Campaigns/Elections

Unionizing the Village in Order to Democrat it

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The Washington Post's resident Labor toady, Harold Meyerson, is refreshingly direct today about our coming union/Democrat world:

[H]ow, Democrats wonder, can they secure the white working-class vote?

Well, they could start by re-unionizing it.

[bunch of numbers showing unionized whites voting Democrat, unlike their non-unionized co-racialists]

What do unions do that has such an impact? Chiefly, they remind their members what's at stake.

That's the ticket! Meyerson goes on to let slip what a Democratic-run Washington would do within the first 100 minutes of a Hillbarry Clinbama presidency:

Today, the party is united behind the Employee Free Choice Act, which, by enabling workers to join unions again without fear of being fired, would also greatly help Democratic prospects at the polls.

What is the Employee Free Choice Act, a.k.a. "card check"? Get ready to read all about it in the June issue of reason, care of David Weigel! In other words, subscribe today, for less than 20 bones a year.

NEXT: Farm Bill Follies

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  1. I don’t know, with the voter ID requirement ruled constitutional it’s going to be a little harder for every union member to vote 100 times.

  2. tall dave,

    Voter ID only applies to government-run elections.

    Union elections are not government-run. The only involvement of the government is in threatening business owners if they try to choose alternate vendors for labor.

  3. My employer has already made an exploratory visit to Malaysia. That’s where the factory is going if a union does a “card check” election and wins. He doesn’t care about the several benefits of unions, focusing instead on the impact “working to rules,” stoppages, and other ridiculous demands would have on the company’s ability to compete in its industry.

  4. bunch of numbers showing unionized whites voting Democrat, unlike their non-unionized co-racialists

    Did Meyerson ever stop to think that the largest unionized white collar jobs–federal government, public school teachers, and academics–are a natural democratic constituency, which may be the best explanation for the phenomenon?

  5. Is democrat a verb?

  6. “Well, they could start by re-unionizing it.”

    I stopped reading the article after this sentence.

    No truer words on this subject have been said than these by Mr. Cummings:

    “I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.”

  7. You didn’t post the ad, Matt!

    Changes

    Did Meyerson ever stop to think that the largest unionized white collar jobs–federal government, public school teachers, and academics–are a natural democratic constituency

    Speaking of gubmint jobs:

    Hiring leaps in public sector
    First-quarter gain most since 2002

    “Federal, state and local governments are hiring new workers at the fastest pace in six years, helping offset job losses in the private sector.

    Governments added 76,800 jobs in the first three months of 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.”

  8. Is democrat a verb?

    Verbing nouns is a national pastime. So is introducing “fuck” into new syntactic arrangements to improve its versatility.

    We in America are very serious about our armchair philology.

  9. Ah yes, the Employee Free Choice Act. AKA theSecret ballot? We don’t need no stinkin’ secret ballot act.

    joe*, explain to me again why secret ballots are bad. I didn’t quite get it last time.

    * I originally typed that with an uppercase J. Fortunately, I caught it on Preview. I know you’re case sensitive. 😉

  10. How dare the workers form some collective body. God knows our honest capitalist would never try to pool their resources, forming some sort of corporate body with the intention of increasing their profitability.

  11. J sub,

    Secret ballots are not bad.

    Mandating a few weeks wherein employers can fire all the union organizers is bad.

    This is one of those remarkably easy points you have to be really motivated not to understand.

  12. Verbing weirds language

  13. J sub D,

    I believe joe’s argument was that if the shop isn’t unionized automatically by following card check, employers will bully employees into voting no before the vote comes. Also, unions never try to bully employees into signing cards, because they’re unions, and unions are the source of all good in the world.

  14. Mandating a few weeks wherein employers can fire all the union organizers is bad.

    That would be a blatant violation of the Labor Relations Act and would result in the shop being unionized automatically, as well as other sanctions against the employer.

  15. If you want, J sub D, you can contact your Congressman and ask him to amend the Employee Free Choice Act to require only the check mark, rather than a signature, on a union card to count as support for organizing.

    But, of course, that’s not going to be acceptable to you, either, because you don’t actually give a crap about secrecy, and are just hiding behind it out of convenience.

  16. Subscribe today huh?

    I subscribed what seems like a year ago, and I haven’t seen issue 1 yet.

  17. Did Meyerson ever stop to think that the largest unionized white collar jobs–federal government, public school teachers, and academics–are a natural democratic constituency, which may be the best explanation for the phenomenon?

    Pretty close to what I was thinking.

    Also, aren’t the areas of the country, where much of the manufacturing sector has moved, pretty much non-union populations? by non-union, mean they resist unionization in general.

    I remember that UAW push to get the Nissan plant in Smyrna, TN to go union met the greatest resistance from the workers, not the management. But that was in the last century. No direct info on what is going on there now.

    The townspeople were getting a little annoyed at folks from Michigan, and other Northern places, showing up with all of their belongings packed into a Chevy, apparently thinking that the Nissan plant could not possibly find any local labor and their UAW local was just not telling them about all the vacant positions in TN.

  18. * I originally typed that with an uppercase J. Fortunately, I caught it on Preview. I know you’re case sensitive. 😉

    He is, it’s all about significance, or lack thereof.

    Illiterate J

    Obviously.

    How dare the workers form some collective body. God knows our honest capitalist would never try to pool their resources, forming some sort of corporate body with the intention of increasing their profitability.

    ‘cept this isn’t about that, this is about a group of joe-like people wanting to find some measure of relevance and significance by screwballing the election process. They can get there by forming unions, except they can’t because people won’t vote for them, so they want to change the rules to make it more probable. This is not for the benefit of the workers, mind you, it’s only to get elected. They couldn’t give a rip about the actual people, if the people were taken care of they wouldn’t have anyone to vote for them. They know better what’s right for you, you understand, so they have to get elected for your own good even if you don’t realize it.

  19. That would be a blatant violation of the Labor Relations Act and would result in the shop being unionized automatically…

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

    Wait a minute, wait a minute…

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAA!!!

    Phew!!! I needed a good laugh today. Thanks, Chris.

  20. In other words, subscribe today, for less than 20 bones a year.

    Do you take veal bones? Fiat money is so last century.

  21. If you want, J sub D, you can contact your Congressman and ask him to amend the Employee Free Choice Act to require only the check mark, rather than a signature, on a union card to count as support for organizing.

    So the same person could turn in 100 cards with check marks on them? Any fair system is going to have to have guarantees of secret voting and one vote per worker. Card check can’t possibly do both.

  22. God knows our honest capitalist would never try to pool their resources, forming some sort of corporate body with the intention of increasing their profitability.

