Regarding One-Trick Ponies.

The cover from this month’s edition from my teacher’s union magazine:

Minnesota, like many other states, is about to become a “Right To Work” state, and it is the unions themselves that are unwittingly helping it to happen.

The unions and the democrat party have long had a nearly exclusive, symbiotic relationship. As long as the democrats remained in power, the unions were protected by the democrats; and in turn, the unions were free to act in a blatantly partisan fashion and be an unrepentant, militant arm of the democratic party.

Because of this relationship, the unions never had to worry about public relations. They could afford to be as-in-your-face-nasty-as-they-damned-well-wanted-to-be. Conservative rank-and-file members were summarily ignored. They didn’t care what the average non-union person thought. They didn’t care about winning the hearts and minds of the average American voter. They were quite comfortable in their roles as the enforcement/thug/footsoldier arm of the democratic party. But now that the democrats are largely out of power in Minnesota, as well as in a host of other state legislatures, the unions are suddenly finding themselves in the precarious position of being the toady left on a street corner whose protector has suddenly left the scene.

Now, given that “Right To Work” will no doubt make it on the ballot this November as a Constitutional amendment in Minnesota (and other states) , one would think that the unions’ very survival would depend on improving their public image. One would think that the unions would be running a full court press on public relations, running ads 24/7 extolling their virtues, and the services that their members provide to the public.

But instead, the public unions, including the teacher’s unions (of which I’m a member) have doubled-down on their self-serving, narcissistic thuggery. They haven’t yet awakened to the fact that with Right to Work going to the ballot this fall, it will no longer be the legislators (whom they used to have in their hip pocket) that they’ll have to convince. They’ll have to convince the very voters of Minnesota why they should remain a viable, omnipotent, political force.

Ergo, when the union leadership organize angry demonstrations like so many 60s hippie throwbacks or cadres of Bolsheviks running roughshod in near-riotous mobs, they’re not doing themselves any favors. At the same time,  they just don’t seem to have a clue as to just how precarious their position is, or how to fix it.

Up to this point, Minnesota’s teacher and other unions, having had the luxury of being able to act like spoiled teenagers; largely without consequence, have been virtual one-trick ponies in terms of defaulting to in-your-face, thuggish tactics to get demands met.

But as Minnesota native Bob Dylan once crooned, “Oh the times, they are a changing.”

If Minnesota’s unions want to survive, they better damn well change with them.

Hatch: Who Wrote the SEIU Goon Handbook?

Senator Hatch’s press release:

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today wrote to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member and former Service Employees International Union (SEIU) official Craig Becker to inquire about his involvement in union intimidation efforts. The letter sent to Becker comes after the SEIU’s “Contract Campaign Manual” was made public. The handbook tells union members to purposefully try to damage their employers’ reputations by coming up with allegations against their employers and managers and to even break the law to gain leverage in contract negotiations.

In the letter, Hatch writes that, “the manual explicitly advises union members to engage in tactics designed to attack the reputation of an employer as well as its managers and to purposefully damage an employer’s relationship with vendors and customers.  In addition, it advises employees to uncover “dirt” on management officials and publicize the information in order to obtain leverage in contract negotiations.  The manual even goes so far as to encourage union members to disobey certain laws when it serves the union’s purposes.”…

As a matter of free speech, you can write all the books on how to be a union thug you like – but who writes the thuggery how-to books is a matter of public interest.  Did Becker write it?  If not, then who?  Inquiring minds want to know…

As the unions become ever more irrelevant to the average, American worker they do appear to becoming more desperate in their tactics.  Remember, when you intimidate an employer you are also intimidating employees…if you are willing to smash the property of a corporation which can call upon financial resources to fight back, imagine what effect that will have on individual workers who have no such resources?  Essentially, the unions are trying to scare everyone – to prevent anyone from challenging the unions.  And that works out to a prohibition against challenging the union bosses, who often don’t act as if they give a fig for the cares of workers.

Finding out who wrote this manual is a good, first step in trying to curb this intimidation…and to call unions back to their duty.  A union dedicated to representing the legitimate interests of workers who voluntarily belong to the union is  good thing…but a union dedicated to advancing the cause of a particular party and keeping the bosses rolling in wealth, that is another mater, entirely.

Report: Unions Kill Jobs

From Investors Business Daily:

…The U.S. unemployment rate is 9.1%. In right-to-work states the average is 7.9% — 8.6% adjusted for population.

Between 1977-08, employment grew 100% in right-to-work states vs. the national average of 71% and 56.5% in non-right-to-work states. That’s according to a January study that Ohio University economics professor Richard Vedder did for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

In this period, real per capita income in the right-to-work states grew 62.3% vs. the national average of 54.7% and 52.8% for non-right-to-work states…

If unions would concentrate on actually helping workers, the story would be different.  I would be a backer and member of a union if they were in favor of workers – I’m not because unions are not for me:  they are for, first, the union bosses; second, for the Democrat party; third, for corrupt deals; fourth, for various anti-American, socialist/communist political groups.  There is no place in there for an average, working man who just wants a strong business climate and good wages and benefits.

It is wise and logical for working people to band together to look after their own interests.  But the primary interest of a employee union is in strong economic growth – it is only by such means that the workers gain real leverage over the employers.  When the economy is thundering ahead and labor is in high demand, that is when the workers can hold back and demand higher wages and benefits.  Our unions, however, have decided that economic growth is pointless:  the only thing which matters is keeping the union bosses rich, the Democrats in power and the economy so controlled that non-union companies are essentially forbidden to compete with union companies.  A huge amount of our current economic misery can be directly traced to the unions corruption, political hackery and restraint of trade.

A real union actually for the workers would be calling for less government spending (government spending takes money out of the private economy which could be used to employ workers); for lower taxes (higher taxes on a business means it can employ fewer people); for less government regulation (when you tie up new businesses in regulatory knots it means fewer get started and employ fewer people).  It is to be hoped that the current unions – especially the private-sector unions (the government sector unions are probably beyond redemption) – will wake up to this, or that the membership will wake up and, if necessary, form new unions.  The working man does need his own organization…but the current groups which claim that role are actually harming the working man every day.