posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 11:50 AM
In Massachusetts, where I live, there are 2 particularly high-profile union stories in the news:
1. Recently, 2 Boston firefighters where killed while fighting a nasty fire at a restaurant. There autopsies later showed that one was legally drunk,
and the other had coc aine in his system. The public was aghast, and somewhat shocked when it was revealed that firefighters and paramedics in
this state are not drug tested. The public outcry forced the mayor and local pols to insist that random drug testing be part of the new firefighers
union contract. Predictably, the union rebuffed the idea. The union won't even consider drug testing without a corresponding "concession" from
the city (read money). Mayor Menino was quoted as saying "These union leaders do not seem to realize what everyone in this city knows, that it is
not right to ask for pay raises as a reward for putting a stop to these abuses of the public trust".
2. Massachusetts is the only state in the union that requires, by law, that roadside work details (power company servicing lines, road construction,
phone pole work) be staffed by either local or state police officers. Flagmen are not permitted to do this type of work. Cops usually get $30 and
hour, minimum, for these details while a flagman would make less than half of that. Guess who pays for the extra cost? It is an obvious perk that
police unions rigorously defend. Police claim it makes roadwork safer. By their logic (and the tremendous amount of money being spent) Massachusetts
should be one of the safest states to drive in. Wrong. It is one of the most dangerous, according to accident statistics. But the police unions
strong-arm the state government with gusto, forcing taxpayers to line their pockets for no good reason.
Union may have once had their place in American society, and they probably have their places in other, developing countries. But as far as I am
concerned, American unions are only proficient at the following:
1. Intimidating elected officials
2. Increasing the cost of a product
3. Fostering and even encouraging average or sub-par work performance
4. Protecting uneducated workers
5. Exploiting uneducated workers
6. Cultivating an environment of "Do nothing unless you get something"
Of course, I am biased. I have been threatened with bodily harm and had my personal property damaged by striking union members (this despite the fact
that I was neither company management, or a member of the union).
My dislike of unions is strong enough that I welcome with open arms my all-Honduran cleaning crew that shows up every day. I've got to know many of
them, and they are sheepishly instructing me in rudimentary Spanish. I don't even care if they illegals or not. I'm just glad they work hard and
aren't in the union.