Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Union Mindset In A Nutshell...

Union: Inmate Program Takes Jobs Away From Law-Abiding Workers
ARLINGTON (CBS) – Michael Agneta works for free, which makes him an attractive worker.
Agneta is among a group of inmates who’ve earned the privilege to work in the community through good behavior.
The county sheriff has instituted a work program for non-violent offenders like Agneta to work on projects in the community while they serve their sentences. It's pretty much win-win for all involved - the prisoners get out of jail (supervised) and work on projects ranging from painting the police station to snow removal to general building maintenance. It gives them experience in areas where they can find work once they have served their time, and it gives the community free labor.

Naturally, the unions are up in arms about this.
“We have homeowners, people that live in the community, people that are trained to do these jobs, and they’re not getting a chance to work in that job,” says Paul Canning, with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.
There's just one problem:
The head of Arlington’s Housing Authority says, because of budget cuts, his agency would not have been able to hire the job out anyway.
They wouldn't have been able to afford union painters, so they wouldn't have had the job done. This program took nothing away from union workers. Well, that is if you don't count the fact that non-union prisoners did a job that the unions priced out of the reach of local municipalities... It's telling that the unions would oppose programs that would help people - people that might just join those same unions someday - on the basis of "ZOMG WE LOST MONEY NOW".

Yep. That's the union mindset in a nutshell right there. They'd rather torpedo this program and not have the town get needed work done - work the town couldn't have afforded to have union workers do - rather than face competition. Aren't they more or less admitting that the union does nothing but drive up the price artificially? If prisoners on work-release programs can do the same job for a lot less money, shouldn't the unions be thinking about offering something of value other than BECAUSE UNION?

Or they could continue insisting that people be forced to buy their brand of buggy whips for the next century...

That is all.


Paul, Dammit! said...

Ugh. This. This very much. I spent 8 years in a maritime union. In an amazing coincidence, my former union's officers were all Italian-americans from the same neighborhood, with some strong, uh, shall we say... family connections.

Anonymous said...

Nothing new with the union hacks - I remember a few years back where the local Boy Scouts were 'banned' from doing cleanup work in the city parks - Philadelphia if I remember correctly. It was because they were a 'threat' to the union workers...Guys going for Eagle were even prevented from doing anything - never mind that the work wasn't being done by the union.......
As the saying goes, you can't fix stupid - or union protectionism.

Angus McThag said...

According to the MPAA and RIAA that prisoner stole the money they could have charged from them.

Will Brown said...

As a union shop steward here in Texas, I believe you have identified the single greatest conundrum unions face; how to safeguard members occupations while attracting new membership? Union leadership at the local level is almost always drawn from those members with the most invested in the status quo ante. Potential new members are mostly those with little to nothing invested in the established arrangements; indeed, they are largely excluded from participation as a feature of those arrangements. Not by specific intent you understand, but as a by-product of the arrangements designed to protect current members employment agreements.

It's a serious problem. To grow a local you need new members; to convince the established powers-that-be in the local to accept even potential reduction of their (and those that elected them) hard-earned financial positions is more than a little unreasonable too.

I confess I have no good answer, but realize one needs to be crafted to avoid potentially nasty labor disputes around the country.