Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Unions - past their time and time to go

Akron is dead. Pittsburgh for all intents and purposes is dead. Detroit is dead, but the sick interns in the emergency room keep shocking the guy over and over again. Public education in most places is an abysmal failure. What do these things all have in common? Unions. Unions plain and simple have destroyed more communities and industries in our country than any other force. Wanna unload a container off a ship in the port, you gotta pay the crane operator $80/hour plus some sweet benefits. Do you want to check on a part at the Delta hanger in ATL at 12:00? Sorry, you have to wait, the Union guys are on a break. Need an employee to work 30 minutes over, sorry have to clear that with the shop steward. Run a business and need to stay lean and competitive? Sorry, man, you got to pay up.

Plain and simple, the companies and industries that are not plagued by the scourge of the union and competitive, agile, and profitable. Did the unions have their place at the turn of the century, yes, I believe they did - but who wrote that history? Whose perspective do we have and have we taken as fact, my guess is the same folks who support and join unions today. What legitimate purpose do unions serve today? I'd say, none.

1 comment:

  1. I worked for a big three automotive supplier (Torrington Bearings) for 12 years and spent a fair amount of time in big three plants. We were not a union plant, but our Connecticut plant was. We had a few unsuccessful attempts to unionize the southern plants, but fortunately people down here haven't had it inbred into them by multiple generations that you have to be in the union, and they can see past the facade.

    The morale, attitude, efficiency, and work ethic in the union plants were all abhorrent. A perfect examples of how unions have helped kill manufacturing in the US follows.

    While visiting our CT plant, as an Electrical Engineer with a company wide expertise in mechanical power press brake controls, I noticed an error code on a press that had stopped running. I had experienced this problem before and knew the fix. I started to push some buttons to clear the code and adjust the program parameters and was stopped by the operator who said I had to wait on a maintenance tech. Not how we do it back home, but when in Rome... So we waited. The tech eventually showed up. Poked around, checked some things, eventually figured out I knew something about the controls, and allowed me to walk him through the fix while never allowing me to touch anything. After 45 minutes of lost production we were back up and running.

    I could fill pages with personal accounts, but the story essentially never changes. The liberal Democrats support unions. It is an obvious marriage. Redistribute the wealth. We'll get you more and you will do less to earn it, all the while protecting your job. Once again we have a perfect example of why socialistic systems do not work. They eventually implode and collapse.

    I think there was a time when they did serve a purpose, but we have the NLRB and countless other agencies and systems to protect workers rights in the small percentage of actual violations that still occur. But entitled people don't like to hear that they are wrong, or may even be the problem. So they cling to their union. Because the union will save them.

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