Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Union Fix - Part 1

Photo by Bill Burke
Any non-imbecile can tell you that unions have exacerbated the decline in manufacturing in the United States.  Their demands made upon the threat of work stoppages have enabled them to amass pension funds that have crippled the likes of Ford, GM, and Chrysler.  Many States and municipalities are likewise stumbling under the weight of massive public employee union pension programs.  Like the foreign substance invading a festering wound, we must winnow the power of unions in our country to restore our predominance in manufacturing. There are two key steps towards stripping unions of their power and influence in order to reinstate our manufacturing base and thereby strengthen our economy (Note that addressing the unions must be done in concert with far reaching tax and regulatory reform – resolving our union problem with not be sufficient alone).  The first is immediate action to be taken by sensible persons holding unions positions; the second is longer-term and can only be accomplished at the State and Federal levels.

The first step is for all concerned union represented employees to become objectors.  When I graduated from college I went to work for a company that was infected with an agency shop union.  Initially, I chose to be a Beck Objector (see Communication Workers of America v. Beck for legal history), but still paid an “agency fee” which was nearly as much as the full union dues.  About a year later I learned that a significant portion of my agency fee was being used as campaign contributions towards democratic candidates.  Under Section 701(j) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1967, employees with bona fide religions objections cannot be coerced into supporting unions.  I wrote a letter to the union showing how every candidate supported by my fees was an abortion advocate.  I concluded by confirming that I view abortion as an unethical and abhorrent per my religious convictions.  The union agreed (as required by law) to allow me to contribute to a non-religious charity of my choice instead of paying union dues.

Although not all union represented employees are similarly inclined to depose of unions, it is quite likely that many would be put off by their union’s prolific use of union dues to support the campaigns of politicians and legislation that offends their religious sensibilities.  Therefore I encourage all union employees to investigate how their dues are spent – following the paper trail all the way to the AFL-CIO if necessary.  With the veil of faux-legitimacy lifted, I’m willing to wager many more union employees would become religious objectors.  Doing so would strip unions of the more than $400 Million they spend annually on political influence that has effectually stripped our nation of its competitiveness and propelled us closer to socio-Marxism.

For more information about becoming a Religious Objector I encourage you, or your union worker friends, to visit www.choosecharity.org and www.nrtw.org.

This step is critical and immediate.  However, it is not sufficient to curtail the influence, and therefore damage, of unions over our government.  Next week I will share step two – a longer term solutions with greater reach and impact.

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