It’s about time somebody took a huge stand against unions and Wisconsin has done just that. Governor Scott Walker will be signing the bill today to get rid of some government union benefits including collective bargaining. They were good in their time, but basically, there’s no real reason for them anymore. And before you let your teeth fly out of your head, remember what unions were originally for in the first place. They were put in place to help oppressed workers to fight their abusive bosses. Labor laws are supposed to be a protection also for those in the workforce.
However, in this day and age, unions mostly stick it to the employer with lazy work ethics, high pay rates for less work and benefits which for most employers would kill them putting them out of business. To illustrate the point – there’s an old saying that union workers have five guys standing around watching one guy do all the work.
And it’s true. I’ve literally seen this in action – or non-action as the case may be. Being a non-union employee on several construction projects including huge commercial warehouse remodeling, we worked along side several unions on the same job. Everyday, these guys had a meeting for at least one hour, then went to “work.” While one guy was busting his hump for about 15 minutes, literally five to six guys would watch him, standing around not even lifting a finger. When the guy was finished, they’d take a break because the union said they had to have a 15 minute “time out” before lunch. Exactly at noon, these guys would assembly themselves in the middle of the warehouse and eat a big lunch.
Afterward, they’d have another meeting of the minds and watch another guy work for about 15 minutes and take a break. This routine happened every day with every union coming and going through the project. We were amazed they weren’t getting fired for doing zip.
On the other hand, we were working by the project and took breaks as needed and lunch when we got around to it. We left around 5pm because the union shut down the job. We could have been done faster, but we had to follow the “union schedule.” Not only did we get paid more per hour because we worked fast, we also were able to move on to another job without being dictated to by the union as to when we would work and when we wouldn’t.
Most of the guys I know who are “union” fiercely defend their position and I can see why. They get a lot of money for doing next to nothing and get the weekends off with paid vacations. Sounds like a dream job to me. So why wouldn’t a guy stick up for a union? But it’s also clear, when the union says you’re not working that day, you better not step your toe in the direction of work or all hell will break lose. It doesn’t really matter if your family is losing money while you’re not working, the union is going to prove a point even if it breaks your back.
And while the union reps are still making their money representing you against the big bad employer who is paying union workers a ridiculous amount of money per hour to not break a sweat, they tell you to “wait it out” “you’ll be fine.”
Nobody wants to work in a sweat shop or for nothing, but there are times when I’d rather make $20 bucks for the day than zip sitting on my butt in a chair worrying about what’s next.