Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Friday, January 07, 2005

"The State of the Unions"

I noted a distrubing trend recently. Even people who should embrace unions are thumbing their noses at them. When they hear about this union or that, where people are being paid well, they often say, "I can't believe those guys are getting that much! It's insane. I mean, I work 60 hours a week here and I'll never make that much!"

What's wrong with this picture? Right. These complainers shouldn't be bitching about the union worker's good fortune, they should be wondering why they are so poorly paid and so lacking in benefits. Instead, frustrated by their lousy lot in life, they berate the union's for doing what they are supposed to do, which is to intercede on behalf of employees and help them get a decent shake from management.

Mind you, unions have their share of problems. Many suck dues from employees and give little in return. Many got so strong that they forgot about the rank and file. But blaming the unions isn't going to fix anyone's payroll problems. If you think you're underpaid, a union is about the only chance in hell you have of getting a better deal, particularly if you work in a commodity type business where you can easily be replaced. And forget about benefits. Pensions were long ago eliminated so we could have the honor of investing in 401k plans. Health care, if you haven't lost it already, is the next to go.

I just want people to focus they unhappiness and anger at the right people, and that's not the guy with a union card, it's the guy on the top floor of your building, who has done all he can to make sure you never sign one.