Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I have noticed tonight several blogs trumpeting Ms. Byrnes support by unions. I suppose this is to express some degree of connection with the "working class".

Once upon a time, I was a Teamster. Not because I was a believer in the "union way of life" but simply because I was a young truck driver whose uncle was also the Teamster local representative. (My father's sister's husband, a great man, whom I love dearly.) A certain amount of loyaly to family is commendable. I should also say, in complete disclosure, that my maternal grandfather was a lifelong member of the UMWA and his greatest hero was John L. Lewis. I also have recently moved from a Virginia location that is only a half hour drive from Matewan, WV, a town anyone with a UMWA connection will recognize. (And it's a beautiful little town, on the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River, surrounded by a flood wall about 15 feet high. It also boasts a great little restaraunt, "The Depot". Hello, Donna.)

I give you this background information to let you know that I realize that unions have played an important role in the history of our nation. But I had then, and still have a major problem with the basic premise of the Union mentality.

Unions, regardless of which brotherhood to which we are referring, are based solely on a single flawed premise. That premise being that all workers are equal.

All Workers Are Equal. That, dear reader is not true.

Think about your own workplace. Are you equal to that slacker on your shift that does no more than is required to get by? Are you equal to that extra-ambitious young hire who is willing to work extra hours in order to learn new tasks? Are you, as a High School Graduate with a few college courses under your belt equal to the employee with a GED? Even consider the High School dropout with an innate sense of logic, and a real "feel" for the process that is more productive than the college graduate in your department.

If you truly feel that you and each and every one of your co-workers provide equal value to your employer, then you are certainly Union material. But you would never work for me. I want people who believe they are the best I can get. Better than anyone else in the plant.

Understand this, from someone who has spent his years in the real world working with all those people mentioned above. All employees are NOT equal, nor should they be equally compensated. Unions tend to bring all employees down to the level of a common denominator.

I prefer not to be be equated with that lowest common denominator. You shouldn't either.

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