    ROFLMAO! That sort of collusion is prosecuted on a regular basis in this country!

  23. Libertarian Rule #1: the government is incredibly inefficient and unreliable.

    Libertarian Rule #2: except when it comes to cracking down on businesses that violate the National Labor Relations Act, at which point it turns into a combination of George Patton and Henry Ford. This is why people working to unionize workplaces don’t ever end up being fired “for cause” after years of positive reviews.

  24. So the same person could turn in 100 cards with check marks on them?

    You expect anything less from a Democrat backed measure? Of course, the chants of “count every vote”, after a 300 person shop votes 30,000 for the union, 0 against, will be heard all the way to Giant’s Stadium.

  25. joe,

    Wow, excellent argument.

    I’ve been a member of management during a unionization attempt at the workplace. I wasn’t even allowed to walk into the break room while employees were in there out of fear the union would accuse us of spying, which would be an NLRA violation. Yeah, employers feel totally secure in firing organizers during a unionization battle. Give me a break.

    If your beloved Labor Relations Board bureaucrats aren’t enforcing the existing laws, take it up with the govt. Don’t ask to change the rules in a way that opens the door for intimidation by the union.

  26. * I originally typed that with an uppercase J. Fortunately, I caught it on Preview. I know you’re case sensitive. 😉

    When I type “joe” there is a red squiggly line under it telling me that I am wrong. So I type “Joe” and the computer likes me.

  27. Guy Montag doesn’t know what a corporation is, and thinks that people who form them are regularly prosecuted in the United States.

    Clearly, this is somebody with a profound understanding of workplaces.

  28. Wow, excellent argument.

    Yes, it is. Which is why you can’t refute it.

    If your beloved Labor Relations Board bureaucrats aren’t enforcing the existing laws, take it up with the govt.

    We are. This is why card check is going to pass. Putting your faith in the government doing the right thing when faced with pressure from the most powerful and wealthiest segments of society is a losing proposition.

  29. joe,

    You’re caricaturing libertarians again. Obviously libertarians believe the govt is very forceful in some things it does — Drug War anyone? — and in this case, you have an aggrieved party (the union and the fired organizers) who will complain to the Labor Board. It’s not like they have to have secret labor agents infiltrating workplaces to find NLRA violations.

  30. Good thing you couldn’t go into the break room.

    That must have totally made it impossible to know who was leading the organizing effort.

    What’s this? They all suddenly became problem employees, and being 2 minutes late became a firing offense for them, and only them?

    Why, if something like that was done, they might go to court, and after a decade of appeals, get their jobs back.

  31. Mandating a few weeks wherein employers can fire all the union organizers is bad.

    I agree. You should have as much time as you want.

  32. Yes, it is. Which is why you can’t refute it.

    I was referring to your initial “ha ha” post. Please explain why my company didn’t fire all union organizers, but rather handed down a byzantine set of rules management had to follow to avoid triggering an NLRA violation, if the process is such a joke and so rigged in favor of employers.

    Seriously, you don’t see why changing to card check would open the door to unions intimidating workers?

  33. You’re caricaturing libertarians again.

    No, I’m hoisting you on your own petard.

    The government is so unreliable that only the actions of inviduals and private sector groups working in their own interest is a dependable way to protect their rights and interests. Except when it comes to workers, who should just trust the NLRB to do the right thing when their employers break labor laws.

    Because, of course, the people appointed to the NLRB by anti-union presidents really go the extra mile to root out employer abuses, so it’s really not necessary to set up safeguards against such abuses by employers.

  34. Illiterate J,

    Drat, I misread you. When corporations collude, that gets prosecuted.

    Now, about all those rules for making a corporation vs. the ones for getting a union imposed on that corporation . . .

  35. That must have totally made it impossible to know who was leading the organizing effort.

    Whatever, joe. It’s sad that you think I’m some sort of craven union-hater who will break laws left and right to get my way. The point is, if companies can easily get away with outright firing of organizers, why were they forbidding me from walking in to get a soda out of the fridge and then leaving?

  36. Seriously, you don’t see why changing to card check would open the door to unions intimidating workers?

    Of course not. Organizers intimidating workers is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act.

    Therefore, there cannot be abuses or intimidation going on. If there is, the workers would just complain, and boy oh boy would the government come down on them like a ton of bricks!

  37. CP,

    You are arguing with one of those “workers to control the means of production” types, you know?

    He won’t just skip to the Communist Manifesto, he is just going to re-word it in the longest, most annoying manner possible.

  38. This is why people working to unionize workplaces don’t ever end up being fired “for cause” after years of positive reviews.

    You need “cause” to fire people? Not in my state.

    At will for the win!

  39. I didn’t say YOU were a craven union-hater, Chris.

    I said that they are out there, in enough force to be worth worrying about.

  40. Look at the guy in the cube next to you.

    Who can screw you over worse: him, or the guy who signs your pay check?

  41. joe,

    Two differences:

    The union organizers know who signs a card and who doesn’t. The employer will never know who votes for and who votes against.

    Also, there’s a very blurry line between legal organizing and outright intimidation by the union. The crossing of this line would be much harder to prove to the board than a case of being fired while a unionization attempt was on.

  42. Who can screw you over worse: him, or the guy who signs your pay check?

    The guy who signs my paycheck won’t know which way I vote in a unionization vote.

    The guy next to me knows if I refuse to sign a card…and if enough of the guys next to me have a problem with me, they can screw me over pretty bad.

  43. Nope joe. I still don’t get any principled objections to secret ballots. Nice try though. Now if union organizers had no access to the courts or the NLRB I might be on your side. Alas, that state of affairs does not exist, so I will continue to reject your reflexive unsupported arguments.

  44. joe,

    Look at the guy in the cube next to you.

    Who can screw you over worse: him, or the guy who signs your pay check?

    I have an office, not a cube, but okay, I will try it.

    Him: president of the company, owns more than 50%.
    Guy who sign my pay check: Me (I only own about 45%).

    Im going with him.

    What do I win?

  45. One last point about union intimidation of prospective members, the Teamsters.

  46. The employer will never know who votes for and who votes against.

    Employers rarely have any trouble identifying who is pushing for the union. The problem isn’t what the employers do after the vote, but before.

    Also, there’s a very blurry line between legal organizing and outright intimidation by the union. The crossing of this line would be much harder to prove to the board than a case of being fired while a unionization attempt was on.

    Really? It’s easy to prove that a firing “for cause” was pretextual?

  47. The point is, if companies can easily get away with outright firing of organizers, why were they forbidding me from walking in to get a soda out of the fridge and then leaving?

