Unions have outlived their usefulness

August 27, 2010 12:32:00 PM



Steve Moore raised several good points in his letter supporting the right of labor unions to strike (Voice of the people, Aug. 25). His history of labor unions is correct. They did form to put an end to dangerous work conditions, hard, long hours, and child labor. Counter-point: Because of the unions demands for ever-increasing wages and benefits, where have most jobs once held by Americans gone? Answer: To countries that have child labor, sweat-shops, poor working conditions, etc. 


The conditions that spawned labor unions haven''t existed, or have been outlawed by law, for a hundred years. This means that the unions, like the NAACP, have outlived their usefulness and exist for two reasons: because of the money generated through membership dues and the power wielded by those in charge. If either of these two organizations really gave a hoot about their members, they would stop creating controversy and stop dragging up the past. That doesn''t help anybody in the future. 


Yes, I think the unions are a prime reason why we have this current economic mess. NAFTA is another reason for this mess, too. When it becomes cheaper, or more economically feasible to ship jobs, factories, and raw materials overseas and then ship the finished product back to the States, doesn''t that illustrate a glaring problem? 


Unions protect workers (I prefer the term "employees" because the boss works just as hard in a different category and "workers" just sounds Communistic to me.), who by all rights should be fired because of poor work ethic or other justifiable reasons. Unions demand wages and benefits that raise the cost of the company''s product to where it is priced out of the market, forcing the company to close. 


Union members, as illustrated by this strike, often think that they are indispensable or irreplaceable, just because they are union. Here''s a news flash. Almost ANYBODY can be trained to run any machine and if that anybody is non-union they will do just as good a job at a lower pay scale and be just as happy.  


When there are more jobs than people looking for work, the wage offer goes up. When there are more people looking for work than there are jobs available, the wage offer goes down. It''s called Capitalism and the Free Market. 


When a company wants to keep qualified, skilled employees, it will offer them wages the company can sustain in the market. I have left companies before when I thought I deserved a higher wage. I didn''t strike, I just turned in my two-week notice and left. 


I understand that this strike isn''t about the pay, but about "seniority rights." Get over it. There''s a recession going on. This contract won''t be forever. When the contract is up, the economy will hopefully be a lot better. Temporary concessions won''t hurt anybody and may just make everything a lot better for everyone in the long run. 


One last observation: The highway, street, and road ROW''s are for vehicular traffic, not foot traffic or strikers. It is illegal to post political campaign signs on them, even though everybody running for dog catcher on up ignores the law. 


Cameron Triplett Sr., Brooksville