Labor Unions Are on the Way Out
The protests in Madison, Wisconsin and in other states by government-employee unions are going to represent the beginning of the end of labor unions in America. Because now that the people of Wisconsin are getting wind of what they really are paying some of these workers, they are going to say enough is enough.
If the unions had kept quiet and accepted some small cuts, their greed would not have been exposed. But now it is exposed. And when a hard-working citizen making $40,000 a year in the private sector in Wisconsin sees a unionized public school teacher in a failed system in Milwaukee making just over $100,000 a year average for pay, benefit and pension (according to recent figures from the MacIver Institute), that citizen is going to say enough is enough.
And when that citizen then realizes that that teacher’s pay is for about 1,300 hours of work per year (summers off, vacations throughout the year, 7-hour workdays, etc.) versus 2,000 hours for the private-sector worker, the citizen is going to rise up and turn on the unions. Never mind early retirement and lifetime tenure, two other union “benefits” that cannot be measured in direct dollar terms.
The zenith of labor union power was in the 1950s when they represented roughly 35% of the private labor force. And by the way, it was not unions that gave workers a high standard of living – its was widespread prosperity that did it because American factories were producing 50% of the world’s finished good since Europe and Japan had been largely destroyed in World War II.
Today America makes about 19% of the world’s finished goods (cars, washing machines, computers etc.) and that number is falling ever year. This situation easily can be turned around with the right policies.
By the 1970s, union greed had killed or crippled many of the very companies and industries that unions worked in (steel, railroads etc.). Today it is General Motors and Chrysler. In other words, it didn’t take the brutal unions long to do their destructive deeds. By the 1980s and 1990s, private-sector workers in America were widely rejecting union representation because they saw the heavy-handed tactics of organized labor. Today the unions are strangling whole states. And citizens are saying enough is enough.
Wrote the New York Times about a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
‘It found that (union) membership fell so fast in the private sector in 2009 that the 7.9 million unionized public-sector workers easily outnumbered those in the private sector, where labor’s ranks shrank to 7.4 million, from 8.2 million in 2008.
“There has been steady growth among union members in the public sector, but I’m a little bit shocked to see that the lines have actually crossed,” said Randel K. Johnson, senior vice president for labor at the United States Chamber of Commerce.
According to the labor bureau, 7.2 percent of private-sector workers were union members last year, down from 7.6 percent the previous year. That, labor historians said, was the lowest percentage of private-sector workers in unions since 1900.
Among government workers, union membership grew to 37.4 percent last year, from 36.8 percent in 2008.’ (end of excerpt)
Notice that figure for public unions today – 37.4% – close to the same figure as private-sector unions in the 1950s when they were arrogant and started on their path of self-destruction. History will repeat itself.
Now word is spreading about the high standard of living of these government-employee union members, and the federal ones are the next to be exposed. The citizens of America are going to fight back and trim back union pay big time in every state while those unions are going to be slowly disempowered at the ballot box. And that is a good thing.
The unions brought all this on themselves. They were greedy and they have been greedy from the start. And if they had kept their mouths shut in Wisconsin most Wisconsin residents would never know that a teacher in the horrible Milwaukee system makes $100,000. Many of those teachers should in fact be fired for dereliction of duty, while those same unions protect them.
Fake “doctors” were even handing out fake medical excuses at the Wisconsin protests to cover for teachers who might face disciplinary action for calling in sick to attend the protests. This is yet another illegal union travesty.
These unions are destroying themselves. Unions are belligerent, corrupt and angry because they are run by people on the hard left. They cannot help themselves. And in Madison, they are like the robber who knocks over the vase in the middle of the night. The homeowner now knows that a thief is in the house.
In Massachusetts, unionized toll collectors on the state Turnpike make $75,000 a year and up, plus full benefits, pension and early retirement, for what should be a $25,000-a-year cashier job. Today the three richest per-capita counties in America are right around Washington, DC. The people who live in those counties are largely unionized federal employees. See the picture? While millions across America struggle, are highly taxed and are losing their jobs and homes.
Unions indeed are the pampered class in America. We conservatives have been warning about this for decades. Finally the people are listening. And every dollar that a union worker makes over and above the ‘market wage’ set by the economy comes directly out of the pocket of the consumer or taxpayer. Unions do not “create wealth” for their members’ high wages – they “get it” from the consumer or the taxpayer in a direct wealth transfer. This is the dirty little secret of organized labor.
And after SEIU union mobs have been involved in protests at the private homes of people they oppose like AIG executives, along with physical attacks on people with whom they disagree, Americans are seeing unions in their real thuggish light.
So Madison indeed represents the unions’ Waterloo. Despite all the agitation and protests, the citizens of Wisconsin supported their current governor in the November election and now are going to rally even more behind the reform-minded Scott Walker.
And Walker is not backing down. No, this is not the 1980s when unions could hold one little rally, Democrats would join it and Republicans would cower in their offices before giving in to union demands. Governor Walker is standing firm and telling pro-union Obama to keep his nose out of Madison. Republican Chris Christie did the same in New Jersey and that state today is on a much better fiscal track.
It is time for ALL government spending to come under the microscope. Once Americans really start to understand how their tax dollars are being spent, they are going to rise up. The welfare state is next. Once Americans realize that tens of millions of the so-called ‘poor’ are idle while the government pays their every last bill including cable TV and air conditioning, they are going to get very mad.
The Tea Parties were just the first wave of this reaction. The Madison protests are going to spark the second phase. Stay tuned. What the unions thought would be their victory lap is turning out to be their undoing. Time is against them.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.