    Chris, Joe doesn’t like facts, even anecdotal ones, that disprove the point he is trying to make. Don’t expect a response to the above any time soon.

  48. I still don’t get any principled objections to secret ballots.

    WTF, d00d?

    Why do I have to write everything twice?

    joe | April 30, 2008, 1:34pm | #

    J sub,

    Secret ballots are not bad.

    Mandating a few weeks wherein employers can fire all the union organizers is bad.

    Quick, tell me again that you don’t understand the objection to secret ballots.

  49. What do I win?

    robc, you win the knowledge that your employment situation is vastly different from that of an overwhelming majority of Americans.

    Congratulations.

    Lurker Kurt, substantive as alwyas.

    “joez, like, all bad and stuff.”

  50. It’s easy to prove that a firing “for cause” was pretextual?

    Yes. It happens in New York State Unemployment Insurance cases all the time. Again, as a manager I had to have a serious paper trail of disciplinary actions if I was going to fire someone. Otherwise we’d wind up paying them to sit at home.

  51. Oh, and Kurt?

    I responded to that point seven minutes before you assured us that I wouldn’t.

    Ha ha.

  52. Verbing weirds language.

    Nods to Bill Watterson are one thing about H&R that give me warm fuzzies. 🙂

  53. Yes. It happens in New York State Unemployment Insurance cases all the time.

    The New York State Unemployment Insurance board is not the Bush-appointed NRLB.

    It’s really very simple: you trust the appointees to the NLRB to reliably and fairly adjucate cases, even when a majority of that board was appointed for the purpose of fighting unions, and I don’t.

    I don’t think “running to the government” is a reliable answer when it comes to something as political as union and worker rights. Certainly not to political appointees.

  54. joe,

    Lurker is right in that you haven’t addressed that point.

    Oh, and in my case the union didn’t win the vote in the end, either, despite the fact that management played by the rules. Our workers were mostly impressionable teenagers and college kids, but apparently had enough friends working at unionized grocery stores and the like to do the cost-benefit analysis.

  55. joe said:
    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAA!!!

    Phew!!! I needed a good laugh today. Thanks, Chris.

    Confucius say: Man who laugh with finger make love with hand…

  56. Actually, I addressed it at 2:01. Your anecdote doesn’t prove anything, and your company isn’t all companies.

  57. You didn’t address my point, joe. You just approved of the fact that I could not eat perishable food for lunch and had to settle for warm soda.

  58. joe,

    you win the knowledge that your employment situation is vastly different from that of an overwhelming majority of Americans.

    I agree with you on that. I also agree with Spooner that my situation should be the norm.

  59. Your anecdote doesn’t prove anything, and your company isn’t all companies.

    A bare anecdote is still more evidence than…well, what evidence have you offered here?

  60. Those union guys are so good at what they do, and so committed to assisting the downtrodden, exploited workers; sometimes I wonder why they don’t, you know, buy out the owners and collectivize the business. Each noble tradesman an equal partner, striving together for the betterment of all.

    The UAW missed out on a golden opportunity to showcase their superior understanding of the automotive industry when Daimler decided to unburden themselves of Chrysler.

  61. So what is all the fuss about having people vote via the cards? I thought physical coercion was the only thing libertarians though was wrong? I mean, people here are always saying that noone needs government protection from things like adhesion contracts because noone “forced” you to sign it, noone needs protection of exercising their speech rights, because noone “forced” you to be silent, etc., You mean your rugged individualism that is displayed so much on sites like this can’t stand up to some of your co-wokers knowing how you voted on the union drive? Give me a f’cking break!

  62. Nope, not going to explain the problems with anecdotes to you.

  63. “Those union guys are so good at what they do, and so committed to assisting the downtrodden, exploited workers; sometimes I wonder why they don’t, you know, buy out the owners and collectivize the business.”

    Maybe because they don’t necessarily have the capital that ownership has. Which is why folks might feel the need to collectively organize and bargain in the first place…

  64. joe,

    Unions, like any corporate body (and this includes businesses of course), have interests which may not coincide with those they claim to represent. So, why again should a union know how an individual votes on the issue of unionization?

  65. I’ve already stated my opinion on the matter twice, Calidore.

  66. Mr Nice [Guy],

    I think the pure libertarian position would be that the govt shouldn’t be involved in labor disputes at all; that is, union organizers and employers alike should be able to intimidate as much as they want.

    But given that we’re going to have govt enforced labor arrangements, it makes sense to have a system that’s fair to both sides and most importantly fair to individual workers.

  67. Joe

    have you ever worked in a union shop during a strike or a strike vote.

    if you have, you know goddamn well about the level of intimidation from the union bosses and regular diehard union members, up to and including death threats that goes on.

    if you haven’t, more than likely, you are just taliking out your ass about some idealized nice union man that lives in the dreams of well paid white collar liberals.

    death threats are rare, of course. Most of it is vague threats of violence or property damage. Like getting to the parking lot and finding your tires have been slashed. Then there’s the shop steward with connections who just gets you fired while his buddies get endless protection from the union for all kinds of misconduct or incompetence.

  68. I think the pure libertarian position would be that the govt shouldn’t be involved in labor disputes at all; that is, union organizers and employers alike should be able to intimidate as much as they want.

    Um, I was under the impression that the Libertarian position would be that the government has a place to keep people free from intimidation, with that limited police power.

  69. Maybe because they don’t necessarily have the capital that ownership has. Which is why folks might feel the need to collectively organize and bargain in the first place…

    If they had spent their union dues buying shares instead of politicians….

  70. if you haven’t, more than likely, you are just taliking out your ass about some idealized nice union man that lives in the dreams of well paid white collar liberals.

    Try the Rainbow Puppy world of a fully collectovized and equal utopia.

  71. joe,

    Well, I just came to the discussion, so how about a recap? I’d really appreciate it.

  72. I’m not answering some who won’t even post a screen name. Piss off.

  73. joe | April 30, 2008, 1:34pm | #

    J sub,

    Secret ballots are not bad.

    Mandating a few weeks wherein employers can fire all the union organizers is bad.

  74. “But given that we’re going to have govt enforced labor arrangements, it makes sense to have a system that’s fair to both sides and most importantly fair to individual workers.”

    I don’t think that washes Chris. The government gets involved in contracts (it enforces them, using force if necessary). But when I debate folks on this site about protections for consumers when signing contracts, arguing that in cases of adhesion contracts their are often coercive elements at work, many extreme libertarians here yell “hey, noone physically made the person sign it. Life is tuff, get over it, blah blah.” So I now say: hey, no one is physically MAKING anyone sign these union cards. Noone is talking about legalizing forced signings. All the person has to do is have the courage to say “I don’t want to sign.” You mean the rugged individualism of these extreme libertarians can’t count on people to marshal that little bit of courage? Jezzus.

