Unions and the Politician Game – We loose!
Everyone knows that a very long time ago, unions where known to be good for the workers who were being treated like slaves by big business trying to make a killing on cheap labor in the free market system of the United States. It was common knowledge that big business kept the average working man poor and dependent on their jobs with little chance of any upward mobility. Most of those folks kept the same job their entire lives. The unions stepped in and began changing the picture. They used union dues paid by the workers to begin a bargaining process that helped increase the income and welfare of these workers. With the increase of pay came a gradual increase in union dues. Workers didn’t have a retirement plan or medical services until the unions bargained for them. The threat of shutdowns of major plants and other industries forced the business owners to come to the table to reach agreements through the unions on behalf of the workers. Things began to get better.
Along with the good things the unions did, came a lot of adversity. Some of the tactics they used to get their way were in some cases quite extreme. There was a lot of violence, killings and even bombings. Corruption in the unions also caused governments, business and even employees to want to reduce the impact of unions. Government passed laws that, over time, began to negate the need for union involvement. With the gradual positive growth of employee benefits, there was less of a need for union officials to step in. Eventually, the impact of unions and their reluctance to give up ground, began to hurt businesses who were not able to generate enough income to afford the huge benefit packages they were forced to take on by unions. The auto industry in the US began to feel the pinch and were finding themselves less and less able to remain competitive with manufacturers who managed their employees without unions. They use various methods such as ombudsmen and surveys to listen to employee needs.
By the 1960s, the unions began a rapid decline. But President Kennedy in 1962 granted unions the permission to unionize government employees. That is an interesting development. In government labor statistics released by the Department of Labor in 2012, unions had control of a little less than 7 percent of the entire private workforce. Unions had control of as much as 35% in past years. But now they control around 37% of the public sector. So, initially, union dues were all coming from private industry. Then the Kennedy law in 1962 resulted in a gradual increase in public sector employees. That means that that public sector union dues are coming from tax dollars paid to government employees’ through their income. But private industry and individual taxpayers are footing the bill. So put another way, the public sector is contributing to union coffers using tax dollars that come from employees who get paid with tax dollars. One of the primary reasons the city of Detroit had to file bankruptcy was because they could no longer afford the pension and medical plans unions managed to get for the city employees. Unions were a primary reason the auto industry failed in Detroit. Unions played a major role in the demise of an entire city. Other cities are having to renegotiate their own public service benefit plans because the economy of the city can no longer sustain them.
It should be noted that public employees in unions outnumber employees in the private sector who are unionized. The public sector has about 7.6 million and the private sector has 7.2 million. The private sector used to have as much as 35% of entire use workforce; but now they have around 6%. The public sector is at 37%. Why is that, anyway? How did this get turned upside down from 1962 when Kennedy approved unionizing public sector employees? You have to follow the money. At one time it was not allowed for unions to contribute dues for political purposes. But now unions can form political action committees (PAC). And when they do, they favor Democrats by 96%. But the actual teachers who are members of the union split about 50-50 with Republicans having a slight advantage. Therein lies the problem, that entire voting block is misrepresented since the unions use non-democrat employee dues to push for Democrats. That is why democrats support unions. The unions are extremely powerful with their political activity and that favors Democrats significantly. They are winning elections with this strong union support. But there is another aspect to union activity. They are getting into trouble legally and the proof can be seen in court actions. Review them for yourself at Union Problems with the Law and you will get a much clearer picture of how unsavory unions can be. They fought hard when the courts granted union employees the right to ask for their portion of their dues that were used for political activities be returned to them. And a large majority of these employees wanted that money back; both left and right. Three union officials went to jail for threatening strikes if the employers didn’t kickback secret money to them. That is mob-like corruption.
So let’s take a particular look at teachers unions. In one state, union employees were permitted to get teaching positions and claim their salary as a union employee instead of at a teacher’s salary in the state school retirement plan. That got them much higher retirement checks. Some teachers would move over to the unions to get a higher paying position and then move back into the classroom and claim the union salary instead of the teacher’s salary; they would then receive much higher retirement checks. The unions were the ones who got those rules set up and the state Democrats bought into it; on purpose. Another interesting tidbit. Unions would stand to lose if a state permits charter schools funded with taxpayer dollars to increase in number. That is why De Blasio in New York wants to get rid of charter schools. Unions are controlling what happens at the government level and the students lose. It is a money game to keep the union coffers full and keep Democrats in power. And Democrats are in on the game. Schools are failing and Democrats who claim to be for better education are winning as a result of Union influence. These unions have become piranha eating up taxpayer dollars. Unions are in the top 10 all major political contributors. It mirrors what used to be happening with private industry; we now have government sponsored corruption. The teaching profession is nationwide and that means the union impact is national. They can play a major role in getting democrats reelected at the expense of the rest of us individual voters. Not fair at all.
As a side note: Very few realize that a lot of the money that came in to support the Occupy Wall Street movement came from the Services Employees International Union (SEIU). In fact, they played a major role in the organization of the movement. Where did all those protesters get those very expense tents and sleeping bags? Who is behind the funding and organization of the Walmart protests and the minimum wage protests in front of fast food businesses? The SEIU. They are international.