Thursday, December 13, 2012

Right To Work: it's not just the money unions are afraid to lose

With Michigan passing a Right-To-Work law unions are claiming - again - that people who benefit from union representation should be required/forced/mandated under penalty of law to pay at least their 'fair share' for that representation even if they don't want to join a union.

Like in Ohio, the law allowed unions to determine how much that 'fair share' fee was and the employer, under order from the union, would deduct that fee from their paychecks.

The union position is that the non-member still gets paid based upon wages the union negotiates and enjoys the benefits (vacation, medical, pension, etc...) the union 'gains' for its members. Logically, to the union, that non-member should pay.

But these same union members will brag that so many of the laws we have on the books today covering workplace safety, the 40-hour work week and other such measures are a direct result of the advocacy of unions over the years. They use this argument as a reason why everyone should support unions and also say that all workers have benefitted from unions.

But they're not telling everyone that they need to pay their 'fair share' for THAT representation.

Just because you benefit from something, it doesn't mean you should be forced - against your will - to pay for it.

Besides, the union never talks about the impact of letting non-union workers in a facility negotiate on their own - and there's a reason why.

If you choose not to join a union and then opt to negotiate your own terms of employment based upon your own performance, you're likely to work harder in order to make yourself more valuable and increase your bargaining position in order to garner more pay/benefits. You would not be constrained by co-workers who produced less.

Clearly a union - which is based on the collectivism model - can't have one person demonstrating the ability to do better individually than the collective can do for them. Others might see the one doing better than everyone else and think they might be better off on their own. Obviously, such individualism in the workplace must be banned. And then penalized by having to pay for the collective representation.

It's not just the loss of money unions fear - even though that is significant. It's that individuals bargaining on their own has the potential to destroy the very basis of the purpose of a union - and show, in striking contrast - that collectivism always results in the lowest common denominator being the standard. That is inherently opposite of the core American principle that in this nation, your own hard work and determination can result in your success.

Such independence is what we fought a revolution over and the desire for liberty and to be judged on our own merits is still strong. Unions may have been able to mask that by offering goodies and promises that an 'all for one' approach is better, but if a single individual can opt-out of the collective and do even better, others might follow.

That is the real threat and why they are fighting so hard to prevent it.

1 comment:

Timothy W Higgins said...

Your portrayal of unions is dead on. While historically established to defend the rights of all workers, unions have increasingly evolved into defending the least productive and holding back the most able. (A practice some would say they learned from the public education system.)

Most egregious however, is the symbiotic relationship between the public sector union and the politician. Candidates compete for endorsements with promises to protect the the citizens they are to represent, but the unions who finance them. Then instead of recusing themselves from contract votes that are obviously a conflict of interest, they continue the cycle of unnamed quid pro quo.

As was found in 'Citizens United vs the Federal Election Commission' money is free speech. It is also a power to influence govt to its own ends. Unions, whether we are talking about Obamacare waivers or lucrative local pension plans, seem willing to give up neither.

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