Unions : Are they still in our future?

U.S. Union Membership Less Than 12 Percent
U.S. Union Membership Less Than 12 Percent (Photo credit: Cory M. Grenier)

It seems like most of my articles come down to discussions about people rights, and this will be the same.  The difference is that his article has more to do with the “right to work” rather then any other.

I am from Florida – which is a “Right to work” state.  Just to be fair I would have to say that we don’t think much of Unions in my family.  My grandfather, who was an Express Agent with the Seaboard  Coastline Rail Road, died from a heart attack after having to load a silver shipment.  He had signed for the shipment and was responsible for it’s loading.  The problem came because the people whose job it was to load the train were on strike rather than doing what they were paid to do.  My grandfather, if the shipment had not gotten loaded, would have been responsible for the loss/theft of whatever got left behind when the train pulled out…

Florida is a “right to work” state so nobody is required to join a union just to get a job.  The unions are upset because Michigan seems on the verge of passing a “right to work” law, and the unions say this could be the death of Unions.  In the past union members have complained that the unions spent their dues to support candidates that the members did not approve of.  I can understand what they are saying..  The unions would, justly, tend to support whichever party they believe would be in their best interest.  That is what politics is all about.  On the other hand, conservative members might not want their money going to support liberal candidates who they see as not  in line with their personal beliefs.  For example, why would a union want to support a candidate who would pass a “right to work” law that might allow unhappy union members to quit the union without fear of being fired.

For many of us the words “union thug” are oxymoronic as we picture the days of the union thugs with ball bats, or even union reformers who had bombs placed under their cars, or union officials who got sent to jail…  Then there are the early days when Union activist tried to get better conditions for workers in the coal, clothing, and other industires.

So what happened?  Some people say the union leaders pushed wages, of members as well as their own, up to the point that manufacturers decided it was cheaper to make good in countries where the workers were not paid as much..  There were tales about Unions that borrowed from the workers pension funds, much like the government does with the Social Security Trust fund, and left some of them nearly bankrupt.

It is not good to force someone to join a union, either to get a job or keep one he has, and then take his dues to support candidates he disapprove of.  If union members are not allowed to leave a union with out losing their jobs then it takes away the kind of leverage it would take to make changes in the union.  In a “right to work” state people would join unions if they perceived a benefit, and leave if they saw no such animal so, it might be a way to find out if the workers are for, or against, unions.

They will either join, or leave but, then it would be up to them.

Then again, I am from Florida and we don’t have to worry about that here.

Thank,

That Joe Guy.

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