Labor Unions

April 26, 2010

I have disapproved of unions since before I ever started working. First, I disapproved of their coercive nature; they used intimidation and violence. Second, a union is a commons, which subjects the individual to the will of the majority. Third, unions insist on uniform pay depending on job classification, without regard to effort or results. I instinctively felt that employment should be a freely chosen contract between an individual employee and his employer, and pay should be awarded on the basis of employee effectiveness, with competition between employees and between employers.
Later, my earliest encounters with unions added to my disapproval. I was beset by threatening union pickets when I crossed picket lines for job interviews. I was denied part-time jobs by unions when I tried to work my way through college. When I finally got a job as a junior engineer, I was forced to pay union dues to keep my job. Then my wage was frozen for more than a year while the union negotiated with management to determine my pay.
Until the New Deal of the 1930s, union violence was winked at by government. With the enactment of labor legislation in the 1930s, the government provided the coercion to force companies to accept and negotiate with unions. A labor union is now a government granted monopoly with little protection for the rights of individual workers or for the employers. There is now no freedom in the labor market except in companies where the workers overwhelmingly reject unionization.


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