The National Labor Relations Board has moved to stop Boeing from building airplanes at a nonunion plant in South Carolina. The Board suggests that a unionized American company cannot, without violating federal labor law, expand its operations into one of the 22 states with right-to-work laws, which protect a worker’s right to join or not join a union.
Here is the question: Can a company in a right to work state move or open a branch in a state that is a union state? Is it the existence of a union in that company that makes this a National Labor Relations Board issue?
I believe this decision is dead wrong. I can’t tell you why I think blocking Boeing is wrong, I just feel it is. Decisions like this one makes for bad feelings about organized labor.
What a difference a few decades makes. Ronald Reagan, the golden boy of the Republican party would be an outcast in the fair state of Wisconsin, Florida, Indiana, as well as some other places here in the United States.
Reagan himself had been president of the Screen Actors Guild which was a union. The Screen Actors Guild has connections to the AFL-CIO. He was a strong supporter of Poland’s Solidarity Movement and had great respect for its leader, Lech Walesa.
Reagan castigated the Polish government for outlawing Solidarity.
“By outlawing Solidarity, a free trade organization to which an overwhelming majority of Polish workers and farmers belong, they have made it clear that they never had any intention of restoring one of the most elemental human rights—the right to belong to a free trade union.”
Many have argued that Walesa’s leadership in Poland was the beginning of the end of communism. Just what is it that these elected officials fear?
They fear the power of numbers. Had those in Wisconsin only been a few hundred dissonants, they would have been arrested and jailed. That is hard to do with thousands.
Perhaps those opposing the rights of public employees to form unions and to engage in collective bargaining need to reexamine their motives. Maybe they had better put their American flags away while they are lifting their legs on Miss Liberty’s golden door.
Reagan’s ” Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost!” will be just a lone echo in the wind if someone doesn’t get rid of these union busters elected to office.
Listening to Governor Christie of New Jersey, I am speechless. He is saying that the health care package of public employees in NJ is $24,000. WHAT???!!!!! What does that do for someone? In PWC, which is probably higher than much of the rest of the state, the health care package is around $6,000 a year per person. Now why is New Jersey’s health care package 4 times higher? Unfortunately, when people hear about unions breaking the middle class, etc, they assume that is what is happening to them here in Virginia. No it isn’t. Virginia public employees cannot do collective bargaining.
What is the big issue with collective bargaining? If both sides sit down at the table, isn’t it a situation of you give/I give? You cave here/I cave there? That’s how it is supposed to work. However, in the past, many jurisdictions have just acquiesced to the unions. So, who owns that problem? Is it because the unions gave to their campaign funds? Has there been complicity and wink wink nudge nudge from legislators? Have union demands been ok’ed by negotiators at the direction of those who are elected in exchange for big union bucks next election campaign?
Let’s think about redefining the role of collective bargaining so that it really is exactly that…bargaining. Many people are very uncomfortable with union busting. Many people are uncomfortable with union excesses. Perhaps this is the time to seek balance rather than the time to kill off unions. The American worker will not go quietly to the union grave. Too many people gave up their lives for the right to form unions.
The Public Employees Unions have conceded the pension and health care contributions to Governor Walker. What remains on the table is collective bargaining. To give this up would be total loss of power.
Nurses, firefighters, EMTs, doctors, are all in here with the teachers, security personnel, bus drivers etc. Listen to their point of view. It has changed my mind. I had to step out of my own regional ethnocentrism for a minute since I am not of a union mind set. If I were, I would definitely want collective bargaining. Otherwise, I would not have a union. Collective bargaining is what really defines a union. Otherwise, you are just another group of employees with a wish list. Collective bargaining gives that wish list some teeth and some nads.