18. LABOR UNIONS: We are constantly told now, that the Labor Unions are an evil institution.
However I remember life before the Auto Unions came to power in the 1930’s, when you could be fired for any reason, like needing to use the rest-room, wanting time to eat lunch, worked for 25 cents an hour, for 12, or more hours a day, 6-7 days a week.
Before the Unions, there were NO benefits, NO security, and NO pay for overtime, and NO health concerns for the employees. They didn’t call the Big Business owners “Robber Barons” for nothing.
In 1938 Employee Benefits became a Federal Law, Limiting, “hours at straight time”, what hours for overtime, how much an employee could be forced to lift. Before then, there was “no” concern for employee safety. If you got injured or killed on the job, so what!
There were many unemployed waiting at the company entrance ready to take your job.
YES: This is a degree of Socialism, but necessary to ensure the safety of employees in the job market.
Only when employees finally had Union backing did the employment scene change.
We now have OSHA to establish work place safety. Shall we “stop” protecting the American worker?
Even now “only” “Hourly Paid” employees are covered for a lot of employment protections.
The Unions, and citizens finally forced employers to protect the employee.
While the Unions have their good points, now they are Wining and Dining the illegal aliens who are afraid to demand wages and benefits, I will insist that all union members be legal American citizens, and that the unions must have open books for the finances operating the unions. They have avoided all open book policies for the last 70 years, and of course that has given them a bad name for a reason, a little “cooking the books”.
It is time that employees know exactly how much the union takes in from their dues, how much the union pays the officers of the union, what loans the unions make with the members dues.
The members must have the right to elect or throw out of office any union leader whom they don’t like for any reason. Unions must be a democratic operation, run by the members.
Not a “You are not going to work unless you pay the union dues”, sort of a protection racket.
Citizens must have the right to work in any Union member company, and joining the Union must be a voluntary decision. NO closed shops allowed. Non-Union workers will join the union if they see a financial incentive if they join.
Now we have American companies leaving America to hire employees, again not covered by any protection. Companies move to Mexico, and Asian countries where there are no environmental laws on pollution. No Unions to control worker safety, or to control worker pay scales. Then they re-import these products to sell to Americans, Sunbeam, Black and Decker, “Price-Pfister (use to be in San Fernando, CA” laid off 900 Americans, and moved to Tijuana, Mexico, as did another company in Northridge, Ca Standard Wheel, who also laid off about 900 Americans), and most of our auto repair parts, electronic devices, tools, and furniture products are imported. How dare workers demand pay, and safe working conditions in America, manufactures can just move to a country that doesn’t demand safety, or environmental controls.
Time after time, researchers have found children as young as 12 working in these foreign factories. No laws to prevent this out of America. Then they complain about young children being used for prostitutes in these countries, great outrage over that, but not about the children in the labor-pool force-hired to make your tennis shoes “Nike”.
The so called American Auto manufactures now get up to 80% of their items from foreign countries that are assembled “as” “American Made” cars. Thousand of factories closed in Detroit that use to make American parts for American cars. Hundreds of thousands in the Auto industry out of work, to help Mexico’s economy.
We must bring manufacturing back to America. “You” need jobs, other than working for fast food restaurants, and other service type jobs. I know, there are many jobs in America, not all is lost yet, but it’s slowly getting there and I am afraid it is going to get a lot worse, because this does dribble down to every industry as this continues. Lets return to prosperity, not surrender to poverty.
Out-sourcing must also stop. Jobs for “Americans in America”. We have “employee rights” for a purpose, to protect the worker, to protect children employed in hazardous conditions in America.