Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thoughts on Organized Labor

About a year in a half ago I wrote a small piece on organized labor. At the time my position was that I saw both the good and the bad sides and nothing that has transpired since has really motivated me to change my position. I am not an anti union man per se, even a public sector unions can have their place in some instances. This is even after I have seen the worst, unrealistic minded behavior by a public sector union. Years ago I lived in central Louisiana and there was some sort of beef between the city and the fireman's union that became very bitter and was drawn out for over a year. I don't remember exactly what the beef was, something about not letting a "competing" rural fire dept. members become city employees after the city expanded. It was crazy and the firemen acted liked little children who did not get their way. I moved to take a better job in Houston and am not sure what the outcome was. The whole episode gave me a bad taste in my mouth about paid, unionized, city firemen ever since. I found them to be a bunch of pussies and some of the actions taken by the Houston firemen and their union, have confirmed, in my mind at least, that firemen are indeed poon. Yes I know, to many of you firemen walk on water. An important and sometimes dangerous job it is no doubt, but really, let us be honest. It is not all that bad. There is a lot of time off and many firemen have other jobs after working only two or three days a week. The fact that it can be dangerous at times does not negate the fact that it is a cushy job.
I, a prior city employee, had the opportunity to join whatever public sector union represented "civilian" city workers in Houston. I took a look at it and saw no benefit whatsoever. Would not get a raise, more time off, etc.etc. The only thing that would happen was I would have had dues deducted from my salary. No thanks. Less pay with no apparent benefit? Don't think so. The lady who was our "union rep" for the 911 operators was a real nice lady with the last name of Castro. I found that kind of funny. She finally left me alone about it after a few months.
Now if there was some tangible benefit to me by being a member, I would have joined in a heartbeat. That is human nature. The problem in Wisconsin has been that the state govt has caved in to unrealistic demands by the public sector unions to the point that it is apparently becoming a contributor to financial chaos. I don't see that these public sector employees are being asked to give up that much really. In Texas they would have already been fired. They should count themselves lucky that it appears they are in no danger of just being told to "pack their shit."

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