Monday, September 02, 2013

Happy Labor Day!

It's Labor Day, that one holiday of the year brought to you by the labor movement of old in the United States. 

Yes, it's true: We have unions to thank for the fact that we are sitting on our asses at home today instead of working. Fact is, however, that these days union workers don't have a whole hell of a lot to thank their unions for and more and more workers are beginning to recognize this. Evidence of this is in the fact that private-sector union membership was down to a mere 6.6% in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

We can't even thank modern day unions for Labor Day. Labor Day has been around for 120+ years.Back then, unions actually fought for the "working" person. In the days before child labor laws, laws against discrimination and wage and hour laws, unions actually fought for better working conditions and hours and wages. Not so much anymore.

These days, labor unions and big labor coalitions are all about looking out for the bloated salaries and expenses of their leaders. Those of you who persist in thinking that your labor union is looking out for you need to look at, a valuable resource where you can look up information about where your union dues go, the bloated salaries of union officials and how little of your union dues actually go to back to the members.

This page has some quick facts and links to get you started such as the fact that unions collected $8.2 billion in dues in 2012 and paid union execs and leaders $1.1 billion. Total salaries and compensation for all union employees was $2.6 billion, which is approximately one-third of all dues collected. Last year, unions spent more than $4 billion on "representational activities" much of which is used in organizing campaigns -- not for current members. Nearly $600 million was spent on "political activities". How many of you union members support Barack Obama? Even if you don't your dues went to pay political contributions to his campaign.

But let's talk about the union bureaucrat's salaries. As the typical union member works his or her ass off every day, working hard to pay their union dues, you hear that AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka is "down for the struggle"  -- he used to be a steelworker, he can related, he's looking out for you. At a total compensation package of over $300,000 a year, what is he really looking out for? What does he do for that huge compensation package? Trumka isn't doing as well as United Food and Commercial Worker's Union President Joe Hansen who's total comp. is over $350,000 a year. Leo Girard, the international president of the United Steelworkers is a veritable pauper. He only makes $200,000 a year. Yes these are all white guys. For those of you who value diversity, would it surprise you to know that 94% of union officials are white guys?

This type of bloat in the compensation packages of union employees isn't just limited to the international presidents. Often, international union organizers -- the folks out at the street in jeans and T-shirts handing out flyers and befriending non-union workers who are generally uneducated in the ways of unionization can make $150,000+ a year in total compensation. How ironic is it that these folks are rabble-rousing on the street in front of a reputable employer's business trying to get people who make an average wage of $15-$16 an hour to pay $30-$50 a month in union dues that will go to pay their salary which is in some cases five times what the worker's wages are. Why do you think they are trying to get these unsuspecting workers to join a union? Do you really think it has anything to do with helping the worker? Hell no! As soon as the campaign is over, these organizers who pretended to be the worker's best friend are off to the next campaign. They've got to increase their membership to keep their bloated salaries coming in. It's all about union money and power folks.

Don't take my word for this. Don't take the Union Facts web site's word for this either. You can look up the salaries of union bureaucrats by name and find out exactly how your union spends its money on the U.S. Department of Labor web site.

Happy Labor Day. Enjoy the day off and thank the union leaders of 100+ years ago for their contributions to making Labor Day a national holiday. Just don't be fooled into thinking that today's union fat cats are "down for the struggle" with the workers, as the union leaders of old were.

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