  75. Guy Montag,

    I guess it depends on what level of intimidation you’re talking about. Death threats and property damage are definitely areas where govt should intervene. Social ostracism and criticism for not being a team player are not.

  76. Verbing is great. Just read your Shakespeare.

    What’s “for cause”? Everything is more or less “at will” in Mississippi.

  77. MNG,

    If employers are allowed to fire employees for signing the card check, I would agree with you. All I’m asking for here is a level playing field.

  78. “Um, I was under the impression that the Libertarian position would be that the government has a place to keep people free from intimidation, with that limited police power.”

    Guy
    Who is talking about intimidation? Is anyone advocating allowing these cards to be accepted when coerced through threats of violence? Nope. Do you think people have a right to be protected from feeling unpopular, or from feeling social pressure? Cuz that’s a strange “libertarian” position I would think…

  79. Physical threats are already illegal, not just under labor law, but under the criminal statutes of every state.

    And getting the government to respond to violent crime is a hell of lot easier than getting it to rule that a firing was pretextual.

  80. There was a unionizing attempt after Katrina in Biloxi. Only the Grand Casino employees went for it. Suckers. Harrah’s sold the Grand to a private equity group not long after. Most of my customers hate the Grand Casino now.

  81. I’m not answering some who won’t even post a screen name.

    Maybe his screen name is an unprintable control character.

  82. I’m not answering some who won’t even post a screen name. Piss off.

    DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOO! demands that you pay royalties if you use his tactics.

  83. What happens to the guy who votes against the union, and ends up on the losing end?

    Will he be “allowed” to keep his job without joining the union?

  84. “If employers are allowed to fire employees for signing the card check, I would agree with you. All I’m asking for here is a level playing field.”

    And if the government allowed things like secondary boycotts I think I’d find your position to be almost OK (my inability to fully endorse is rooted in my belief that the employer-employee transaction is not an “equal” one, being that the employer usually has much more capital reserves and can “hold out” much longer than the average employee, and therefore there is an element of coercion there). Remember the labor laws restrict what unions can do too (in fact, the government used to enforce that side of them with special vigor)…

  85. A couple of people have brought up firings at will. Generally, you can fired at will, without cause, under state law.

    However, firing someone for engaging in union activity is a violation of federal law, so companies that wish to do so make up a “for cause” case to protect themselves.

  86. How not to get ahead in life.
    Join a union.

  87. And getting the government to respond to violent crime is a hell of lot easier than getting it to rule that a firing was pretextual.

    What are the chances of the police catching the person who slashed your tires at midnight, vs chances of them catching the person who fired you…

  88. lokks like Joes answer is no.

    HAHA.

  89. “Will he be “allowed” to keep his job without joining the union?”

    Let me get this straight. You think an employer can fire a guy for whatever reason (maybe cuz he does not like his eyebrows), but if that employer gets a contract with a union to employ only union workers, then you think the guy suddenly has a right to his job?

  90. What happens to the guy who votes against the union, and ends up on the losing end?

    Will he be “allowed” to keep his job without joining the union?

    Yes, but he will likely have to pay something in exchange for the collective bargaining the union engages in, if the union negotiates that into their employment contract. This is done to deal with the free rider problem, the employee whose salary and benefits go up with the union members, but who would skip out on the payment.

    You cannot force someone to actually joing the union, however.

  91. I work in a unionized, private-sector white collar workplace, and there is no way in hell I would want open votes on anything. Even without Teamster-style thuggery, shop stewards and officials from the local do apply the hard sell, and I believe secret ballots are the best way to keep everyone honest.

    Joe’s argument about employer intimidation of organizers has fuck-all to do with card check, as far as I can tell. How does enabling intimidation of workers disable intimidation of organizers? This is nothing more than a way for unions to strong-arm unwilling workers.

    And his claim that the NLRB is employer-friendly could only be taken seriously by someone with their nose completely up the ass of the Democratic Party machine.

  92. MNG,

    I’d have no trouble with secondary boycotts, or closed shops that result from a free contractual agreement. So, I’m not entirely on board with Taft-Hartley of 1947. But it was a helluva improvement over the ridiculously pro-union NLRA Roosevelt and his cronies excreted in 1935.

  93. DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOO! demands that you pay royalties if you use his tactics.

    Dondero doesn’t respond to screen names.

  94. MNG,

    a union forming doesnt necessarily mean that the employer will contract to a closed shop.

    There are mixed shops.

  95. MNG,

    On intimidation, just read the quote I was responding to.

    CP,

    I guess it depends on what level of intimidation you’re talking about. Death threats and property damage are definitely areas where govt should intervene. Social ostracism and criticism for not being a team player are not.

    Agreed, if you were talking about that level.

  96. This is done to deal with the free rider problem, the employee whose salary and benefits go up with the union members, but who would skip out on the payment.

    So if the union doesn’t actually deliver the better wages and conditions it promised, can he withhold his dues?

  97. and the chances of the police catching the union goon who nearly beat you to death at midnight are about the same as the chances of the police catching the person who slashed your tires at midnight.

    if you ever bother to report it. which you won’t if you value your life.

  98. What are the chances of the police catching the person who slashed your tires at midnight, vs chances of them catching the person who fired you…

    And if they catch them both, what are the chances of being able to convince a jury that the firing was not, beyond a reasonable doubt, for cause? People get convicted of vandalism all the time.

    How does enabling intimidation of workers disable intimidation of organizers?

    I’m not answering this question a fourth time.

    The fact that the anti-union people won’t even acknowledge that I have is all you need to know about the strength of their argument.

  99. I suggest a windfall dondero tax. For those who begin to sound like him.

    *looks in joe’s direction*

  100. if that employer gets a contract with a union to employ only union workers

    That’s a nice way to look at it; sort of like a Christmas present, I guess.

    And if I own the fucking factory, or grocery store, or coal mine, I get to decide how much money I will pay you, and what the work rules are. And when it’s time for you to find another coal mine in which to malinger.

  101. So if the union doesn’t actually deliver the better wages and conditions it promised, can he withhold his dues?

    If you get a haircut and still don’t get laid on Friday, do you get your money back from the barber?

    Colllective bargaining is a service that unions provide.

  102. and the chances of the police catching the union goon who nearly beat you to death at midnight

    In a ski mask. As part of a satanic ritual. In a secret room in the Masonic lodge.

    Yawn.

