Friday, April 18, 2014

Teamster Finds That Others See Him On The Wrong Side Of The Goal

Dear Tazi-Kat:

I am a union worker and proud of it. Because of this, a lot of people - who don't even know me - bash me as selfish, and a part of the reason the economy is in such a slump. Union workers have had to share their part of the pain, too, with many of us accepting concessions that were once unheard of for a union worker! Plus, as union membership gets smaller and smaller, many former union jobs are being shipped overseas where cheap labor and questionable quality lead to cheap imports, further devaluing the American economy. Once upon a time, all manufactured goods were Made in USA and the economy was humming along. What can I say to get people to realize that unions are not the problem - and to get them off of my back? Sometimes, I think they are just jealous of the good life that I lead.

Proud Teamster

Dear Proud Teamster:

Once upon a time all goods were manufactured in America because most of the countries where manufacturing occurs - nowadays, China - were insular countries that did not have foreign relations with the U.S. Government. This led to great job opportunities for Americans, who could afford the higher prices of union-made goods because they, too, had higher paying jobs. Additionally, CEO pay was less because CEO's were not expected to work around the clock, 365 days a year; basically selling themselves to the company in exchange for multi-million dollar contracts and stock options (which were also worth a lot less back in the 1950's because fewer people played the market).

Nowadays, Americans are angry about the economy and unions are an easy target to blame. In some cases - like the American automotive collapse a few years ago - union contracts were to blame (with rubber rooms, minimum starting wages of $20+/hour, etc); in others, it is simply greed on behalf of the corporation. Right now, many state governments are on the verge of receivership due to public employee union benefits, which outstrip those of the private sector but are paid for by private sector monies (i.e. taxes). Can you see why people see a big ol' bulls-eye on your back when you comment that you are a "union worker and proud of it" and that you think people are "jealous of the good life" that you lead?

If you want to get people off of your back, you are going to have to lead by example: Buy American everything, from your car to your underwear to the gasoline you put in your rig. Pay full price for everything by refusing to shop at places like Wal-Mart, Target, or Costco; and try to get your fellow union members to do the same. This will not be an easy task, but it will leave you with a clear conscience when people harp on you about how unions are running down the economy, and it will give you a fighting chance against those who seek to argue.


No comments:

Post a Comment