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Those Honest Democrats

There's an old definition of an "honest politician" -- once they're bought, they stay bought. And by that standard, the Democrats in Congress are remarkably honest.

The ties between the Democrats and unions go way back. Nearly every penny the unions spend on political campaigns goes to Democrats (regardless of the wishes of their members), and they expect a certain return on their investment. And with the Democrats renewed majority in Congress, they're getting it.

First off, last spring they tried to push through a "reform" in the union-forming process. In the interest in fair play and honesty and free choice, they wanted to eliminate the secret ballot. No longer could workers express their preferences in private; the unions could simply "persuade" enough of them to sign cards of support. Thank heavens unions have virtually no history of coercion, violence, thuggery, or other such things. Luckily, that one failed.

Now we have another example of the unions wishing to be able to flex their muscle free of any sort of restraint or oversight. In that goal, they're pushing the Democrats to do something that runs utterly against their instincts -- to cut funding for the Department of Labor. More specifically, the Office of Labor-Management Standards. This board -- which essentially audits the books of unions and gets them to abide with such pesky things as laws and regulations -- recently showed that 94% of the unions it oversees are not in compliance with the laws. As payback, Congress took President Bush's request for an 11% increase and changed it to a 4% cut.

This is disgusting. This is the government agency whose charge is to make sure that the money that union workers pay into their unions is spent legally. And they are being punished for trying to do their jobs.

I am reminded of something I once read in relation to communism. One author said he was always suspicious of anyone who talked about doing things "for the masses." He noted that when people are referred to in depersonalized terms, they tend to run roughshod over individuals and their rights.

I think a similar rule holds when leaders -- especially union leaders -- talk about "workers."

I am put in mind of the "Reagan Democrats" phenomenon. Back then, the unions were relentless in their opposition to Ronald Reagan, and solidly backed Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale -- but their rank and file was far less monolithic. (Reagan's firing of the air traffic controllers over their illegal strike did put a dent in that.)

Here again we see a major disconnect between the wishes of the union leadership and the best interests of the union membership. I wonder if this -- coupled with union leaders' opposition to immigration reform, while illegal aliens are literally costing thousands and thousands of union members well-paying jobs -- might finally trigger some long-needed reforms in unions.

Or, perhaps, the beginning of the end for unions as we know them.

(Hat tip: Captain Ed)


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Comments (14)

The next union reform I'd l... (Below threshold)
meep:

The next union reform I'd like to see is barring all government worker unions. They get to vote on their bosses (and give them lots of campaign bucks), so it's not like the traditional labor-management setup you'd see in private industry. Corruption in private unions is bad enough, but you're asking for trouble when union leaders can bribe the other side to get the terms they want.

The beginning of the end of... (Below threshold)
kim:

The beginning of the end of unions as we know them happened a long time ago. Public employees now unionize not to better themselves, but to worsen the public they are employed to serve.
============================================

Reagan was endorsed by some... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Reagan was endorsed by some unions, including the Teamsters and the Air Traffic Controllers. Nowdays, no Republican nominee is likely to be endorsed by any union. Unions are dying in the private sector but growing in the public sector, where funds are limited only by the willingness to increase taxes to fund pay increases. When the Democrat convention rolls around, notice that a high percentage (if not a majority) of attendees are teachers union members.

"Or, perhaps, the beginn... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"Or, perhaps, the beginning of the end for unions as we know them."

Wishful thinking but remarkable unlikely. The devout religous fanatacism of most union members puts even islamofascist suicide bombers to shame. And since most of the press in this country is neo-communist, the proganda they spew disguised as "news" will keep Average Joe intectually retarded so nothing will change.

Unions outlived their usefullness about 90 to 100 years ago. Back then they did more good then harm, but no more. Since the early 1900's they've constantly harmed almost everyone (even those they claim to help) and helped very, very few--just like the Democrat politicians they own.

Reagan was endorsed by the ... (Below threshold)

Reagan was endorsed by the Teamsters only because his people were smart enough to romance Frank Fitzsimmons with invitations to WH events and overnights in the Lincoln bedroom. It was very skillful WH politics, but the union leaders (mob-ties and all) considered it a running joke.

These unions are corupt all... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

These unions are corupt all the way to the top and WHERE IS JIMMY HOFFA?

The unions are supported by... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

The unions are supported by the same "democrats" (enviro whacko's) that are burning Ca (lawsuits stop thinning of forest) right now and keeping gas (lawsuits blocking development of all power options or development) at over $3 per gallon. It's all on the backs of the anti-american democrats.

Trackbacked by The Thunder ... (Below threshold)

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 10/23/2007
A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

So you'de like to bust the... (Below threshold)
G. C.:

So you'de like to bust the teachers' firemans' and policemans' unions too or is it just certain areas where we can always trust management to do the "right thing"..... say like with the miners?

Ok.. throw in the teachers ... (Below threshold)
Ran:

Ok.. throw in the teachers Unions, based on their outstanding track record of teaching our kids.

Lets just say I woudl trust... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Lets just say I woudl trust them infinitely more than A N Y Union.

I Explicitly do not trust unions. Unions - in the form they exist now - should be abolished. As in: Yes people should have a right to organize, but they shouldn't have any rights while doing so that individuals don't hold.

This one hits close to home... (Below threshold)
Cloudfish:

This one hits close to home for me--I'm a commercial pilot (no, not airline) that works for a large company that just got bought out by another company that unionized. We will now be required to pay dues--whether you actually "join" the union or not (if not then it's called an "agency fee.") The pilots at my base are all worried about this matter--but it seems we have no choice.

Some may say, "just quit," but it's not that easy with homes, family, and a geographical area that none want to leave--let alone the job market for our particular industry. There's definitely a reason that the pilots in this new company organized--historically pilots, at least in this sector of the industry, are treated badly. The company I've worked for for the last 10 years always treated me well enough though, and big improvements were made throughout my tenure.

But now we will have to deal with this union and all that implies. I (and the pilots at my base) am pretty conservative and certainly don't believe in the political leanings of unions. From what I understand the unionization has created a disconnect between the company/management and the pilots--but realize that I'm brand new to this company and have no idea of the internal "politics."

It seems I have a lot of reading up to do on unions now that I'm going to have to be in one--maybe I'll have to donate an amount greater than the "agency fee" to a conservative cause to help offset my involuntary political "treason...."

kim #2 ~ Well put.<p... (Below threshold)

kim #2 ~ Well put.

bob #3 ~ Actually, members of the two major teachers' unions - NEA and AFT - have constituted an absolute majority of Democratic convention delegates since 1976 (not counting the "super delegates," who are not elected or selected, but gain a seat for holding an elective or party office).

Cloudfish,You can ... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

Cloudfish,

You can have fun with the unions.

There's a law on the books that the unions can't force you to pay political activities if you don't want to.

I had a friend in a union that ended up paying no dues for a year and a half because the union bookkeeping was so screwed up that when he requested in writing not to contribute to political activities, they couldn't figure out what percentage of the dues were politial-related. Of course he got strong armed by the union leaders to just go along, but he held out until he got another non-union job.


94% of unions aren't following the law, I think they're about 6% short on that finding!




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