“I want to urge devotion to the fundamentals of human liberty the principles of voluntarism. No lasting gain has ever come from compulsion.” — Samuel Gompers, American Federation of Labor
Once upon a time, union leaders did not believe in compulsion as a means of securing membership or union dues. My, how times have changed.
In Pennsylvania, the SEIU has set March 17th as the day to begin a three-day strike at Pocono Medical Center. In early February, the SEIU conducted a one-day strike at PMC over the same issue. What is the issue? Mandatory dues. The SEIU wants to maintain its ability to have workers fired for failing to pay union dues.
In the face of mass labor protests and the boycott of a legislative session by Democratic state representatives, Republican leaders in Indiana and pro-business Gov. Mitch Daniels withdrew a proposed anti-union “right-to-work” bill on Feb. 23. The bill would have decimated the power of unions by banning the policy of requiring union fees as a condition of employment at a workplace. Despite this heroic victory… [Emphasis added.]
As the Battle of Wisconsin enters its third week of protests, union bosses and their Democrat cohorts are fighting Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to end mandatory dues as a condition of employment. In addition to abolishing forced dues, Walker is also proposing to stop having the governments of Wisconsin serve as dues collection agencies.
The remarkable thing about each of these cases is union bosses’ underlying admission: Without the threat of being able to have workers fired, the unions would be, in the words of the socialist writer, “decimated.”
Not only does this acknowledgement demonstrate how truly irrelevant today’s unions have become, it underscores how morally bankrupt today’s union bosses are as well.
Samuel Gompers must be turning over in his grave.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776