Herold Meyerson of the Washington Post is a not a very good columnist. But he is a great ad copy writer that should be working on Madison Avenue. Oh, I won't say that all ad copy is filled with lies, but if lies sell then Meyerson would be the best of them all. Anyone that reads his April 7 pro-union column can only come away marveling at the malarkey this guy is peddling to sell the union cause.
Meyerson begins by lamenting the troubles that unions have seen over the last few decades. Union membership has dropped to all time lows in this country and Meyerson is all about the wearing of sackcloth and the gnashing of teeth over it. But he sees hope in a recent effort to gather several union chiefs together in a sort of cooperative effort to flog unions on Capitol Hill, a sort of uber lobbying organization that will be charged with strong-arming Congress to accede to union demands.
But one thing he doesn't get is that Americans just don't like unions. They have bad reputations as economy wreckers, thugs, and thieves. It's obvious that this is the case because, after all, union membership has fallen through the floor.
On the other hand, maybe he does "get it" that regular, everyday Americans are wary of unions and don't trust them. In his April 7 ad copy for unions posing as a column, he almost seems to admit that unions are hated by workers and that only the iron boot heel of government can help unions grow.
The unification is the result of both dashed hopes and new hopes. The dashed hopes are those of the founders of Change to Win, who argued that by focusing on organizing rather than politics, they could reverse the decline in union membership. That proved not to be the case, which is why all of labor now sees passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would protect workers' right to join unions, as key to their expansion -- or survival.
So, why did the ideas of Change to Win not work? Why did union membership fall despite that Change to Win tried their best to enroll more American workers in unions. What else could it be than that American workers don't want to join unions?
So, what's the solution as far as unions are concerned? Why, run to Congress to try to change the rules so that more Americans are forced into unions anyway, what else? You see, unions don't give a flying fig that workers don't want them around. They want Congress to make rules so that they can grow their membership quite despite what workers seem to want.
No wonder they want to get rid of the secret ballot. Unions don't CARE what the workers think about anything anyway so who needs an election?
But, let's get back to Meyerson's obsequious ad copy for unions. Meyerson praises a recent coupling of unions in California as the model of peace and harmony for unionism to come.
Any doubters that Democratic victories last year have prompted union unity should consider an even more remarkable alliance of unions that have long been mortal enemies: the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), half of whose 2 million members are employed in health care, and the California Nurses Association (CNA), which recently merged with other state nurses' organizations to form a national union. Both are likely to be members of the new federation. After more than a decade of subverting each other's organizing drives and placing rival health-care initiatives on the same state ballots, the two have agreed to respect each other's jurisdictions (CNA will organize nurses and SEIU other health-care workers), to work together to organize major hospital chains and to lobby for universal health care.
This is as dishonest a paragraph as any of the most blatant propaganda you'll find. This wonderful "alliance" was anything but voluntary. In truth the SEIU performed a hostile take over of the CNA. In truth the CNA is now effectively controlled by SEIU president Andy Stern in total. There is no harmonious "cooperation" between two unions. There is the SEIU owning the CNA lock, stock and barrel with the CNA existing on paper only and that is all. This peaceful "alliance" is in Meyerson's little head and in the propaganda released by the SEIU but not in the minds of the many thousands of CNA members that spent the better part of the last two years picketing the SEIU and being undermined by Stern. Heck, Stern even deposed many of the CNA's union officials and put in his own puppets in their place.
The "unity" Meyerson describes is fantasy created by a war on the CNA launched by the avarice of Andy Stern, a man that plans to do the same to any other small union that tries to resist his take over bid or gets in the way of his empire building.
To give an example, it would be like saying that the Confederacy willingly rejoined the Union in 1865 right after the Civil War. Sure they rejoined... because they were devastated by 5 years of war, were conquered by force of arms, had Union troops in every capitol city and had no other choice! That is what happened between the powerful SEIU and the weaker CNA, Stern launched a war and won forcing his will on a vanquished CNA.
But in Meyerson's fantasy ad copy, it was a fortuitous joining of equals bent on love and harmony. What rot!
So, I would like to nominate Harold Meyerson as the best advertisement writer I've yet seen. He's a veritable Leni Riefenstahl of union flacks. Way to go Harry, old buddy. You're the tops.