  103. Did I have to pay the barber to cut my hair, even though I didn’t think I needed a haircut?

  104. That’s a nice way to look at it; sort of like a Christmas present, I guess.

    And if I own the fucking factory, or grocery store, or coal mine, I get to decide how much money I will pay you, and what the work rules are. And when it’s time for you to find another coal mine in which to malinger.

    So much for “employers and employees negotiate the conditions of employment.” Nope, the employer gets to lay down the rules, no negotiations involved.

    Shut up and be grateful, peasants.

  105. You cannot force someone to actually joing the union, however.

    I see you have never actually been through this.

    When the union guy came around and told me I “had to” join, or I couldn’t work there anymore, I told him to go fuck himself, so technically, I guess you’re right.

  106. In a ski mask. As part of a satanic ritual. In a secret room in the Masonic lodge.

    Funny — I think that’s where the evil employers gather to discuss their union organizer firing plans, too. It’s a wonder they never run into each other.

    Belch.

  107. Did I have to pay the barber to cut my hair, even though I didn’t think I needed a haircut?

    What part of “collective bargaining” don’t you understand?

    Anyway, thanks for demonstrating that the process of unionization isn’t actually what has you up in arms, but the existence of things called unions that dare to engage in collective action.

  108. Funny — I think that’s where the evil employers gather to discuss their union organizer firing plans, too.

    uh huh. Unions are horrible, company-destroying monsters, but employers would never try to stop unionization.

    When you’re reduced to arguing that union organizers don’t get fired, you’ve lost. You’re just adverse to the facts.

  109. That’s right, joe. there’s never any violence from unions during strikes. union men are all mennonites.

  110. So much for “employers and employees negotiate the conditions of employment.” Nope, the employer gets to lay down the rules, no negotiations involved.

    Sort of like when I go to the grocery store and a six pack of Coke is $2.50. No, I can’t negotiate the price, but I can negotiate with my feet, so to speak.

  111. That’s right, joe. there’s never any violence from unions during strikes.

    “Never” is a word dimwits hide behind, to turn an argument they can’t handle into one they can.

  112. Sort of like when I go to the grocery store and a six pack of Coke is $2.50.

    Yes, that’s precisely how hiring and wages are set. Nobody every negotiates. The employer provides a number, and it’s final.

    Of course you know better than this. Why the bullshit?

  113. Never” is a word dimwits hide behind, to turn an argument they can’t handle into one they can.

    Like in your 3:00 post?

  114. Well, congratulations, everyone! Especially you, Chirs.

    You managed to pretend that you were concerned about unfairness to individual workers, and not simply using it as a pretext because you’re opposed to unions per se, for a whole hour!

    I think that’s a record.

  115. Like in your 3:00 post?

    No, like your comment, which I responded to.

  116. Joe, this is the only cryptic thing I find of yours on this thread:

    Mandating a few weeks wherein employers can fire all the union organizers is bad.

    That doesn’t answer shit.

    Is this your real point?:

    I believe joe’s argument was that if the shop isn’t unionized automatically by following card check, employers will bully employees into voting no before the vote comes.

    If so, then it’s also crap. Secret balloting is designed as much to protect voting employees from employer retaliation as it is union retaliation. Do you think that employers are going to play nice with employees they know for a fact voted for unionization? That’s especially true in a white-collar setting, where retaliation can take much more subtle and unprovable forms. If that’s your argument, then you need a rethink.

  117. When people who aren’t ideologically opposed to the existence of unions start raising qualms about card check, I’ll pay attention.

    But that’s not going to happen on this board.

  118. No, like your comment, which I responded to.

    Huh? The word “never” was indeed in there, but it had nothing to do with my argument.

  119. I don’t think that one should find skepticism of the virtues of unions troublesome. There are certainly well founded negative economic effects which unions create; whether that is balanced out by economic positives I cannot say.

  120. Physical threats are already illegal, not just under labor law, but under the criminal statutes of every state.

    And cops are unionized…

  121. I’m not opposed to the existence of unions.

  122. Do you think that employers are going to play nice with employees they know for a fact voted for unionization?

    Since unions don’t turn over the cards until they get a majority, and the workers then gain union protection and the legal protection that goes along with it, that retaliation seems to be a lower-order concern.

    And if we’re talking about a workplace where the employees are agitating for a union, I think we’re beyond management “playing nice.” I’ll put my eggs in “balance of power” over “nobless oblige.”

  123. I’m not opposed to the existence of unions.

    Just everything they do. Just collective bargaining, closed-shop conditions in employment contracts, payment for collective bargaining services, and bargaining with employers rather than taking their first offer or quitting.

    You aren’t opposed to some fantasy-land, completely powerless verion of unions. You aren’t opposed to social clubs that have no ability to counterbalance the power of employers in negotiations and the establishment of working conditions.

  124. Chris Potter,

    Neither am I.

    joe,

    The term is noblesse oblige.

  125. Maybe he meant “knobless.”

  126. joe,

    What creates the “free rider” problem in this instance, BTW?

  127. Lurker Kurt, substantive as alwyas.

    (sniff)

    Joe, I am a little hurt. I have admonished others for resorting to calling you names rather than countering the arguments you make.

    Btw, I would rather be know as an insubstantive airhead than be know as shrill and thin-skinned.

  128. What part of “collective bargaining” don’t you understand?

    The part where is Im not part of the collective, you dont get to bargain for me.

  129. joe,

    When people who aren’t ideologically opposed to the existence of unions start raising qualms about card check, I’ll pay attention.

    Im not ideologically opposed to unions. If I was a MLB baseball player, I would join that union, they seem to do a good job. In fact, the dues are negative , IIRC(they get paid for being a member of the union).

    I oppose card check.

    Pay attention to me.

  130. When people who aren’t ideologically opposed to the existence of unions start raising qualms about card check, I’ll pay attention.

    Classic joe, moronic drivel consisting of “Piss on facts, I’m going to increase my volume of shrill bullshit, unless someone agrees with me, in which case I’ll have to change and complain that nobody pays attention to what I write”

  131. I oppose card check.

    Pay attention to me.

    You misunderstand, joe can’t. You disagree, so his underlying presumption is that you don’t read his comments. You ask a question, his response is to accuse you of not answering his question which he has yet to pose. He’s a racist fuckwit moron, but he really knows better what’s good for you in his mind, so you really should just agree with him and listen to him.

  132. I’m honestly amazed that even Joe would argue in any context that secret ballots are a bad thing.

  133. There is nothing more entertaining than a group joe beat-down. This is his second today. I want to stop reading, but I can’t look away. Am I a sadist, or is joe a masochist? Can’t it be both?

