June 30, 2018

The Janus Decision and the Fate of the Labor Movement

Timothy Birdnow

The recent Janus decision by the Supreme Court, which said public sector unions may not force government employees to join against their will - has triggered a chain reaction of splintering atomic nuclei in Progressive heads. The High Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to force someone to join an organization and pay dues which are then used to promote politicdal speech that is in contradiction to their own beliefs. The exemption of labor unions from any restrictions on THEIR freedom of speech (using members money) has long been a bone of contention and a sore spot for those who think it wrong to force a person to finance the Democratic Party when he or she votes for someone else.
See, if you don't join the union you don't work, at least in many heavily unionized fields. And while private sector unions have been fading away in the last fifty years precisely because of this strongarm racketeering tactic, the rise of public sector unions - where there is no choice at all as there is no competition - created a vast money machine for the Progressives and the Democrats You either joined the union or you did not get a government job. And It should also be pointed out that a unionized government service sector may be fine for the unions and perhaps even the workers, but it absolutely shafts the customer aka the taxpayer as there is nobody negotiating with that party in mind. The "management" are government employees negotiating with other government employees, and nobody has any reason for restraint.

As always, the unions got greedy; they were even trying to force someone who cared for an elderly parent or a sick child to join the union and pay dues as that person was "working in the field". SCOTUS put it's saddle-shoed foot down at long last.

But, but, but...the unions are doing the work and these "freeloader" non-menbers are getting the benefits, we are told. They MUST be forced to join or the union has to carry people who aren't paying their fair share but reaping the benefits!

If you want to look at a b.s. argument it is this. There have always been ways around that, and the unions know it, but chose not to take them because it has never been about the worker and always about the Progressive movement and the money the unions can give to promote a socialist worker's paradise. The labor movement has been an integral part of the Democratic Party money machine. And they simply refuse to stop funding the Dems because they have a cozy little relationship.

If you want to stop the "freeloading" as the unions call it there are a couple of ways the unions could go. They could get out of politics altogether, concentrating solely on worker's benefits and whatnot. In fact, instead of making the company - or in the case of public sector unions the government - pay all benefits and pensions the union can provide them thenselves to members only. That way a person could work in an industry but not enjoy the very generous benefits available to union members. But the unions don't want that because it would necessitate they be under the rules and regulations set for entitites that provide such things, and that would mean there would be strict accounting and people would go to jail for embezzlement and malfeasance. One of the perks of being a union boss is that nobody much worrkes about a few thousand going missing on occasion.

So, basically the unions need to offer something that the average worker won't get outside of the union. Unions - most especially these public sector unions - need to get out of politics. If they would be willing to do that sort of thing they could survive this and in fact could have avoided the Court ruling to begin with. But as I said, it has never been about actually helping the working man. Unions have been a tool of political radicalism for a long time. Granted, Samuel Gompers had the good sense to get the labor movement out of politics and he was right, but it's too good a venue to ignore if you are a leftist. Gomper's efforts have largely been undone by the union leaders who followed.

I was in a union for sixteen years. In all that time I saw our wages degrade and the union was always telling us it was the best they could do. Then they decided they wanted to give everyone in the industry health benefits, including all part-time workers. They killed negotiations on our contract with the company over that, walking away from the table. They assured us that we wouldn't lose our seniority and that our pensions would be fully funded once the matter was settled. For five years we worked without a contract but continued to pay union dues. Then they settled the contract and, surprise! We did NOT continue gaining seniority and we did not get our pensions. The company owners sold out to a non-union shop immediately thereafter and we were all let go, no pension, no nothing.

A bunch of us hired an attorney adn tried to sue, but it turned out that they had been very slick about all this. The statute of limitations started with the ending of our last contract, and it had gone long enough that the statute had run out. Selling out meant they didn't have to pay. The union got five years of dues for nothing and kept our pension money which we had paid into, many of us for a decade. Everyone who started in the business with that company fell just short of being vested for a pension. And of course the company saved five years of contributions to the pension fund. Oh, did I mentikon? The union rep who negotiated this whole thing was teh childhood best friend of our company President.

If I sound bitter about this I am.

Labor unions serve first and foremost themselves, not the members. A large part of why they support the Democrats is because they have a Bill and Hillary affair going on with them, one hand washing the others' uh, well you know. It is NOT to help the members but the people running the unions. Labor unions have traditionally been fronts for organized crime, for communists, for all manner of lewd and unclean birds. Why? Because they have this vast amount of wealth stolen, er, taken from the members, often against their will. It bears a striking resemblence to the protection racket "pay me and nothing will happen to you" or in this case it is "pay me and you can keep providing food for your family". The main difference is one sends you to the federal penitentiary in Marion Illinois the other to Washington or the Governor's mansion in Springfield (or Virginia).

I am not saying there is no value to a labor union. There are a number of things that unions have done in servie to the public and the country. They definitely helped by acting as a counterbalance to unscrupulous corporate power, for instance. Think of checks and balances as in the Constitution and then think of the unions as a balance to the corporate entities. Sort of like a judiciary to the Executive Branch. The problem now is the unions are, like the judiciary, going where they were not supposed to go, usurping power they were never meant to have. Now THEY are the ones who need to be checked and balanced. It has been thus since Franklyn Roosevelt put the full power and authority of the United States behind labor unions during his economic putch.

So this recent Janus decision now forces the unions to reform or go under. It is way past time.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 06:33 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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