Tom Blumer at Newsbusters has a barnburner post about the way in which retired auto workers were recently treated by the organization that professes to protect them:
From press coverage at the time, you would have thought that unionized GM and Chrysler workers made ginormous, humungous, unprecedented sacrifices to enable their companies to get through bankruptcy and to emerge as lean, mean vehicle-making machines.
That is all we heard on television, all we read in the papers.
In other words, the UAW protected its currently working members, the ones who get to vote on contracts, from any meaningful sacrifice, while hosing its retirees, who don’t get to vote.
How hard were retirees hit? This hard, according to a May local news report out of Detroit:
(UAW President Ron) Gettelfinger said the contract is a difficult one for the active members and retirees, who will give up some 25% of their health care benefits. “This was a matter of salvation as much as we possibly could for our retirees. I am regretful that we had to do anything and I think it’s a disgrace we had to do anything,” Gettelfinger said.
I’ve maintained for a long time that the unions have, for the most part, turned into the very thing which they were created to oppose in the first place. What’s even more unsettling is that working middle class families get caught in the agenda of organized labor and labor bosses encourage working moms and dads to turn on their fellow Americans if those Americans dare criticize any aspect of the organization.
What good is a union if there is not structure in which the union can operate? That’s the point of most conservatives: you have to have a strong, vital economy and market for the working class to truly thrive. You cannot achieve that with government manipulation of the market, nationalization of private industries, and bailouts. Yet labor heads have give-take relationship with the Democratic party: they’ll mobilize their numbers to turn out for those Democratic candidates, they’ll donate to Democratic candidates and in turn, those candidates, if elected, will churn out policies friendly and lucrative for labor bosses, but, as we see in the title of this post, aren’t exactly lucrative for labor employees.
Many conservatives are angry that their fellow middle-class citizens are being exploited and manipulated in such a way. During the bust ups back in August at all the town halls, many labor employees were told by the organization heads that tea partiers and other town hall participants and conservative groups were against middle-class workers’ ability to make a decent wage, which couldn’t be more of a disingenuous statement, considering we’re all fellows in the same middle-class boat. What we are against are very rich labor bosses using our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters as pawns in a political scheme and waving benefits and wages in front of them as they would a carrot. What those workers don’t realize is that we’re on their side.