  134. Watching this conversation is fascinating. I’ve been involved (by marriage) with union-management negotiating for many years, and I can say that, at least for the management side I’ve lived with, Joe’s view of how people are treated is just this side of conspiracy-theory level paranoia. Management, first of all, is terrified of violating the arcane NLRB (and state-level) regs about how to behave around union elections. They know (because it’s been beaten into their heads by the lawyers) that anything, even going into a lunch room, will be met with a ULP grievance and months or years of hassles. And I’ve had friends (a Dean at a university) given a public dressing down, covered with lascivious glee by the student newspaper because he misunderstood the rules and said something about the university perhaps having to hire fewer part-time faculty because the full-time faculty would be getting a raise. Although he wasn’t on the bargaining team, was speaking for himself, and was just musing in any case, he received a public reprimand for ‘bargaining outside of the formal process’.
    And that’s just one of many (presumably worthless) anecdotes about the enormous power unions have in this country. And it’s the richest, most powerful unions (AFT, AFSCME etc.) that most use the ‘downtrodden worker’ rhetoric. You should hear professors earning >$100K a year talk about the evils of the ‘bosses’ and ‘oppression’.
    The idea that this thuggery (‘card check’, which is really legalizing intimidation) is

    ‘Mandating a few weeks wherein employers can fire all the union organizers is bad.’

    is just absurd–ask anyone who’s actually had to deal with a real union in a real negotiating situation–never mind the imagined skulduggery that Joe seems fixated on.

  135. I’m not opposed ideologically or any other way to unions.

    I’m not even opposed to closed shops and I think right to work states are full of it. A contracts a contracts and if it’s closed shop I don’t think the state has a say. It’s between company any union. The state’s only position is as an arbiter.

    Geoff Nathan’s absolutely right. Joe’s rosy view of unions comes from his never having seen one operate or only seeing the tame white collar unions in government service.

  136. There was never any legitimate Constitutional authority for the federal government to have a Department of Labor or any sort of labor related laws and regulations in the first place.

    It isn’t pursuant to any ennumerated power delegated to the federal government in the text of the Constitution as is required by the 10th Amendment.

    Leave it up to freedom of contract and private property rights. If a group of individual employees want to band together to collectively negotiate contracts they’re free to do so. And the company owners can decide if it’s in their best interest to accomodate that or fire them all and hire replacement workers if they determine that is a viable option.

    There is no such thing as a “right” to a job in the first place any more than there is an affirmative right to anything else.

  137. joe, you’re just flat wrong on what current law says about management intimidation and firing of workers during an organizing campaign. There’s loads of legal protections for the campaign and voting. Exactly what is inadequate about those protections that they should be junked in favor of a profoundly non-democratic and abusable (by all parties) public ballot?

    When people who aren’t ideologically opposed to the existence of unions start raising qualms about card check, I’ll pay attention.

    And when people who aren’t ideologically committed to the spread of unions start explaining what is wrong with the current system that card check will fix, I’ll pay attention, too.

  138. Here’s the hard fundamental truth for any individual: If you have no special skills, talents, or education, you are in a weak position when it comes to negotiating the terms of your employment. You are vulnerable to being pushed around by your employer, a union, the government, circumstance, or all of the above. For god’s sake, do whatever you can to distinguish yourself from being just another generic, unskilled worker unit.

  139. For god’s sake, do whatever you can to distinguish yourself from being just another generic, unskilled worker unit.

    Getting rid of secret ballots will make it mighty easy for any worker to distinguish himself as “that stupid evil SOB who had the gall to vote in a way that we his fellow workers don’t approve of.”

  140. In a ski mask. As part of a satanic ritual. In a secret room in the Masonic lodge.

    Funny — I think that’s where the evil employers gather to discuss their union organizer firing plans, too. It’s a wonder they never run into each other.

    The illuminati have hired an excellent scheduling secretary.

    Now what will really bake your noodle:
    Is she in a union or not?

  141. Is she in a union or not?

    She’s an independent contractor, naturlich!

  142. Dude, this whole thing is pretty crazy.

    Even the guys that Joe dislikes are a little too socialist for me.

    The way I see it, if you own a company who you fire and your reasons for firing someone is none of the government business.

    And whether I walk to the fridge while the employees are having a voluntary meeting is no one’s business unless the employees own the room, then it is their place to forbid me.

  143. Getting rid of secret ballots will make it mighty easy for any worker to distinguish himself as “that stupid evil SOB who had the gall to vote in a way that we his fellow workers don’t approve of.”

    True.

  144. When people who aren’t ideologically opposed to the existence of unions start raising qualms about card check, I’ll pay attention.

    Ah, then you’ll start paying attention to me at least. Is it presently legal to terminate employees who organize workers on their own time? A simple yes or no is all that is required.

  145. Wow! Joe came to do battle today.

  146. But, of course, that’s not going to be acceptable to you, either, because you don’t actually give a crap about secrecy, and are just hiding behind it out of convenience.

    When did you develop telepathic powers, joe?

    When people who aren’t ideologically opposed to the existence of unions start raising qualms about card check, I’ll pay attention.

    But that’s not going to happen on this board.

    I’m not ideologically opposed to the existence of unions. I think that in many cases, they have gone too far, like the GE warehouse I worked security at where the guys who wiped down the tables in the breakroom made $12/hr, and half the workforce called in every night because of their vacation, sick days, personal days, etc. That made it rather difficult to operate the warehouse, since you had half the labor you needed at any given point. And when the yard tractor driver left, they had to train a replacement, which meant paying for someone to get certified on a semi. Three people trained and immediately quit to go make more money driving trucks for a living.

    I’m more than willing to stipulate that collective bargaining can lead to better outcomes for workers. But I’m also suspicious of the actual state of unions in present day America, where more often than not the union bosses are just trying to justify their paychecks, rather than trying to help their fellow workers. Unions never go away when their job is done (though I’m sure that joe will say their job is never done).

    In this case, I think I’d rather take my chances with a secret ballot if I were in a workplace that some were trying to unionize. *shrugs* I guess to me the secret ballot system seems fairer overall (i.e., less biased to one side or the other), but what advantage exists tilts in favor of employers. The card check system seems more open to abuse, but the advantage tilts to the unions. So yeah, I’ll support the fairer system, even if it’s not perfect.

  147. Look at the guy in the cube next to you.

    Who can screw you over worse: him, or the guy who signs your pay check?

    Him.

    google: “roger warren” “giant mine”

  148. Look at the guy in the cube next to you.

    Who can screw you over worse: him, or the guy who signs your pay check?

    the guy in the cube next to me….it is in the interest of the guy who signs my pay check to keep me on if i am good at my job.

    the guy in the cubical next to me has the interest of trying to skew any assessment of my work to look bad in comparison to his work.

