Monday, September 24, 2007


Unions Contributed to Decline in US Manufacturing

Some folks simply have no shame; just a tremendous amount of arrogance, ignorance and hubris. By now most Americans know that the day of the labor union has come and gone. They were tremendous agents for change in the workplace and for worker's rights from the 1950's through the 1970's but then, greed set in. In 1964 almost 40% of the US work force was unionized. In 2004 a scant 8% of workers were union members. The unions, collectively, are largely responsible for creating the conditions in corporate America that forced so many businesses to move manufacturing and production jobs offshore, downsize, out source and simply refuse to give in the the union's outrageous demands. So, the UAW walks out. 74,000 or so well paid folks want even more from their employers. Too bad. They haven't the intelligence to see what their greed has wrought and continue to demand more. They have no clue what the other 91% of people who actually work hard for their livings have to contend with. The majority of Americans are not so fortunate to have union jobs were they are coddled, babied and protected from disciplinary action despite the cause. When politicians talk about "courting labor" they are referring to this small minority of those holding union cards; cards usually acquired via nepotism, payoffs or having a "connection". GM has reported that it must add approximately $1500 to the selling cost of each vehicle it produces simply to pay for retirees health benefits. There are more retired union members than active members and, like Social Security, the simplicity of that equation is inescapable.

So, they strike, walk out, picket, protest and complain. Let them. Meanwhile, your average worker has no such luxuries. They have to take it, do whatever is required of them or start seeking a job. The labor unions should grow up and shut up. The average union member makes a per hour wage vastly higher than the nonunion member and has a superior benefits package, perks and protections that are almost beyond belief. It is about time corporate America played hard ball with these lazy, spoiled mopes. They should be grateful for what they have and, if they had the ability to look around them, they would see, in real and relative terms just how much their union job provides them. We would not have a vast "rust belt" today nor would we be importing steel from Japan, we would not have the tremendous trade defect and our appliances, computers, electronics and countless other items would still be made right here in the 50 states. If the union leaders had consciences they would be well advised to take a good, hard, objective look at reality and see how they have contributed to the decline of American productivity and manufacturing. Union contracts are often so padded with perks that, in some cases, members work 45 minutes out of each hour, have exorbitant paid leave policies and all manner of other benefits that appall the non-unionized. Ask any truck driver how long it takes to get loaded or unloaded at a union -manned dock as a result of their contract's stipulations.

Given all union’s get it is no wonder that we have witnessed hundreds of thousands of jobs going overseas and have parts of the country devastated by the closing of plants and factories, ghost town-like main streets and the host of social ills that inevitably ensue.

So, UAW is on strike? Screw them. Fire them all. Give them the choice to make concessions or fire them. It is about time they all went away.

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