Friday, October 5, 2012

Letter to an anti-union union member - Sept. 3

"Thrifty", perhaps you should  think long and hard about your position.  You're in a union I take it, you get union scale, you talk like someone who feels entitled to a middle class lifestyle, but do you think you will keep it if the unions get crushed - like what's happened in Ohio and Wisconsin? 

We have gotten to see what a world without unions looks like as over the past 40 years "union density" has fallen lower and lower.  It's not just union pay scale that has fallen as unions lose clout, but everyone's.  

Companies used to pay close to union scale, give workers seniority, paid holidays, sick days, pension funds and grievance procedures, just to keep the unions out.  Now they don't worry much about keeping unions out, what with the NLRB stacked against the unions, really polished union-busting outfits available for hire, and so many unemployed people waiting to take the job if someone walks off the job or gets fired for union activity.  

The new normal is "all jobs are temporary", right?  Your next job is likely to pay less than the last one.  And now you pay (plenty) for your own health care, your pension if any is a small 401K plan if you're lucky, and your grievance procedure is the chance to appeal the denial of your unemployment benefits when they lay you off and say it was for cause.

More people are sliding closer and closer to a minimum wage, a wage that won't even support a poverty lifestyle, and that minimum wage becomes worth less every year.  Children come home after college to sleep on the couch, parents die in the attic because you can't afford a good nursing home, the food becomes more and more unhealthy unless you buy organic, and the price spread between good food and what we can afford grows ever wider.  

Is that really the future you want?  Or are you too angry to care?

Post a Comment