Monday, April 24, 2006

My Thoughts On Unions

I just read this post by Kilo about his recent conversation with his Ironworker uncle.

(Total disclosure, I was once a Teamster driver. I drove an eighteen wheeler for Blue Ridge Transfer, based in Roanoke, VA, delivering new furniture mostly to the western Pennsylvania area. Yes, Red Queen, I've been there...GRIN. I was once locked up over night in Ford City.)

Like Kilo I too have a "unionized" uncle. Dan is the husband of my Dad's sister, and I love him dearly. But he is truly a "union man". He was a Teamster's local 22 officer for years, and is committed to the union philosophy.

I can happily report that Local 22 has no scandals in it's past like those related by Kilo in his post. But scandals like those are only the most visible features of the union philosophy that I disagree with.

Any union, whether it be my old brotherhood the Teamsters, or my Grandfather's UMWA, or your local teacher's union, the VEA, is based on a single flawed premise. All unions are based on the concept that all workers are equal. Anyone who has spent a day on the factory floor, or a night in a mine, or a few miles on the road in a Freightliner knows that just ain't true. Even Dan, my beloved uncle, if he were to be honest about it would tell you that, given a choice, he would rather go down the road with Gary Martin than Roger Potter, two drivers I had the privilege to work with at that time. Yet in the eyes of the union they were equal. Horse hockey!

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