I have repeatedly stressed the fact that today’s big labor bosses care little about the rank and file membership and are only interested in the dues money they can collect to line their own pockets and use for political persuasion. This has surfaced more the past several weeks and is worth highlighting as we approach the 2014 Mid-Term Elections.
First, almost a year ago, my company began negotiations with the UAW after they won a secret ballot election at a plant we clean in the south. Kudos to the UAW for honoring the secret ballot election process, after their request for a Neutrality Agreement was politely declined. Negotiations were scheduled and, after brief introductions at the first meeting, the UAW negotiators made the point they had researched my company and did not wish to engage in any animosity during the negotiations. A point to which we concurred.
Immediately following, the local president requested “good wages and benefits” for the members. Knowing the prior company had been organized by the UAW, our attorney presented a copy and asked if the wages and benefits in that agreement were acceptable. Upon receiving confirmation from them that they were, I politely made the observation that our company’s wages and benefits were comparable or better to which they agreed. When asked if they had any other demands the other negotiator requested a recognition paragraph, recognizing the UAW as the exclusive representative of the employees. We agreed to this, as they did win the election.
At that point we presented two requests. The first was that a paragraph be inserted underneath the recognition agreement explaining that the state of Tennessee had a “Right-To-Work” law and that the employees could opt out of paying union dues if they so desired. The negotiator look surprised, squirmed in his seat, and said “What else?” I explained we would not agree to a “Check Off” clause, which requires the company to deduct union dues from the employees’ paychecks and send it to the union. The eyes of the negotiator and the local’s president became as wide as saucers. The negotiator responded, “I have my marching orders that has to be in the contract.” I stated that the company would not accept such a provision as it presented potential liability, and that we were not going to be the union’s accounting firm. The negotiator closed his notebook and they both stood up and said they would schedule another meeting in the future. To date we have not met with them again. Obviously, it is all about the money. Furthermore, despite the length of time since our last meeting, the employees are happy!
A second incident involved the Operating Engineers Union Local 324 in Michigan. Evidently, the RTW law that became effective about one year ago is not setting well with them as they have announced publishing a Quarterly “Freeloaders” List of those who opt-out of union membership, including the name and place of employment of those persons. Proof once again that big labor has no interest in the rights and welfare of American workers, but only in “union power” and the money that makes it happen — “Dues” from members’ paychecks! Interestingly, the Operating Engineers Union in Northwest Indiana filed suit to have RTW in Indiana found unconstitutional, under the theory that it forces them to represent people who do not pay dues. The case is currently pending with the Indiana Supreme Court.
The third story revolves around “forced unionization” and dues collection from home health care workers in several states across the country, notably including those in the U.S. Supreme court case Harris vs. Quinn currently being reviewed. This case stems from the SEIU attempting to force unionize Home Health Care Workers in the state of Illinois regardless of whether they are interested or not in joining the union. Apparently, Illinois law allows the SEIU to organize family members and owners of home health care organizations based on the premise that the people providing care receive reimbursement through Medicaid or Medicare. It is apparent that the SEIU is nervous about losing the pending SCOTUS decision as they are now trying to force unionize home health care workers in California, who were merely paying union dues to the SEIU without being formal members of the union (see Are SEIU Union Bosses in a Panic after SCOTUS heard Harris v. Quinn? Looks Like it.). The SEIU obviously only cares about the money as they were absconding it from home health care workers without providing any representation or benefit in exchange.
Next, in a display of Big Whopper Economics, unions now believe the reason employees in fast food restaurants don’t get paid more is because the franchisees don’t have a decision- making voice in pricing of products which determines employee wages and benefits. Big labor’s solution is that the franchisees should rebel against the corporations like McDonalds and organize their own union to deal with corporations for decision-making capabilities. Sounds like another big labor attempt at organizing more people for the sake of money!
Finally, the United Steel Workers want to organize college football players at Northwestern University. Kain Colter, the quarterback at Northwestern University, has been hoodwinked into trying to organize college athletes, saying the NCAA is a dictatorship and the athletes have no control over compensation or safety (see College athletes take step toward forming union).He conveniently forgets that he received a free college education and other benefits worth well over $30,000/year, as well as future support by the college in finding employment. This is obviously another desperate ploy by theGasping Dinosaurs to increase membership roles and increase the sacred cow “membership dues” to line their own pockets and use to gain political power.
It would appear that these acts of desperation occurring all at once are mere coincidence, however, the fact that the country is fast approaching the 2014 Mid-Term Elections, with polls showing potential loss of the U.S. Senate by Democrats and Republicans maintaining the U.S. House majority, big labor bosses can foresee ultimate extinction descending rapidly. Why else would they be “The elephant in the political spending room” while accusing people like the Koch Bothers of dominating political contributions, when big labor contributes 15 times what the Koch Brothers do (see Letter: What does the left hate the Koch brothers so much)? Simply put, it is all about future dues money to line their own pockets and continue political power.
David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.