Like getting a tattoo of Michael Jackson, dating OJ Simpson, or singing “Feelings” on a karaoke machine at the company picnic, the original formation of labor unions must have seemed like a really good idea at the time. And certainly, we have heard about all the dangerous workplace conditions that unions addressed back in the day. So thanks, union leaders from 150 years ago.
The primary purpose of unions today is to fund the Democratic Party. The secondary purpose of unions today is to provide manpower for Democratic Party campaigns and causes. The third purpose is the facilitation of Democratic Party political philosophies in the workplace.
I experienced working in a unionized environment early in my life, as a teenager at a grocery store. The Teamsters who drove the delivery trucks went on strike and picketed in front of the store where I worked. They wanted us “retail clerks” to sympathy strike with them. This all seemed bizarre to me; truck drivers refusing to work their own jobs and asking other workers to refuse to perform theirs.
Many times during the day, I pushed a train of grocery carts across the Teamsters’ picket line and into the store. And every time, I would receive a suggestion of violence from one of the picketers. All of us bag boys and cashiers learned to park our cars blocks away to avoid vandalism by the strikers. But, eventually they found mine and slashed the tires.
In the 21st Century, we seem to hear a lot less of the violence that unions have been associated with. Nowadays, it is mostly about collective bargaining. But calling a strike is not the big threat that it used to be. The air seemed to be let out of that tire when Ronald Reagan simply fired and rapidly replaced eleven thousand striking air traffic controllers with new folks who appreciated having the work.
People today value their jobs more than ever. We need work. More importantly, Americans want to provide their personal talents as valued by the customer through a company that they are proud to work for. The whole collective bargaining concept fails to recognize exceptional efforts, gifted craftsmanship, and individual worth.
The only place where collective bargaining would seem to have a place in a free society is where the task is simply expressed and easily measured. Airline pilots may be one example; land the plane at the designation without crashing.