Monday, November 26, 2012

Failure: Unions in America Today


Unions played an important role in American history. At the turn of the last century, a lot of workers encountered awful and dangerous conditions on the job. The workers banded together, demanded changes and got them. After that, Americans joined unions and the dues began to roll in. Riding that wave of compulsory money, union bosses rose. With that much money flowing, corruption wasn’t far behind.

Times have changed. The economy, country and world have changed. But unions haven’t. Union membership among non-government employees has fallen off a cliff. But although membership is down, their power remains large.

Why? Because a lot of Democrats, including probably President Obama himself, couldn’t get elected without the armies of “volunteers” and votes they provide. No group has contributed more in time, sweat and money to left-wing politicians. That generosity, which comes largely from donations generated by involuntary dues collected from workers, too often goes to politicians who work tirelessly to cripple industries flush with union workers. Coal industry, anyone?  To Read More…..  

My Take - I believe that unions are out of control, but I do think we need to come to an understanding that is being left out of most of these commentaries....commentaries I largely agree with.....unions did not come into existance in a vaccum.  They came into existance because the employees were being horribly abused.  Especially in the coal mines.  That old song Sixteen Tons, by Tennesee Ernie Ford played true to history. 

Having grown up in Southwest Pennsylvania I know first hand from family members what went on in the coal mines, and those abuses went well back into the 1800's.  Is it any wonder they call John L. Lewis, Brother John.  No matter his affliations with communists, no matter that he shut down the mines in the midst of WWII, no matter what else he was or did.....including being the mentor to Rules For Radicals author Saul Alinsky......he gave them relief from horrible abuses. 

Did they go too far?  I know also that they did; even going on strike to support miners who were fired for smoking in the mine.  Smoking in coal mines is an invitation to a deadly explosioin due to the naturally occuring methane gas in coal mines.   So when the coal mines became owned by large corporations versus private owners they replaced people with machines and if they did the numbers and found what was going on was not worth the effort......they shut them down. 

But the abuse started with the companies.....we do need to get that.

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