As national support for unions approaches record levels, interviews reveal: a rarefied form of progressive leadership threatens to dampen their appeal among workers.
The Democrats outsourced the working class to China in the 1990’s, and for my entire adult life, whenever they are in power, labor suffers and wealth inequality grows.
The Democrats might talk about Union issues, but in the end they promote the very policies that destroy the US middle class. Workers have a better chance of being heard by populist Republicans than Democrats that are more interested in giving men a civil right to all female private spaces, and destroying the supply chain (and with it jobs), than about factor workers or blue collar workers anywhere. Democrats wouldn’t have outsourced the middle class and shut down factories from coast to coast if they actually cared about union workers.
I'm the daughter of a WWII veteran and widow of a combat veteran and also a teacher with a liberal history. I was belittled by a young union colleague for suggesting we commemorate Veterans at a campus event . I felt very sad.
I live in a right to work state. I've been a member of several unions and have never once seen local action to benefit employees. They do, however, make sure the slacker working nearby who can't show up on time, lollygags, abuses break times, etc., continues to be able to make their co-worker's lives more difficult. My first union was Teamsters. The rep showed up every Christmas to give everyone $40 and promise they were still working on those cool benefits. Never a change or improvement. I've watched unions strike/negotiate the jobs away (looking at Hostess here). Worst of all, when you get your "vote this way" mailers. You see leadership at parties and making endorsements and playing big-time maker and shaker. They don't need to work over the national politicians, they need to force the employer to the local table, period. The idea of unionizing entirely unskilled workers is silly too. If you do a job that anyone plucked at random off the street can do, your skill level gains no leverage. That's why Starbucks should be an interim/student/starter job and not a career. Same with fast food. Folks put a lot of time and effort into fighting for more money for no skill when they should dedicate that effort to acquiring more valuable skills. The promise of unions getting them $15 per hour at a national level is assured stagnation - they will wait for $15 rather than acquiring skills for $25. Not to mention the difference between $15 in the middle of nowhere and $15 in L.A.. Finally, there is no way in hell I'll give money to any group who sees social justice and woke ideology as the thing they are paid to do by their members.
I think private sector unions would be fine, if they prohibited dues to be used for lobbying.
I think public sector unions should be legislated out (fat chance) and are one of the principal reasons for runaway public spending, and gazzilions of dollars of un(der)funded pension funds.
Not a mention of how the open borders policy of the wokies and the Dems lets in millions of laborers and the downward pressure this puts on wages?? This point is always studiously avoided.
RIght to work laws are a good thing for union WORKERS (union LEADERS sometimes forget that the workers are as much a part of the union as they are). Without right-to-work laws, there's no check on their leader's ability to use union funds for political causes against the will of their members. Of course, the Democratic Party is 100% against right-to-work laws... a large percentage of their campaign funding comes from union LEADERS.
Another point... public employee unions are a DISASTER. FDR predicted it and it has come true. There are so many politicians owned lock, stock and barrel by public employee unions around the country... mostly, but not entirely, Democrats... that racketeering between governments and unions has become the standard in California (where I lived for 21 years). Both Republican and Democratic Governors got into racketeering with the corrections facility unions.
The trade unions in San Mateo County (where I lived) actually got an even better deal than Davis-Bacon... its municipalities are not merely requiring PLAs as an open quid-pro-quo for zoning approval, but the PLAs are requiring LOCAL union labor, not just prevailing wage labor, for PRIVATE construction projects. If the local unions are booked up, the project has to wait until they aren't. If that isn't unlawful, it should be. [AFAIK, they cannot override Davis-Bacon for a public project... and so prevailing wage labor may be brought in if needed.]
Keep in mind that labor unions have devolved into an organizing tool for Team D, and that Team D is dominated by PMC concerns.
Ever see five guys standing around watching one guy dig a hole? Want more of that? Want to pay $8 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks? Let’s not pretend that those things aren’t going to happen. And here are some recent examples that make me skeptical of unionization.
