Control. It is the most pressing priority for the leadership of Big Labor. They need to control the masses, and in order to do that they most control the terms of employment, and they must control the benefits of employment. For this reason, the Big Labor bosses oppose employee incentive raises. They create discord and jealousy, and thus, the union’s ability to control its membership. But such incentives also create ambition, initiative, and increased productivity. While important to the employer, these traits are potentially damaging to the union. Complacency, mediocrity and sameness benefit the union, as the results are that it takes more employees to produce the end product, translating into more union members and more union dues, which is the ultimate objective.
As has been documented in previous blogs, unions have been on a steady decline since 1947 when Congress, following more than a decade of union corruption, passed the Taft-Hartley Act. Of the many important provisions of the Act, perhaps none was more so than the guarantee of the secret ballot election which, for all intents and purposes, eliminated Card Check. Since its peak, union membership has dropped from approximately 35-40% of the workforce to a low of 11.3% today. Per statistics gathered by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, included in this trend is a drop of approximately 400,000 members in the last year alone.
It is no surprise then that the Big Labor bosses are opposed to any initiatives that would, in their minds, result in decreased membership and would eliminate traditional union “selling points.” Characterization of ambition and incentive has often been that such persons are “being taken advantage of” or “overworked,” and that such companies are “sweat shops.” These traditional arguments, however, do not necessarily reflect the truth of the modern work environment, and the protections of our modern laws. At one time unions served an important purpose in defending employee rights. However, Big Labor has fallen victim to the money, lifestyle and political power realized from increased union membership, and has lost their way and forgot their responsibility was to serve the membership and not vice-versa. Their greed, inability or resistance to compete in a free market society, and the advent of government agencies such as the NLRB, EEOC, and DOL unions in effect became obsolete.
Facing extinction, Big Labor has yet to face reality and change its model to one that truly benefits productive employees and its membership in general. Instead they continue to attempt to impose their outdated and ineffective tactics of control, intimidation, coercion, and misinformation in a frantic effort to survive. Instead, they continue to wish to return to the days of Card Check where they forcibly unionize employees then keep them under their thumbs by negotiating oppressive contracts that control employee rights instead of expanding them. They firmly believe this outdated approach is their only means of rebuilding their once vast empire.
Unfortunately for American employees, Big Labor does not realize time has passed them by; that the United States is a republic, not a socialistic country where people are controlled and herded like sheep. Hence Big Labor’s propensity to control and promote sameness at every juncture, and to prevent businesses from doing the right thing by rewarding productive employees through incentive programs, which drives American Exceptionalism by rewarding those who are the most productive, safe, innovative, and cost-effective team players. This philosophy is illustrated by Big Labor bosses like Andy Stern (see The Drama Queen is at it Again), who were never successful in the free market, because they lacked the exact attributes they strive to suppress. They admittedly only became successful when they became part of an environment where they could use the Persuasion of Power over employees and employers to achieve their goals. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka summed it up succinctly in a speech this past week when the bellicose mouthpiece of the AFL-CIO, confirmed the Big Labor survival doctrine: “forget the workers – focus on politics.” This statement tells you everything you need to know about Big Labor’s agenda and why we need Congress to pass laws to allow employers and government agencies restrained by outdated collective bargaining agreements to incentivize employees.