In reading about some of the latest "fruits" made manifest by labor unions, I'd like to share some of my thoughts on the harmful effects that today's labor unions are causing.
13 1/2 years ago I became a full-time firefighter and joined my first labor union right here in Idaho (Right-To-Work State...thank Heavens) because all of the new firemen were expected by their peers to join and pay union dues. After all, nobody wants to be labeled a "moocher" or a "free-loader", right? "The union's done so much to get us where we are today!" and "You have no idea what life was like before we unionized" are the common persuasive arguments I used to hear all the time. Boy, was I duped...and it cost me several years worth of union dues in the process- money that I voluntarily gave up not understanding where it was going nor who or what it was funding in the process. Then, in 2008, I started waking up when Obama was elected to his first term and unions like AFL-CIO, IAFF, SEIU, etc. started stepping up and vocalizing what their real intentions were and what they expected of this very progressive executor in return for their campaign support. What alarmed me the most is how fearless they are and how they really don't even make any efforts to cover up or sugar-coat their agendas- they lay them right out in plain sight for all to see, but one must have the eyes to see it for what it is. My eyes were finally opened.
To make a long story short, I demanded that all my dues start going directly to my local branch of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho (PFFI), making very clear to my local president as well as the president of the PFFI that I didn't want one cent going to national, most definitely not the AFL-CIO which is the foundation upon which the IAFF is based. That was back in 2010 and it lasted for only a few months when the PFFI sent out an email to all members asking us to take a stand in defense of the Teacher's Union here in Idaho in relation to some proposed changes in public education. I replied back to them makeing it very clear to them that I whole-heartedly disagreed with the unions' stances on the issues and drew the attention of not only my local president, but also the vice president and president of the PFFI on a state level. As a result, the PFFI president called me and we had a nice discussion about principle and how I have resolved to spend my last breath fighting to keep Idaho a Right-To-Work state, which includes fighting against my own union and union members if necessary. We both mutually decided that I am not cut out for union membership and I immediately stopped paying union dues, dropped out of the IAFF/PFFI, and relinquished all future "representation" by the same (in all of my previous 10 years in those unions, I never once needed them for anything, anyway). I told them that I stand upon my own merits from here on out and that if I ever did anything that threatened my employment here I'd deal with the consequences all on my own. I now have a very good relationship with my chiefs and am able to do anything and everything I want to above and beyond my job responsibilities whereas I had previously been prohibited by the union because everyone "has to be treated equal and given equal opportunity to do what I want to do".
So, here's my question: Are unions really even necessary today? Think about it. Back in the old days when employers abused their employees there wasn't really anyone there to help and protect them nor improve their working conditions. Today? We have the NLRB, OSHA, NFPA (for firefighters), etc...more federal and state agencies than you can shake a stick at that ensure the health and physical well-being of workers everywhere. What about wages? What about employers who fire their employees "at will"? I say they have every right to determine both as they will suffer the consequences whether they be good or bad...just as you and I have every right to decide if we're going to remain at our jobs or quit "at will". In a day in which employees feel they are entitled to health benefits, pay raises, regularly-scheduled breaks whether needed or not...what about the employers' rights? Think long and hard about Hostess and what happened to them last week: was it better for the employees to adjust to a lower salary or for more than 18,000 employees to lose their jobs completely?
Beware of labor unions. In very few instances they may be necessary but I would ask that you be very cautious, watchful and vocal about their agendas. If they're not necessary--GET OUT IF YOU LEGALLY CAN. They are nothing more than massive political machines with very, very socialist-progressive agendas with no regard to economic consequences. They want for themselves first and foremost and if you get a few crumbs...well then they can prove to you that they're your "friends" and they fight for YOU. To this day, I am the ONLY firefighter out of 70 or so that has jumped ship even when many others believe and feel the way I do. They still have the hook set in their mouths from believing that if they quit they'll be free-loading or riding on the shirt tails of the other dues-paying union members. Too bad they won't step up because as long as I'm the only one, nothing will change. The divide between employer and employee grows deeper and wider every day it seems.
Union pride? Don't believe it, folks. Wake up the sheep around you.