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Past Twilight the back story

Unions, yes we still need them.

Spring 2011 

 Twitter Point: Unions get paid to represent their members. The better their members do the better the elected officials of the unions do.  Union membership has declined in the last 30 years. If the rich get their way and get rid of unions altogether, will the average worker be better off than with unions?

 Why don't we get rid of all the unions in this county and throw all the union leaders in a terrorist prison where we can endlessly water board them until they have gotten rid of all their anti-capitalist subversive thoughts?

   If we did, would this be a better country, read on and decide. Some people in power are going after unions, will you be better after they have made the unions impotent. Can you really understand that when  a politician goes after a union, he or she is really going after the workers in that union.

   Like everything else unions developed out of needs. Most of them started as a result of the Industrial Revolution. During that period, some people became filthy rich. Did the rich appreciate all the little people, and some were really little people because this country did not have child labor laws during that period? Working condition were pretty rough and if you didn't show up to work as a slave laborer on Sunday don't bother to show up on Monday. Against the rich and their political lackeys(lets call them Republicans), yes the same people you vote for and elect to represent you. The average worker had no chance to improve their position in life. So at some point enough workers got together and said - since the rich were getting filthy rich off of our labor. We would talk to them as a group, if that didn't work, then we would go on strike. Eventually, after enough workers got beat up and killed because of strikes things finally changed and eventually union got their own lackeys. Let's call them Democrats.

  As we turn to the present, we see the unions in serious decline and the once proud private sector unions nearing extinction as most of the blue-collar  manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas. Unable to get cheap labor workers in this country the rich have moved their operations overseas. In return, the unions started to recruit public service workers and were eventually able to show that public service workers were better off belonging to a union. Except for police and firefighters, most public service workers are Democrats. Lately(spring 2011) we are starting to see Republican governors going after public service workers, some governors are even going after police and firefighters(yes the same people who helped put them in office). They, the governors, said it was all about saving the state from bankruptcy, but most of their efforts really were aimed at weakening the unions. Weakening the union made it harder for Democrats to get elected, because Democrats get most of their support from unions. Republicans get most of their money support from rich people and people who directly depend on rich people so for Republicans this is win-win idea. For example, in Wisconsin, Governor Walker and his Republican majority spearheaded a bill that would limit the bargaining rights of unions and take away the automatic deduction for union membership in employee paychecks. His bill would force public unions to re-certify every year. This would force unions to spend time keeping their members instead of campaigning against Republicans. He had also wanted severe cuts in pay and benefits which the union didn't contest because the state is going through some economic problems. Of course, he also wanted and got major tax breaks for the wealthy and their businesses which helped to create their economic problems, yes for the Republicans this was another win-win idea. But, does destroying a union, and his bill would certainly do that, relate to fixing the states fiscal crisis. For a better overview of the crises in Wisconsin noted liberal Rachel Maddow gives her take on the subject. [Rachel on her weekday show at MSNBC routinely slices and dices conservative opponents on a habitual basis. I wish she could be balanced in her commentary, not all conservatives are bad guys, but she does give out all the little details about a problem that most of the commentators miss.]

   Public unions also spend a good deal of time fighting privatization by getting rid of public employees and replacing them with contract workers who have less pay and fewer benefits. Unions lose power and money when this happens so if is understandable that they would dislike privatization. Republicans benefit from unions losing power and they also help out their rich friends - totally win-win for them. So both groups are bias on this subject, any report about privatization they sponsor will certainly make each side look good. So until some respected non political organizations does a study on the subject the average citizen doesn't know whether privatization harms or helps them. My un-researched opinion: If privatization is so good, why don't we privatize the military, intelligent agencies, firefighters and all police agencies, including the FBI - want more how about Social Security, Medicare, health department and the IRS?  Think of how much we could save if we replaced all these people with no-benefits minimum-wage workers.  Later  we could replace them with illegal' s because few citizens would want the job. Eventually, we could privatize all our elected officials, let them run things from India. Our government could become one big, gigantic call center.

  The main point about unions, and this includes good and bad unions, is that unions get paid to represent their union members. Their job is to get what is possible for their members. Unlike elected officials, they are not required to suck up to the rich. The better their members do, the better the union leadership will do. Until rich people started shipping jobs overseas and created Walmarts the average worker in this county did pretty good because of unions. They got better pay and benefits because their employers had to give better pay and benefits so that they could get employees just as good as the companies that were unionized. Simply put every company lives and dies with the employees they hire. If you have employees who put out a faulty product and act like morons when they deal with customers, no amount of phony advertisement is going to save that company. Thanks to the decline of our unions, rich people can get good workers to slave for them for chump change.

   If you think, you got the 40hr week, and time an a half pay after working a 40hr week, minimum wage, unemployment payments and worker's compensation without the unions demanding and getting these things than you need to take a better look at how the world works and who is your friend and who is exploiting you. If I had bothered to do any research, I can assure you, I would have had a much longer list.

   I am proud to say I spent most of my work career in the public sector. Yes, I worked with some pretty bad fellow employees, but most of the employees came to work every day and tried their best for our agencies. I have a modest pension that I live on along with my social security checks. All this talk about public employees living high off of the hog is nothing more than a smokescreen to cover up the real problems in this country. The rich not only don't pay their fair share of taxes but some of the things they have done on wall street and the housing market have led to the economic problems we are facing today. Don't bother to ask the political lackeys they have brought. They are too busy trying to put the blame elsewhere. It was all the unions fault.

"The average AFSCME member earns approximately $45,000 per year. On average, retired AFSCME members receive a pension of approximately $19,000 a year."

   The above quote comes from AFSCME. If you have figures that are different from this quote, I would love to know about your facts. From my experience, their figures seem about right. There is another group of public servants who really live high off the hog. This group didn't get their filthy booty from unions. They got it from the elected officials whom you vote for. These people get generous, and I do mean filthy generous, salaries and pensions though their relationships with public officials. And when they retire from one agencies, there is always a job in the private sector or another public agency that has special exemptions on double dipping(collection a pension and working for another public agency.)

   So the next time when one of your political elected hypocrites says that they are going to eliminate the fat from their parasite public employees, ask them about their friends, the people who really make big money through public service. Remember what I said before, if privatization is so good why don't we privatize everything. How about asking them about all the political friends they put in all the top positions in these agencies? How good did they represent those agencies after they brought in all their friends for their top positions? One thing I have learned in my work career. Crap always flows down from the top, and always stinks out anything good at the bottom.

Please let your elected officials know how you feel. Copy and paste your Comments on to their web pages.  




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