by the American automakers. Bad management decisions have. Successful marketing and meeting consumer demands are the reason that non-union Japanese automakers haven’t laid off employees. What you’re suggesting is tantamount to suggesting that it’s the union, and the union alone, contributing to the layoffs of employees at Brother typewriters and Encyclopedia Brittanica……and the non-union workforce that is, by itself, contributing to the brisk sales of home computers.

    “Um, Chrystler was given a $1 billion federal bailout in 1980, and there are proposals to send more federal dollars their way.”

    And how many Japanese auto plants now operate in the United States? Nearly all of them raking in $400 million worth of giveaways from their host states? Only three Toyota plans manage to dwarf Chrysler’s billion-dollar bailout a quarter-century ago.

  16. zzx375 says:

    Mark:

    Given that this is a blog, I’ve been reading, not listening and your

    The systematic intimidation of workers that came in those dark days when employers held thumb control over the union process vis a vis the “secret ballot”.

    is a nioe one-sentence story, but that is all it is, a story. What prevents those oppressed from organizing in elsewhere such as a park or church auditorium?

    I am not versed in the law regarding union formations but the employers did what with the secret ballots?

    And a survey returning 40% or an 50-60% estimate isn’t everyone.

  17. Eracus says:

    “That sounds to me an awful lot like…..socialism.”

    It probably does, Mark, because you are an idiot. Like Humpty Dumpty, when you use a word, it means exactly what you want it to mean, nothing more and nothing less. All you do here is make stuff up to decorate your own imaginary world, so it comes as no surprise that you would dream up your own definitions to words help yourself out. That way, as you continue to destroy any credibility you might have ever had, you can just change the definition and pretend you’ve made your point.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us realize you’re just another blowhard who has no idea what he’s talking about.

  18. Microharman says:

    The problem with unions is they are political organizations run by politicians. Similar to high school elections, union officials must promise and fulfill better situation for its people every term. Now I know that democracy and the idea that government should continually make its people’s lives better is the closest thing we have to gospel in the US, but in cyclical and competitive world of business, a better situation is not always able to be obtained year after year. It is during these off years that the political officials have a conflict of interest. Do they push for better situation for the employees at the risk of placing the company is a situation that it may not be able to recover from? Or do they think long term; give the company more slack, allow it to recover, at the risk that they may be seen as week, lost their position next election? The third difficulty with larger multiple factory unions is they are constantly having to chose which union employees to sacrifice so that the rest of the union can have a better deal. How do they chose who survives? Interestingly, they people not well represented by the union, no longer have a say in the next union election.

    I’ll admit that during good times, management can be greedy and not share the wealth as much as they probably should. I can see how unions can be useful here. But during hard times, it is the unions that can be greedy driving companies into the dirt. Unions are run by people; most people have their own best interest at heart. Since Union official’s job can be summarized as, having other people’s best interest at heart, this can sometimes be a problem.

  19. Mark says:

    Eracus, when a poster’s insults start to exceed his/her attempts to make actual points, conventional wisdom would dictate said poster has transformed him/herself into a troll. You, good buddy, are now operating at about a 90-10 ratio of insults to actual points.

  20. Eracus says:

    Mark, sorry, but you are obviously just a poorly educated and woefully misinformed poseur. Your fanatical rantings and ravings here full of pseudo-intellectual, Marxist-Leninist bullshit do nothing to advance the debate and contribute not a wit of insight or new information. What you constantly represent here is nothing but the same old, tired, worn out and leftover re-cycled communist propaganda that arrived here in the 1960s and persists today only in the steaming fever swamps of the American radical left, where no one has ever read a book that did not support their already delusional worldview. Everything you’ve ever written here is just more of the thoughtless regurgitation of the usual communist slogans and talking points that have been around longer than you have been alive. If you had any real erudition at all, you would realize that. But of course, you don’t, which is why your litany of reactionary complaints and objections appear here so ridiculous to those of us who do. You live in a different world. You are delusional.

    Most everyone reading your posts on this blog surely recognizes by now you are nothing but an enraged human being pounding the table and demanding that somebody, anybody, deliver everything you believe you are entitled to. You hate your country for your deprivation. You hate your countrymen for their indifference. You resent the success of others having neither the determination nor the fortitude to attempt success yourself, and yet stand always at the ready to condemn the slightest flaw and deny the smallest achievement of what is and remains the greatest nation in the world. Some of us are trying to build a free country here. You’re trying to tear it down. It’s an easy exercise; any jerk can do it.

    So just as it is not an insult to call a pig a pig, Mark, it is not an insult to call you a charlatan and a fraud. Your premises typically are false; your arguments are typically fraudulent, and that makes you, Mark, indeed a fraud. Only an idiot brings a knife to a gunfight.