Sunday, February 27, 2011

Union Without Teeth

The union busting acts across large swatch of the nation have had and will have great impact on the employer-labor relations in this country for a long period.  To be sure, many unions have grown impossibly corrupt and draconian and should be reformed completely.

However, the attempt like that in Wisconsin to take away the unions' collective bargain rights is plainly wrong.  It will render the unions almost toothless.  What then would we have if all unions are rendered toothless or even dead?

Let us look across the expanse of the Pacific Ocean, and look at our great creditor, factories and merchandises supplier, China.  It is a country with one union - All Workers' Union.  The union does nothing but implement managements' will.  Would we want to have that as our model, so our workers can work 12 hours a day, at minimum wages, living in dorm where foreman walks ups and downs to see and punish those who chats and who eats snacks. Do we want to have our drop-out kids to work in unsafe coal mine, 12 hours a day?  Do we want to have our workers work like robots so as to assemble iProducts as fast as they can?

Many people, particularly the rich, might not mind.  But most would not like that to happen here.

Without strong, independent unions, we will go back to the days of Industrial Revolution.  That was futile ground for fermenting discontent and revolution.  Thinking about Egypt and Tunisia.  If it can happen there, why wouldn't it happen here, if the poor and middle class are continued to be robbed, so we can give the uber-rich more and more tax cuts - when the economy was good, we cut taxes so we can "give money back to the people", and when the economy was bad, we cut more taxes so we can spur investments, even though the bailed out banks and bankers on sitting right on top of their ever larger gold-mountains.

Public worker unions' pensions as they are now are largely unsustainable and there is an urgent need to reform them.  Unions are not totally averse to any compromises.  What they hate is the re-distributing wealth from the poor and middle-class to the upper elites.  What they hate is reverse Robin Hood.  Time to examine the conscious of our society and determine if we are to pay our teachers, firefighters, policemen decently, or we are happy to make them working slaves.

Economic development is not the goal itself.  The goal is to create quality of life for the most.  Time to wake up, think, and act to make the country better.  But I have not seen reason to be optimistic.

No comments:

Post a Comment