Sunday, June 10, 2012
Got my paycheck on Friday. Since I only work a couple of days a week, it's not very hefty. What's that old joke? "I get paid weekly....very weakly"? Anyways, I looked it over carefully like I always do, and noticed that union dues were taken out again. Bah, humbug!
I understand the concept of the unions, and why they came into being. I've read about the "robber-baron" times when the Carnegie and Rockefeller types had no care for the workers that toiled in their plants. I've learned about the horrid conditions and seven-day work weeks and the terribly hard times folks had then, and I'm not selling it short. Indeed, the place where I work unionized some years ago simply because so many people needed protection from an unethical boss.
But, like so many things, unions have grown from a necessary, Helpful Thing, to an over-blown, unweildly, money-sucking Bad Thing. (Sort of like the federal government!) Without fail, union dues are taken out of my check, yet the money does not seem to provide the reality of the promise - efficient contract negotiations, protections against unfair treatment by bosses, or the access to proper tools to do the job safely and effectively. What I see, instead, are propaganda magazines, brightly printed on heavy paper, filled with photos of smiling politicians and shrill rhetoric espousing every liberal cause on the planet - in my mailbox! - how embarrassing. I see the union emblem prominently displayed on the websites and facebook pages of America-hating left-wing pundits and talk show hosts. And then to read a an article saying the union plans to spend a hundred million dollars in an effort to re-elect the current Pretender in the White House, and well, it just makes me furious and sick.
Now if the unions would have put all that time and energy and money into promoting American made products; into working with companies to establish fair wages for honest work, (no rewards for incompetence or laziness!) and keeping jobs here instead of outsourced, into producing goods that are so high-quality that no one wants the cheap Chinese stuff anymore; well then I'd be on board and happy to support the union.
But as it is, If union membership were not a requirement on this job, I would quit the union in a minute. I deeply resent my money being used to support un-American behaviors and certain political philosophies that I find abhorrent. The unions have lost their way and their purpose. Instead of being a vehicle for employees to negotiate with employers for fair wages and safe working conditions, they have become involved in politics and greed. It seems as though the union bosses are more power hungry and corrupt than any of the cruel big company bosses that caused people to unionize in the first place!
I am not alone in this; I know other union members who feel as I do, yet are forced to maintain membership. We do our best to distance ourselves from the rhetoric, but it is still a burning humiliation that our money is used in such shameful ways. So, please, remember, when you see a bunch of placard-carrying, slogan-shouting union people supporting a liberal at a political rally, there's an equal number of union members looking at the issues with a clear eye, and voting as their conscience dictates, not as the union bosses demand.