|The Jack Wade Show||
How many times have you heard Republican politicians or the business people who own them use the derogatory term “union thug?” That term is supposed to evoke the image of a Tony Soprano type union boss holding a hard working, clean cut businessman hostage by making unreasonable demands like no-work jobs for his cronies or else. That stereotype is designed to strike the fear of GOD in naive people who have never been represented by a union. The truth is that when unions are doing what they're supposed to be doing, they create a level playing field for their members. Individually they're mere whispers, united they're one loud voice.
Sadly, in many cases, union leaders are the exact opposite of union thugs, many have become union marshmallows or union cream puffs. They have forgotten their roots, that unions were born in bitter struggles. Many union leaders and members like to think that corporations have become kinder and gentler than they were in the bad old days of armed corporate goon squads firing on union strikers. Corporations haven't become nicer, just more sophisticated in their assault on unions and union members. Bullets fired on picketers have been replaced by bucks tossed into the pockets of our corporate owned electeds in exchange for anti-union legislation and “free” trade agreements.
Unions are confronted with a decidedly anti-union legislative climate that limits their effectiveness. Due to high powered anti-union corporate lobbyists, union lobbying efforts can be described as fighting a losing battle, at best. The proof of that is that The Employee Free Choice Act still hasn't passed and we are getting additional right to work for less states.
Union local officials are confronted with take it or leave it contracts that have give-backs or worse, have provisions that weaken their locals in the future. Many local union leaders give in when they should be rallying and educating the troops. Many union members think of the short term implications when they should be thinking about their future. It's time for local leaders and members to get together for some frank talk about the future of their local. I suggest that they do that before the next contract comes up for renewal.
In short, national union leaders should stop fighting a war of attrition by going over the heads of corporate owned electeds and taking their case to Americas real owners, "we, the people!" Buy advertising, run publicity campaigns, fight for the heart and mind of every working American! Local leaders should get their members approval to dig in and drive a hard bargain on the next contract and take their case public! Let's win this one for the future of all of America's workers and their families!