Teachers union – kept kids at home and then in masks with no scientific basis
Police union – protects any and all “bad apples” that contribute to public mistrust
Longshoreman union – exaggerating the supply chain crisis by refusing to be flexible while earning multiples of average household income
With the unemployment rate below 4% and employers eager to attract workers with higher wages and better benefits, individuals have more negotiating power than ever and they should use it to their personal advantage.
The teacher's union dictated covid policy to the CDC. They determined if and when schools would open and whether or not kids would have to wear masks. It was allowed to do this because it is one of the largest donors to Democrats. Union members don't have a say in how their dues are spent. This doesn't sound like a help to the workers, it sounds like corruption.
Sorry Batya, but outside of a few isolated examples the union value proposition is lacking. Unionizing just adds another "boss" to a worker's life - one that steals their money for political contributions over which the unionized worker has no say. Since 2010, 99% of political contributions from unions have gone to Democratic causes, even though half of union households vote Republican. It's not the 19th century, and employers at all levels are desperate for quality workers, and are very flexible about pay and benefits, consistent with staying in business, of course.
Two more specific points: as contributor AngelO points out nearby, how do you reconcile the union-funded Democratic Party's open border policy, which brings in millions of hardworking but unskilled people every year, with increased unionization? The second point is the corruption endemic to unions. From 2016-2018 alone, just 2 years, 143 union leaders admitted to crimes. If unions are so great, why do they have to beat people up routinely who oppose them? Why do (teachers) unions oppose school choice when the vast majority of all Americans want their kids to get a good education?
I do agree with one point, however - they protect their own. Whether it's bad teachers a school wants to fire, or bad cops a police chief wants to dismiss, the union is their to take care of "their people". If it wasn't for Democratic governments unionizing themselves and insisting on "prevailing (union) wage" contracts for all of their projects we pay for, they'd already be gone. Unless unions radically reform and become apolitical, they are toast, and that's not going to happen because they are really run by progressive Democrats.
Unions are also gate-keepers. They collude with politicians to make licensing difficult so that it is hard to find a job and work.
I am very sympathetic to workers but dislike left wing unions. Real wages increased under Trump. Controlling the border and immigration helps American workers. Very worried what “Universal health care” would look like considering the same group runs the DMV.
Unions were a hindrance to my dad’s career. I’ve no interest in unions as I see no benefit they offer that I can’t get on my own.
If unions want members they can do what any other private organization does: make itself useful to those they want to join.
Otherwise let unions go the way of every other outdated, useless organization.
To mention SEIU and IBEW in the same paragraph succinctly describes the wide spectrum of unions. SEIU is a Marxist organization that only serves the Democrat political machine by providing money and delusional rubes to destroy our great nation. IBEW serves the needs of its members while getting the job done. Diamonds vs Dogshit. Yes, it's that simple.
Good article, but I've got to push back on the assertion that we need Universal healthcare. The disaster of the past two years solidified in my mind that the government should not be involved in healthcare because it will ultimately be used to control people. Since, at least in the US, big Pharma rules the roost, the care and "help" that they would give us would only be to improve pharma profits and not be for our health. The example is the aggressive force used now to prevent open discussion of different treatments for COVID and to prevent doctors from making independent decisions doesn't bode well for centralized control.
As a teacher, and belonging to a union, well, thank God. Not only is there a good pension, but health benefits that would cost me a small fortune if I were not a member. There would be all manner of inequities if there was no union since the Board of Education could really take advantage, and in the past I heard they would fire teachers quite easily, over nothing, and sometimes forgot to pay them for a day or a week's, or month's work. Unions are a good thing, well the teacher's union is. The big negative is that whether your a good teacher, or a bad teacher you are covered, and some teachers really suck, but they manage to stick around for years and walk away with a very good pension they never earned. No matter the negatives I support unions. They do call dutifully to tell me to vote for democrats, but now a days I just don't listen because democrats ain't what they use to be, and haven't been for a very long time.