  149. The time Joe has spent commenting on this thread today gives you a pretty good idea of the efficiencies that unionization brings to the workplace.

  150. If it’s the gub’ment then secret ballots are GOOD! But if it’s a union, then secret ballots are BAD! You see, union organizers need to know the names and addresses of every worker who voted against unionization, so they can visit with them at home and have a quiet heart-to-heart chat away from the coercive atmosphere of the workplace.

  151. If you have no special skills, talents, or education, you are in a weak position when it comes to negotiating the terms of your employment.

    Why do teachers and government employees need unions again?

  152. is just absurd–ask anyone who’s actually had to deal with a real union in a real negotiating situation–never mind the imagined skulduggery that Joe seems fixated on.

    joe gets that way, facts get in the way of his predjudices so he attacks them, and presupposes that everyone who posts on this board is against him or at least constructs that strawman. Watch, soon he’ll be accusing others of doing exactly what he is doing.

    The whole idea behind joe’s strawman is fictional, created to justify a situation where the union can use personal intimdation to try to sign up members, magnifying the effect of the relatively smaller group of individuals who have fully assimilated the KoolAid. joe knows this, at least I hope so or he’s a bigger moron than I give him credit for, but since the Dems espouse it he has to be shrill about his defense of it.

    The secret ballot is the most fair way to do it. There is no inherent weakness in the system, there is a percieved weekness in the timliness of its application.

    Personally, I don’t have much problem with unions. I have a lot of problems with the violence they bring to picket lines, and those that try to justify the violent actions.

  153. Why do teachers and government employees need unions again?

    To prove that the government supports unions.

    The time Joe has spent commenting on this thread today gives you a pretty good idea of the efficiencies that unionization brings to the workplace.

    Magnify that over many days. Watch out, though, he’ll declare you “pwned” if he gets hysterical enough.

  154. If you have no special skills, talents, or education, you are in a weak position when it comes to negotiating the terms of your employment.

    Why do teachers and government employees need unions again?

    That exchange writes its own joke.

  155. the union can use personal intimdation tutoring to try to sign up members

  156. When people who aren’t ideologically opposed to the existence of unions start raising qualms about card check, I’ll pay attention.

    Not only am I not ideologically opposed to the existence of unions, I’m a *member* of one. Are you, joe?

    And having experienced life in a union, I can say unequivocally that card check is a really bad idea. In the real world, workers know that union affiliation is a mixed bag, and many workforces subject to organization efforts are heavily polarized over the issue. And you want to inject an open vote into that atmosphere? I can only call that dumbshittery.

  157. J sub D | April 30, 2008, 4:57pm | #

    If you have no special skills, talents, or education, you are in a weak position when it comes to negotiating the terms of your employment.

    Why do teachers and government employees need unions again?

    That exchange writes its own joke.

    How do you make that whole quote embedded in a quote thing?

  158. Not only am I not ideologically opposed to the existence of unions, I’m a *member* of one. Are you, joe?

    ChrisO, that’s another, inconveiniant, anecdotal fact that Joe won’t address.

  159. How do you make that whole quote embedded in a quote thing?

    Yes, J sub D, your web kung fu is strong.

  160. Open-bracket blockquote close-bracket usually does the trick. Like this:

    See? And then:

    See?

    That’s how you do it.

    The end.

  161. <blockquote> QuotedTextHere </blockquote>

    Like this

  162. I also am not opposed to the ability of workers to combine in groups to collectively bargain for the terms of their employment.

    But there’s nothing stopping them from doing that right now. Card check or no card check.

    If 20 guys in a workplace want to combine to collectively bargain for different work terms, knock yourselves out. Why is a card check or workplace vote necessary? Form a 20 guy union and walk up to your boss and piss in his Cheerios.

    A card check or workplace vote is only necessary if you want to force the employer to negotiate with you on the terms dictated by the NLRB, which are crap. If the employer wants to negotiate with you, great. If he wants to fire you, fine. If I hear that several brewers were forming a union to raise the price of beer, if I want to say, “Guess what, assholes? Just for that I ain’t buying your beer any more!” I should be able to. And labor should not be a privileged item of trade in this regard unless someone can give me a better reason than any I’ve ever heard before.

    It’s also only necessary if you want to force other employees to join your union and pay your dues, and that’s also crap. Joe’s supposed “free rider” objection is BS, because it’s not like he’s paying dues to the auto companies because their massive purchases of steel created economies of scale that brought down steel prices worldwide. In a free market sometimes you will benefit from the economic actions of persons other than yourself. That doesn’t mean joe the union organizer should be able to spring out of the bushes and pick your pocket.

  163. How do you make that whole quote embedded in a quote thing?

    Like this?

    < blockquote>first quote
    < blockquote>embedded quote

    < blockquote> < blockquote>

    Just like that without the spaces I used in the HTML tags.

  164. Oh jeez, I fucked it up. It goes like this

    < blockquote>first quote
    < blockquote>embedded quote

    < /blockquote> < /blockquote> Which ends the thing.

    Just like that without the spaces I used in the HTML tags. I think you can go to a third level similarly.

  165. Yes, J sub D, your web kung fu is strong.

    I am a dull and simple lad,
    Cannot tell water from champagne
    But I can google.
    Google HTML tags and find a tutorial thats easy to understand.
    Google HTML symbols and you can learn to use greek letters, peace signs and all sorts of neat stuff. I like this one.
    Google HTML links for tutorials on creating those. I liked this one.

    Google is your bestest friend if you are an intertubes tyro like me.

  166. Say what you will, this place wouldn’t be the same without joe. I didn’t mean to get angry with him.

    We love you, joe, and you love us; we love each other too much to leave us the way we are!

  167. I can’t believe it took 150-plus comments for things like this to be written here:

    There was never any legitimate Constitutional authority for the federal government to have a Department of Labor or any sort of labor related laws and regulations in the first place.

    A card check or workplace vote is only necessary if you want to force the employer to negotiate with you on the terms dictated by the NLRB, which are crap.

    These are really the only relevant topics on a libertarian message board. Splitting hairs about goddamned “secret ballots” and other minutiae, when the elephant in the living room is the federal government’s legal privileging of the arbitrary entity called “labor,” is just asinine.

    What’s the deal? Do most of you Reasonites simply not realize exactly how all this works, how the NLRB artificially manipulates the free market? That’s really the only excuse for bothering to skip past that fundamental problem and immerse in mind-numbing arguments about the way “organizing” ballots are cast.

    Christ almighty.

