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14 February 2009

Unions to Destroy Entrepreneur's Creations

Labor unions have been having a hard time in the private sector in the United States. Only 7.5% of private sector workers are union members. In the 1980s, union membership was about 20% of the private workforce. The unions are desperate to reverse this trend. They spent $450 million electing more Congressmen in this last election in an effort to get changes in the laws to help them unionize more and smaller businesses.

Unions are a major factor in making unionized companies less competitive. Unionized workers are paid in accordance with seniority, not with respect to productivity. In many other ways, unions make companies less competitive. Promotion by seniority saps the incentive to work hard and to think on the job. Work rules may cause a great loss of multi-functionality in employees and may simply have them taking unnecessary breaks. Union-imposed rules may make little sense in many contexts, but management cannot bend them to accommodate the Big Picture or the complete, rationally evaluated context of a particular situation. Unions also push for wage and benefit increases which many companies cannot sustain. Consequently, unionized businesses are a vanishing bred of business in the highly competitive American marketplace. With global markets more and more competitive also, unions are more and more a disaster for many businesses and for their employees.

The premier legislation that unions are seeking to reverse their loss of private sector membership is card checks. They and their Congressional allies are calling this The Employee Free Choice Act. This is really legislation designed to keep employers from ever speaking to their employees before their companies are unionized. It is also designed to make it easy for the union organizers to intimidate workers wherever they wish to corner them to get them to check a card that they are interested in being represented by the union. It is very revealing that union members do not like card check. They want union representation to be chosen by secret ballot. In union households, 69% oppose The Employee Free Choice Act! 76% of union voters say that the secret ballot is the best way to determine if workers want to be unionized or not.

Entrepreneurs create most of the jobs in America. In particular, small businesses create most of these jobs. The owners of these small businesses face a very daunting task in trying to build and maintain a business. Of the businesses started in 1992, 25% died in the first year. 50% were gone in 4 years. In the 10th year only 29% were still in existence. Yet, most of the owners of these businesses worked incredible long hours and did their best to try to make their companies a success. Most of these companies died even without the added burden of being unionized.

A great many small business owners went into business in good part because they had had it with working for others. Many of them are independent-minded people who want to work their way. The unions want to boss them around when they have built a business just large enough for the unions to be able to milk it of some significant resources. With the take-over of more and more small businesses, the unions will try to build up their membership. This will then give the unions more income they can use to try to bribe the politicians into giving them ever more power. The union bosses will be able to live high on the hog in money and power, while ever more small businesses are ground into oblivion.

This is a huge attack on wealth and property in America. It is a serious threat to small businesses and the huge investment that most small businessmen have put into those businesses. It is an overt expropriation of wealth. It is also an attack upon innovation and the determined spirits who have created wealth out of nothing with years dedicated, focused effort. Since the secret ballot is the most accurate way to determine whether the employees of a company want to be unionized, it is also an attack upon their livelihoods. Many of them do have long time horizons and want to work for a company that will exist in 10 years. Many employees do not want to see their union dues given to politicians they do not even want to vote for, let alone fund. This activity by the labor unions is hugely immoral and should be very roundly condemned by everyone.

A worker has a right to choose to be represented by a union. An employer has the right to then fire him rather than to have to negotiate with a labor union representative. Both employees and employers have the right to make choices. But, ultimately, an employee has his job at the discretion of the employer. If the employee does not wish to meet the conditions of employment of the employer, then the employee may leave and find another employer or he may start his own business. No employer is responsible against his will for the employment of anyone. To the degree that the law claims he is and forces him to provide jobs, the employer is simply a slave of the state and of the employee. There is no reason any employer should put up with this injustice. No one should be a slave, most especially not because he is productive and innovative enough to create jobs for others.

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