The union's new business model: further corrupting the private sector after having nearly bankrupted the public sector
Disclaimer: I believe most unions have outlived their usefulness and have been infiltrated by international socialism, organized crime, cronyism and other malignant influences. And, that unions reward seniority over merit, the status quo over innovation, increased pay without increased productivity, and onerous work rules which demand single-person jobs be split among many workers of different classifications.
Now it appears that the unions can no longer hide their deleterious effect on the public sector as billions of dollars are needed to shore up under-funded pension obligations and are bringing many municipalities and states to the realization that continued union involvement will result in bankruptcy. It is a fact that unions have used their financial resources to corrupt and coerce politicians into deals that are injurious to the public and that the taxpayer has little to say about the over-payments and tricks used to increase salaries, pensions and benefits. In essence, unions have removed the taxpayer’s representative from the bargaining table and replaced them with a union proxy.
The union’s new business model …
It appears from published reports that unions are going to use their control over significant pension assets to invest in private companies who serve as cooperatives – companies with significant employee ownership and who have embraced the concept of a union shop. According to Leo Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers Union, “We need a new business model that invests in workers and invests in communities.” This was in 2009 when the union formed a partnership with Mondragon who operated companies in the Basque region of Spain. Say what you will about investing outside of the United States and improving the lives and communities of non-Americans, the fact remains that you cannot serve two masters. Most companies are run for their investors with the goal of maximizing investor returns while keeping the enterprise a viable source of continuing profits. Companies support communities because it is good business to generate political good will and insure the availability of a labor pool that can concentrate on business problems during business hours rather than worry about personal problems of daily living.
I have nothing against employee-run businesses and, in fact, think that they are a great idea. However, I cannot see the positive influence of a union as a partner for growth – other than as an investor requiring a decent rate of return on its investment. What might happen when the union starts demanding that separate trucks deliver separate products to the same store as it did in the Hostess debacle? What might happen when the union demands an increase in pension funding in a cyclical downturn? I cannot anticipate anything good coming from cozying up to the socialist devil any more than I can anticipate anything good coming from the coercion the union might exert against management’s leadership.
How does one effectively allow workers to elect or hire a management team, bargain collectively with that management team, and then hold that management team responsible for earning profits if margins are eroded by ever-increasing wages, benefits and pensions – not commensurate with an increase in productivity? Where does the leadership become susceptible to the threats and thuggish behavior of the union when they try to hold the line on increasing labor costs? Will they model the General Motors fiasco – turning a respected vehicle manufacturer/distributor with unions into a union pension funding mechanism with an associated vehicle manufacturer/distributor?
I can see how employee cooperatives can work to revitalize desolate areas, but I can’t see how that might work to the community’s advantage if ONLY union workers can be hired. What about the low-skilled labor competing for relatively skilled positions? What about the propensity of highly-skilled professional workers shunning the union due to structured salary caps that do not significantly reward innovation and achievement?
Bottom line …
Not every industry is capable of being revitalized. Not every industry or company is capable of sustaining an artificial union apparatus and remaining competitive? Until someone can show me the benefits of collective bargaining in a multi-union jurisdiction, I will still regard the union’s socialist (collective) influence as evil and damaging to a capitalist society. Where is the point where the unions will simply guarantee private loans in return for a piece of the action? Where is the point where the union will capitalize on forcing the public sector to purchase goods and services from their designated vendors? I look around and see the contagion spreading as public sector institutions lock out private sector companies who are not unionized.
How can a company side-step off-shoring production or locating plants closer to foreign customers in order to compete globally when they have union-controlled management and labor costs? No problem for international unions taking an increasing globalist governance position – but it still does little or nothing for domestic regions of the United States that have been historically destroyed by union activities in national, regional and local companies.
The socialist union contagion is now spreading and my only hope is that it does not go viral.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS