Brown: Union vultures on the prowl
December 3, 2012
So what do you get when you cross a community organizer-turned-president with union thugs? No one is really sure – yet, but one thing is for sure, Congressional Democrats have every reason to be afraid. President Obama’s BFFs have them in their sights and promise to strong-arm them into submission should they dare compromise on the fiscal cliff. On MSNBC just before Thanksgiving, United Steelworkers Union boss Leo Gerard said any Democrats compromising with Republicans will suffer the same fate as former senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), the last of a dying breed of moderate Democrats.
Gerard said those who compromise are not “real Democrat[s],” proof that extremists have taken over the Democrat Party. It should come as no surprise to anyone that some of the most frequent White House guests are union bosses. Granted, there was a time when union bosses were considered the “good guys” looking out for the working class, but somewhere along the way they’ve become the epitome of the very things they once fought against.
Even still, President Obama continues to consult with labor leadership regarding job creation and economic issues as he recently did Nov. 13. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka walked away saying he was pleased with the outcome, and now we hear labor unions are investing big union dollars to promote President Obama’s tax the rich propaganda. And, in return? According to the Washington Examiner, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is working on a special rule forcing non-union employers to disclose to union organizers the private contact information of workers in order to facilitate union expansion. So much for a worker’s right to privacy. While we’re at it, why don’t we rename the country “Cuba-West?”
According to Front Page Magazine, Gerard has threatened to “hit the streets, kick some a-, and mobilize” to encourage Obama to move forward in creating big spending plans. Obviously, Gerard’s animosity toward free market capitalism fuels his gangsta’-like comments. According to the magazine, Gerard perceives capitalism as economic “inequality” that “leads to instability and violence.”
Sure wish the Baker’s union had considered the whole economic inequality thing when representing the 18,000 Hostess Brands workers who lost their jobs just before Christmas in part because the union demanded that cake and bread be transported in separate trucks. What does it matter as long as they can turn a profit? The idea that in this country it is somehow acceptable to destroy a company and its workers’ livelihoods in order to prove your point suggests it might be time for organized labor to go by way of the dinosaur.
It should not shock anyone labor union participation has dwindled to nearly single digits, nor is it a surprise that union vultures continue to target Walmart in hopes of increasing those dwindling numbers. If only this was about bailing workers out of austere conditions. Not even close. Truth be told, a unionized Walmart is a bail-out for unions whose pensions for the rank-and-file are currently unfunded by up to 55 percent. It’s a different story for union bosses, most of which boast six figure salaries, fully funded pension plans and perks fit for a king and always find a way to squeeze out money for Democrats.
Walmart workers are much smarter than liberals would make them out to be. Just 50 or so employees bit on Big Labor’s Black Friday bait encouraging workers to join them on the picket lines. Despite the chaos, Walmart fared well. According to Fox Business, on Black Friday they sold “more than 1.8 million towels, 1.3 million televisions, 1.3 million dolls and 250,000 bicycles” and Wal-Mart shares “ticked up 0.15 percent to $68.99.” Obviously, the union vultures failed on Black Friday, but they’ll be back.
But I have a better idea. Since union bosses seem to be so concerned about everyone paying their “fair share,” why don’t they put their money where their mouth is and lobby Congress to eliminate unions’ tax-exempt status and create a union tax?
Susan Stamper Brown is an opinion page columnist, motivational speaker and military advocate who writes about politics, the military, the economy and culture. Email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or her website at susanstamperbrown.com.