Saturday, February 19, 2011

Collective Bargaining as a Strong-Arm Technique

More on Wisconsin's labor issues, as seen on Facebook by Robert B:

Collective bargaining is not a right. It is a strong-arm technique utilized by unions to intimidate and force business owners to make concessions. There was a time when unethical business owners needed to be forced to act ethically [because civil laws were weak]. Those times are long past. Ever hear of OSHA?

Your grandfather, after a prolonged strike, ultimately had to cross the picket line and it ruined long term friendships and really hurt him personally. However, he ultimately felt the well being of his family outweighed the pressure from the union. Union leaders today now serve to garner the greatest income and benefits for themselves and members without consideration of the greater needs of the city, state, country, or other non-union neighbors. New hires are forced to join unions and pay union dues that fund lobbyists representing the extreme positions of the union. So your argument that unions stand for fairness is an anachronism that carries little weight in the United States today.

And finally, if I may share my experiences relating to my brief stint as a member of the AFL-CIO, the concept of a fair days pay for a fair days work did not exist in the mind of the union members I worked beside. They took their days pay but worked as little as they could get away with and constantly required supervision to do their fair day's work. It is time for the pendulum to come to rest in the middle where employees work hard to help maximize profitability of their employer and the employer demonstrates appreciation with a fair pay and benefits.

Businesses still have to be forced to act ethically, but Robert's point seems to be that civil laws already do the trick, and adding collective bargaining has swung the balance of political power too far in one direction. Private sector unions do not present the same problems as government unions; however, any unchecked power causes problems. When you add political kickbacks to unchecked power, the public at large usually suffers.

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