  168. Come on guys, just read what the pro-union voices are saying: if anything hinders a union it is bad for the workers, so if the corporations do not invite a union in it must be forced, for the good of the workers, of course.

  169. God, I always kill these threads. How do the rest of you have so much time to sit around posting all day? Arrrgggh.

  170. “Employee Free Choice Act”? It seems coining Orwellian phrases is a pastime for Democratic operatives. How in the hell is ending a secret ballot a good thing?
    The mindset of the Democrats is hilarious. Do they honestly believe that union membership has to sunk to an all-time low because of intimidation by anti-union forces? People don’t want to be in unions. I sure as hell wouldn’t want compulsory dues lining the pockets of do-nothing crooks.

  171. Not only am I not ideologically opposed to the existence of unions, I’m a *member* of one. Are you, joe?

    ChrisO, that’s another, inconveiniant, anecdotal fact that Joe won’t address.

    No, he answered it 24 minutes before you asked it, you just didn’t read his stuff, at least in his mind.

  172. So, I both have never experienced being in a union AND, simultaneously, am in a union. In actuality, I was once an officer of a union, belonged to a different one before that, and am currently in a union. Since, apparently, the ad homenim attack about whether my (and only my) work history plays such an outsized role in the arguments against me.

    Sadly, this is the level of discourse we can rely on from people like Other Matt, Episiarch, and joshua corning.

    But enough about them. A couple of people who don’t have to keep corks on their forks have made some points.

    RC, J sub, as I’ve written several times already, the existence of laws on the books protecting people from retaliation for union activity does not, as libertarians rarely fail to understand in any other context, mean that the problem does not exist. In the absence of good-faith efforts to actually enforce those laws, they are dead letters. Not to mention, the enforcement process and the low costs associated with violating them are, to many companies, just a cost of doing business. You don’t trust the existence of gun laws to protect you from armed robbers; why should workers trust the existence of these laws to provide reliable protection to them?

    And, no, I’m not going to restate what I’ve already written about the secret ballot. Any time anyone cares to address what I’ve said, instead of repeating the same question I’ve already answered, that would be just great.

  173. Er, am currently not in a union.

    Man, refuting contradictory accusations with poor typing skills is a pain in the ass.

  174. Fluffy makes a real, honest-to-God argument:

    Joe’s supposed “free rider” objection is BS, because it’s not like he’s paying dues to the auto companies because their massive purchases of steel created economies of scale that brought down steel prices worldwide. In a free market sometimes you will benefit from the economic actions of persons other than yourself.

    When a union engages in collective bargaining on behalf of every employee in a workplace, the increased pay and benefits are some second-or third-order effect created by third parties. The union is actually providing a service of value directly to those employees.

    grylliade raises a couple of good points, too.

    First, the state of unions in America, and going too far. Well, sure. And there are empoloyers who have gone too far, too. I don’t really see a connection to the issue at hand.

    Now, this is the first legitimate response to the point I have made so many times about the necessity of card-check, and why it outweighs the need for a secret ballot:

    I guess to me the secret ballot system seems fairer overall (i.e., less biased to one side or the other), but what advantage exists tilts in favor of employers. The card check system seems more open to abuse, but the advantage tilts to the unions. So yeah, I’ll support the fairer system, even if it’s not perfect.

    In a vacuum, open ballots are worse than secret ballots, but keep in mind, that isn’t the only issue at hand. Card check isn’t a response to secret ballots, but to a different problem – retaliation by employers against organizers in the period between the collection of signatures and the election.

    To people who take the Dr. Schact position on unions – employers are the natural leaders of their workplaces, and the workers should not be allowed to check or challenge them in any way – this is not a bug, it’s a feature. Many upthread have made this point specifically – union organizers should be fired, and employers who do so are well within their rights. If you hold this position, I turst you’ll forgive me for not paying much attention to your thoughts on the fairest way to do something you would like to see eliminated from the face of the earth.

    But that isn’t grylliade’s point. He recognizes the problem, but just minimizes it, putting it on roughly equal footing with the intimidation of workers by their coworkers, and using the superiority of secret ballots as the tiebreaker. I guess I just disagree with the idea that those two problems are equivalent. It would seem necessary to define out of existence the power employers hold over their employees – which some libertarians do – in order to miss the fact that this happens.

    One last question: J sub D, is is currently illegal for workers to physically threaten their coworkers during a union drive? A simple yes or no will do. (It won’t, actually, but the combination of naivete and hypocrisy behind his question to me just begs to be thrown back in his face.)

  175. To people who take the Dr. Schact position on unions – employers are the natural leaders of their workplaces, and the workers should not be allowed to check or challenge them in any way – this is not a bug, it’s a feature. Many upthread have made this point specifically – union organizers should be fired, and employers who do so are well within their rights.

    Question (I honestly don’t know the answer): Is it legal for a union to cancel a member’s membership at will?

  176. If the employers can form their little groups to agitate for their interests, why not the workers?

    My only problem with this bill (besides the apparent partisan side purpose to it, of course) is that it further legitimizes government control over labor organization. Propose abolishing Taft-Hartley, then we can talk…

  177. When a union engages in collective bargaining on behalf of every employee in a workplace, the increased pay and benefits are some second-or third-order effect created by third parties. The union is actually providing a service of value directly to those employees.

    It’s a second order effect if the fact that the union has secured raises doesn’t automatically raise my pay. If I still have to ask for a raise, then the fact that the union has secured a raise is merely a market effect. You may as well say that autoworkers at nonunion plants should be forced to pay dues, because if the unions at union plants secure raises, this has the effect of making it likely that wages for autoworkers will rise overall in response, including for non-union shops.

    Let me use a tighter counter-example. Say some group of old ladies who shop at the Stop and Shop I go to get together and form a shoppers’ group to complain about the selection, quality and price of the goods available there. They present petitions asking for additional generic brands, they identify past-date goods still on the shelves, they publicize competing better prices at the PriceChopper or the Demoulah’s. Should I be forced to pay them dues because my shopping experience is better as a result of their efforts?

  178. Say some group of old ladies who shop at the Stop and Shop I go to get together and form a shoppers’ group to complain about the selection, quality and price of the goods available there. They present petitions asking for additional generic brands, they identify past-date goods still on the shelves, they publicize competing better prices at the PriceChopper or the Demoulah’s. Should I be forced to pay them dues because my shopping experience is better as a result of their efforts?

    I think a more apropos example would be whether, having banded together to lobby Stop and Shop, the ladies should be able to (by force of law) coerce Stop and Shop into meeting to their demands. Leftists would say no (excepting those who want to abolish capitalism entirely). Because leftists don’t see the employment relationship as the market transaction it is, they don’t see the contradiction.

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