Archive for September, 2018

Happy Unions Awareness Day

Posted: September 3, 2018 in Social Commentary

By R.C. Seely

LABOR DAY, FOR MANY IT’S a three-day weekend, the last big hooray for the summer. The last big barbeque, maybe go to the lake with the family. But do you really know why we celebrate Labor Day? It’s a celebration of organized labor, or unionized labor. Isn’t that wonderful.

Actually if you’re a consumer advocate, like me, you will generally be opposed to unionization and with good cause. Labor unions have a bad history, much of it with many acts of violence against their employers and property.

The first national labor day celebration was in 1909, but states had been commemorating the since 1885. Many nations observe their own labor days and more than 80 celebrate Internation Workers’ Day. This is a holiday established by a pan-national organization of socialist and communist leaders to observe an act of union violence after the Haymarket affair. While the events at Haymarket square started off a peaceful protest, as is common with unions it ended in violence–a bombing in this case, being hurdled at police.

Studies have shown that while union violence does occur in other nations, the United States is the leader in union violence. Although the federal union movement has never openly advocated violence, violence has been systematically used by the Western Federation of Miners and the International Association of Bridge Structural Iron Workers.

Union violence was very common during the industrial revolution, with Carnegie Steel suffering the worst. With the attempted assassination of Carnegie’s business partner Henry Clay Frick (although bringing in Frick was a mistake, so this could be considered righting a mistake) and the protests at the plant.

The violence has continued on in the United States until a series of assaults in the 1980s and 90s. In 1986, protests by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1547, turned violent against the non-union workers; assaulting them, spitting at them, sabotaging equipment and shooting guns towards them. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled against the union saying they committed “ongoing acts of intimidation, violence, [and] destruction of property.” In 1990, The New York Daily News delivery trucks were pelted with sticks and stones, at times burned and the drivers beaten. This was on the first day of a strike at The New York Daily News. The strikers also damaged the newsstands burned copies of the paper. It was alleged that 700 acts were perpatrated but 229 were confirmed by police. In 1993, a non-union contractor, Eddie York was murdered for crossed a United Mine Workers picket line. In 1997, teamsters Orestes Espinosa, Angel Mielgo, Werner Haechler, Benigno Rojas, and Adrian Paez violently assaulted and stabbed UPS worker Rod Carter for refusing to go on strike. This was after receiving a threatening phone call traced to the teamsters president.

Union supporters use the flimsy excuse that this all this is acceptable because they “being exploited.” Your employer offers you a job, you don’t have to take it. Advocates of collective bargaining claim that employers put non-compete agreement in you contracts, so what? Don’t go work for that company. I’ve turned down jobs because I didn’t like the terms. Where is the exploitation?

They also might claim that the employer has all the power and the courts behind them. After all the have the Hobbs act to protect their property. Of course then again, the union anarchists have the Enmons case, on their side with validates says they can destroy property if it’s associated with their union priorities.

Today President Donald Trump was blasted for his comments against current Richard Trumka, president of the United States’ largest federation of labor unions. Saying via Twitter:

“Some of the things [Trumka] said were so against [sic] the working men and women of our country, and the success of the U.S. itself, that it is easy to see why unions are doing so poorly.”

The rift between Trump and Trumka started with the negotiations of NAFTA and the impact on jobs. Will more be outsourced under the Trump administration? Doubtful. The current administration is a nationalist after all. More than likely Trumka is just another Obama zealot mourning the loss of their god king. Even though Trumka has said he will ,”keep trying to find areas where we can work with him.”

But should Trumka should be concerned about unions though? Yes, there membership has drastically plunged since the 1970s where it was about 25% to less than 11% in 2017. But their image–as defender of the downtrodden–is unfortunately still intact with 61% approval rating, according to Gallup polling.

The political power of unions hasn’t lessen either and unions are still the one of, if not the largest financial contributors to political causes and the Democratic party.

Unions try to portray themselves as heroes, protectors against this big bad capitalist system. Protectors of national jobs, not just here in the US but in many nations, keeping out those “damn foreign workers.” When you start to look a little closer you see what they really are, bullies plain and simple.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture his newest–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–soon to be released.