There was a time in this nation when when big business was horrible. A child working on an assembly line would be hurt and he would be effectively tossed out the door and was quickly replaced by another. Ford Motor Company provided a good wage – for the day – but Ford expected far too much from his employees. So, his employees unionized.
The unions stopped the northern form of slavery. Oh, to be sure, no one was forced to work. However, if you wanted a salary, you better do what you were told and under horrible conditions. Many times, those on the assembly line were working under dangerous and unhealthy standards. Coal miners were dying early from black lung disease. Those who owned the mines would not provide proper ventilation and protection equipment so those who provided the rest of us the material to power our homes and industry breathed in the fatal black dust. So they unionized.
The reason I write on the subject today is that the employees of Amazon have voted and, apparently turned down the unions, which, from my point of view, is a good thing. As near as I can tell, they are being paid very well and they seem to be working under safe and good conditions.
I can’t speak from first hand experience, of course. I don’t work for Amazon. Maybe I would think differently if I did.
However, I do know this. When unions move in, so do the dishonest people who run them. I don’t know of any union that voted itself out of existence when it was no longer needed. Once a union gains control, it never gives up its power. You see, many people have a strong yen for power. Virtually every major union formed in this country have had questionable people running them at one time or the other. Instead of seeking the good of the rank and file, they seek their own fortune, fame and power. If the rank and file are not careful, the monster they create in the name of a union becomes almost as bad as the employers the dislike so much.
Moreover, the unions can create disincentives. My father was a carpenter. More than once, he was cautioned against working too fast. “You’re making the others look bad.” Today, it is the unions that control our schools. The school boards have little control over them. The parents are afraid of retribution should they complain. To be sure, they have good reason. Whoa to the person who suggests the idea of allowing school choice. You see that would be disaster for the teacher’s union. Every time 30 students go to a private school, it would mean one less member in the teacher’s union. I assure you, the teacher’s unions do not have our kids at heart. They don’t even have the teacher’s interest at heart.
All they care about is the power they can muster and how they can use it for their betterment. Those bribes they send to the state and federal government don’t help our students or our schools. Oh, it is called lobbying, but I call it for what it is, bribes. They pay our representatives for the sole purpose of controlling their vote. That’s a bribe.
And so it is, I love unions and I hate unions. It is something of a quandary. You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them.
However, let me say just one more thing. They have driven our auto industry almost to extinction. In their effort to obtain their wealth and power, they have drained the life blood out of a once thriving industry. In this way, they are not much better than leaches. The union leaders have seen what they have done and yet they demand higher wages and more benefits, forcing GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy. They almost did the same to Ford. Worse yet, they turned out poor quality cars. It was only after the bankruptcy that they have improved their product. However, even now, the cars that come ashore from foreign manufactures are better quality. To be sure, even those cars built here are built with foreign parts.
In the union’s effort to squeeze the golden goose, they have about destroyed her. The employees they promise to protect are becoming a vanishing breed. The industry that helped save us during WWII, is fading into obscurity. What happens if again we need that industry? What happens if we can no longer use the foreign parts or steel? What happens to us then — and the unions?