10.31.2009 0

Note to Unions Dont Drink the Kool-Aid

  • On: 11/16/2009 09:23:37
  • In: Big Labor
  • by Dave Cribbin

    In 1978, 913 followers of Jim Jones, the leader of the People’s Temple Cult sipped on what they thought were cups of Kool-Aid, and died in a mass suicide. Their deaths were the tragic result of believing so completely in a leader who proclaimed to have their best interest in mind. The recent actions of unions across the country make me wonder if they don’t share the same total belief in their leadership as the followers of Jim Jones. Could it be in their DNA?

    With unemployment at near record levels in the modern economy, the unions are gulping down the sugary sweet promises of their leaders, not realizing these promises are economic suicide.

    Last week, the Transportation Workers in Philadelphia went on strike. It seems they and their leaders wanted more of just about everything. They wanted more than the 11.5% pay increase offered over 5 years. They’d rather have 20% and a $1250.00 signing bonus. A signing bonus? Isn’t that precious? Who do they think they are? They wanted bigger pensions than what they were offered and they didn’t want to have to contribute any more to their health care insurance payments than they already did, which by the way is 1% of their salary. With an average salary of $52,000.00 per year that’s $520.00 per year for healthcare, or $10 bucks a week. Can you understand their outrage now? Neither can I!

    With a recently announced unemployment rate of 10.2%, you’d think the union leadership would be smarter, wouldn’t you? Their actions betray a sense of privilege, not very much different than that of Marie Antoinette who exhorted her subjects, starving due to a shortage of bread, to “Let them eat cake.” With the private sector continuing to hemorrhage jobs, and health insurance premiums increasing by double digits, these folks seem to claim rights once reserved only for Royalty.

    The Unions are demanding superior pay for inferior performance, an unfair arrangement in any employment environment, let alone one with better than 10% of the workforce looking for jobs. As more and more unions show their true colors and seek to claim privilege over their private sector counterparts, they run the risk of a public execution, similar to that which befell the former Queen of France.

    Their reckoning won’t come at the hands of an Executioner and his Guillotine, but rather in secret ballot votes like the one that de-certified the Union at Boeing’s North Charleston plant in South Carolina. If you think the 20 point swing in the vote in the recent Virginia elections was sending a message, how about the 199 workers who voted to kick the union out, compared to the strong showing by the 68 members who voted to continue union representation.

    It’s no coincidence that the announcement to locate the second assembly line to produce Boeing’s 787 in that North Charleston plant, and not the Union shop in Seattle, came only 48 day after the vote de-certifying the Union.

    Dave Cribbin is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

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