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Monday, September 1, 2014

What Holiday?

Unions have never occupied a big part of my own working life. I've been self-employed, worked in retail, and most of my years with Government were spent in management paying mandatory Union dues while reaping no benefits, not even cost-of-living increases. There were several instances when the wages of Union employees reporting to me were higher than my own.

That aside, my reflection today is neatly encapsulated by the title of this post. With the ever-diminishing influence of Unions assisted and accompanied by the prevailing political posture demonizing anyone represented by a Union, public or private, does it strike anyone else as mildly anachronistic that we still celebrate Labor Day? Put another way, do you suppose the Governors of Wisconsin and New Jersey, to name just two big fans of organized labor, are displaying flags and enjoying a barbecue today? And if so, why?

My bitter tone here may be a type of mourning for men like my Dad who would have been at the mercy of some unscrupulous people if he hadn't had a Union watching out for him. And I'm not so naive as to imagine there are no corrupt people embedded in Unions (and a few in concrete - RIP Jimmy). I also think Teacher's Unions have long protected some people with no business educating our children. But on balance, I'll take my chances with politicians who respect the concept of collective bargaining over their opponents. So, happy Labor Day to my long gone Dad and all the other working men and women whose hard labor helped build many of the mansions housing their most outspoken critics.

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