The labor union movement has sounded the alarm for action as a result of the spark in Wisconsin. As the public sector groups protest the proposals of Governor Walker and the GOP, many private sector unions have chosen to join them as proof of “worker solidarity.” All over the nation public and private unions are linking arms to “prevent the exploitation of the working class.” Too late. The very fact that so many workers appear at these protests is evidence of their exploitation by their leaders…the union bosses. Many of us are familiar with the socialist/communist roots of the early labor movement. Based on Marx’s “workers of the world unite” and his proletariat revolution, the leftist leanings of the movement have been suppressed but never totally extinguished. The organized labor movement has arrived at a fork in the road in Madison, Wisconsin, and neither path promises a rosy outcome for the membership.
Across the country on Saturday and in many places around the globe, the labor movement has demonstrated that it will not tolerate any attempt to deny what it demands. Whatever the leaders of the movement fail to detect is that their loud and violent protests may lead to their further decline. Imagine if you will, that a snake lays an egg, and when the egg hatches, the newly emerged baby snake consumes its mother. Perhaps you prefer the praying mantis analogy. After breeding the female chomps the head off the male. Either of these illustrations could provide the scene that may occur when public sector unions overwhelm the private sector ones. Private sector unions have long promoted increasing government’s size and reach. Primarily through the electoral process they have supported candidates and issues that have been committed to a larger more intrusive public sector. For the world-wide Marxist movement the efforts have been incrementally successful, and the domestic unions—leaders and members—have advanced the agenda with gusto.
Rough estimates indicate that around 7% of the United States’ work force belongs to private sector unions. The decline in union membership and influence has been dramatic. On the other hand, the public sector union membership has been ballooning so rapidly that it now approaches the private sector number. Accelerated growth of government at all levels leads to a massive increase in public sector union membership and power. The erosion of the private sector unions has prompted their leaders and organizers to become more aggressive with their efforts to expand and organize the public realm. Common sense dictates that if you want union efficacy, you go where the jobs are being created…of government, by government and for government. Hmmm…sounds like a speech from dishonest Abe, patron saint of government control. Union leaders understand power and how to use it. Add to their awareness the historic purpose of the labor movement, and it makes sense for the union leadership to be supportive of public sector employee organizations. For private sector union members in the U.S the issues may not be so clearly defined.
The membership of the private sector unions are people, workers. They are taxpayers. It has been noted throughout the public union protests that the “goodie packages” for them are generally much better than for their private sector cohorts. In addition there has been an immense amount of pressure on the private sector units to concede some of their earlier gains in order for their companies to survive. As their membership dwindles and their benefit packages become less gaudy, the members see the public sector…the AFSCME members, the NEA and AFT members…clamoring for more and dismissing concessions as a strategy. On the one hand the private sector members may wish to encourage the public employees, but on the other hand the private sector members realize that it’s their taxes that pay for the government employees. It is their taxes that underwrite failing schools. Their tax payments provide the funds for the indifferent and impolite clerk at the DMV. They will comprehend that as the public sector becomes larger and more powerful, it will cost them a lot more money…and more liberty.
Many thanks to Fred LeFebvre of “Fred LeFebvre and the Morning News”, WSPD-1370AM, Toledo. Fred planted the seed for this column with a good-natured rant early Thursday morning February 24th. Also many kudos to the columnists at www.LewRockwell.com who have nibbled on the edges of this phenomenon. The private sector union leaders will forge on in the public sector, but their members will wise up and reject their nudging, pushing, threats and promises. The union label may be fading.
Face Book: www.facebook.com/pages/Earl-for-Ohio/